Re: Reducing the board size

On Sat, Sep 17, 2005 at 07:00:30PM -0400, Luis Villa wrote:
> On 9/14/05, Daniel Veillard <veillard redhat com> wrote:
> > On Wed, Sep 14, 2005 at 09:01:38PM +0200, David Neary wrote:
> > > I'm in favour of reducing the board to 7 people. I would like to see us
> > > have a referendum on the issue next month.
> > >
> > > The board has huge problems being pro-active. Any issue which is
> > > slightly contentious has an opposition in a board of 11 people. It's
> > > inevitable. And when there is opposition, there are many voices, and
> > > when there are many voices, there is no resolution.
> > 
> >   My experience is rather that all board members are busy members of the
> > community, so getting people do do things is hard. If you get 7 persons
> > instead of 11 you reduce also the amount of available time from board
> > members. People running for the board will need more time upfront to
> > fullfill their board member requirements.
> I have not had time to review the records, but I'm pretty sure that at
> least two board members have taken zero action items all year, and a

  I'm one of them, my participation has been limited to providing minutes,
and I entierely agree it's not a satisfactory situation.

> couple have taken very few, and that this has been fairly consistent
> every year I've been on the board (though it has been different people
> each year, that's just how it is.) So at least in an average year you
> could cut the board down to seven people with very, very little impact
> on the amount of work done.

  Assuming you're lucky to get only the motivated people left in the
set of 7. This is taking risks I think.

> In addition, as Dave mentioned, I think that cutting down the number
> of people would increase actual campaigning, which is, I think a good
> thing. Amount of time available for board work would certainly be
> something that people might campaign on- certainly, I'd be less likely
> to vote for someone who I know is very busy, so we might actually get
> (gasp) selection of the board, instead of the current 'virtually
> whoever self-nominates gets in' situation, which I think is damaging
> to the ability of the board to function as a coherent, motivated unit.

  This could work both ways, individual conflicts impact is reduced
in a larger group too.
> Finally, I'd suggest that it is also quite possible that a board with
> fewer people might more actively seek out and charter new teams more
> actively, instead of 'hoarding' some of the work. A board that did
> less work itself and did more to distribute work would both need less
> time and (I think) be more effective in the work it did do.

  My analysis is that we have trouble at the execution level. Reducing
the group size is advocated as a way to fix this, I have doubts about it,
I don't think this will solve the problem , but I don't have any other
proposal, so I won't object anymore. Having a referendum about this is just
fine from my viewpoint.


Daniel Veillard      | Red Hat Desktop team
veillard redhat com  | libxml GNOME XML XSLT toolkit | Rpmfind RPM search engine

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