Re: How does the board work?

On Fri, 2005-11-11 at 12:34 +0100, Vincent Untz wrote:
> Hi,
> Two days ago, I wondered: "what is the daily job of the board?". I was
> not wondering what the board is doing, but how it works: is there a lot
> of mails on the board mailing list?

Probably about 10 or 15 emails per week. Long discussions are rare.

>  What's the frequency of the
> meetings? (one per month? more?)

One every two weeks, with occasional postponements.

The meetings are structured around the agenda, sent by the chairman,
based on previous action items and suggestions over the previous day or
two, as well as unanswered questions to the board@ mailing list.
Unfortunately, most discussion and decision-making tends to happen in
the meeting, rather than on the mailing list. I guess this is because
the meeting is the only dedicated time for some busy people.

This means that two-week delays are common, or four weeks if an
important person misses the meeting.

The agenda is on the wiki, as is an incomplete list of open issues, but
it's on a non-public page. We need to make most of it public so that
people have more idea what are doing and so people can add their own
issues to our agenda.

A good meeting is one where new action items have been clearly decided
and assigned to people with enthusiasm and time, and where people have
reported about the successful conclusion of previous action items.

These actions are usually fairly minor, such as editing a web page, or
sending an email. Sometimes they are more involved, such as
- creating the outline for the documentation overview.
- creating/choosing a contract for the documentation author. 
- consulting with the lawyers about the trademark agreement
- contacting companies about a merchandising deal, and negotiating the
final contract.
- getting a list of costs for the GNOME Events Box.

These usually require more time than expertise.

For a fuller list, take a look at the meeting minutes on
foundation-list. We should have a list of direct links to the archives

In future, I think a meeting should always contain a short financial
summary, so we can spend more of our money more sensibly.

>  Are the meetings done by phone, on IRC?

By phone, with IRC for pasting URLs and asking whether the meeting has
started yet.

> etc.
> Right now, we only have this "documentation":
> (and maybe it could do with some update, btw)
> I can probably guess some of the answers. But it'd be nice if one of the
> current or previous board members could write a quick summary of all of
> this. I believe it could help people know if they want to run for the
> elections.

Murray Cumming
murrayc murrayc com

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