Re: overwhelmed board + lack of employees


Quim Gil wrote:
> There was a comment in the minutes about board members being
> overwhelmed. The Foundation is also looking for an executive director
> and there seem to be not many responses. The combination of these two
> factors must be a pain, specially when the GNOME project and Foundation
> itself seem to be in a good momentum.

Zana being administrator of the foundation over the past few weeks has
really lightened the load. We had a couple of meetings specifically
focussed on delegating action items, or doing away with them, and that
was a great success. The problem of overwhelmed board members came more
from the fact that board members tend to take on more stuff alongside -
Jeff's working on Dapper, Federico on Novell's desktop, JRB has taken on
more of RedHat's desktop group, I'm involved in GUADEC again this year,
and was organising the libre graphics meeting, and so on.

I will admit to having had doubts about the 7 member boardand even
proposing that we discuss increasing the number by by-election or
co-option a few weeks ago. With the success of Zana's short term as
administrator, I'm now confident that a full-time employee will solve
most of our problems.

> During the board election and the resize board referendum there was some
> discussion about what the board members are and aren't supposed to do,
> and also how much time they should invest in tasks. Can you give a brief
> feedback of the current situation in the context of those discussions
> (if you have the time)?  ;) 

There's the big stuff and the little stuff...

Big stuff:

I want a GNOME store. We were within touching distance of a decent one
last year, and it fell through. I haven't ressurrected the idea yet, and
will gleefully hand off the project to someone else if they're interested.

We need a stock contract for commercial trademark usage. I have one that
we came up with (with our lawyers) last year, and we should rework that
to perhaps make it a little less constraining, and start getting people
to sign it.

We want to get momentum behind GNOME's communicatiuon with the press,
and our promotion, and try to provide some direction to the marketing
project. There's been a bunch of stuff done here, but nothing really
identifiable and cohesive.

We want to focus the organisation on the needs of third-party
developers. This doesn't just mean tutorials, docs and training seminars
(although they're all important), it means "selling" the GNOME
development platform, and providing value to consumers of the platform
at all levels. It means investing too.

We want to hire an executive director who will drive change and start
putting the foundation in a position where we can hire people to fulfill
needs we have which haven't been fulfilled by the community.

Little(er) stuff:

We're going to make up an event box for the US, following on from the
success of the European event box

We've been in contact with more & more companies around GNOME, with
great success

We're keeping a decent eye on the money

Zana has put in place a bunch of tempates and procedures to make the job
easier for a new administrator

We have to be present on the board list, answering queries promptly.
We've been doing pretty well at this.

All in all, we've been doing a good job with the small stuff, and the
big stuff is all either stalled, or taking longer than expected, or
lacking community buy-in at the moment. All of these things take
someone's time to drive them through and get that community adoption.
Delegation takes effort too.

> About hiring someone, maybe the profile required is just too complex.
> Not for the complexity of each requirement but the combination of both.
> Speak on behalf the Foundation, sign checks, send mugs and live in
> Boston are a fairly diverse set of skills / features.

Speak on behalf of the foundation is optional, signing cheques and
sending mugs isn't hard, and living in Boston is a reasonable
requirement given the nature of the job. We want someone who will
aggressively seek partnerships for the foundation, and allow us to do
more things like the hiring of Shawn, which worked very well.

Hiring a full-time GNOME sysadmin/webmaster would be a decent first hire
after the executive director.

> Put that on the
> top of the fact that the person to be hired needs to be competent but
> available and you get an equation difficult to solve.

I agree, competent and available is hard - but do we want someone
incompetent? ;-)

> Wouldn't be better to hire an accountancy company to deal with all the
> money & tax & legal related stuff and then liberate a GNOMEr to do the
> rest? 

I see your point, and subcontracting parts of our administartion is
something we've discussed. Apparently it's more expensive than hiring
someone to do it, and with a hire we get (hopefully) someone who will be
prepared to go outside the bounds of pure administrator.


David Neary
bolsh gimp org

[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]