[Ambassadors] FAmSco meeting 2011-12-14 minutes

Matthias Kranz matthiaskranz at gmx.de
Thu Dec 15 15:09:04 UTC 2011

On 12/15/2011 01:40 PM, Christoph Wickert wrote:
> Am Mittwoch, den 14.12.2011, 17:39 -0800 schrieb Max Spevack:
>> Sidestep the timezone problem by ensuring that the majority of what
>> FAMSCO members are doing is working with, and providing a leadership
>> presence, in their own region.
> I think we have already identified the key ambassadors, more precisely
> the ambassadors have identified and elected them into FAmSCo.

Oh, I am not sure whether this is the same. Someone can be a key member
of a community without taking additional formal roles such as running
for and serving on a board.

> I don't see how we can sidestep the timezone problem, it is a
> consequence of what we want to achieve.

Well, this is exactly what all global organizations, be it communities
or commercial orgs try to achieve. What Max is referring to is to reduce
the number of global synchronized meetings to an absolute minimum.
During these meetings, agree on the most important principles, rules and
goals. And then leave it up to the regions to organize themselves and
to deliver in accordance to those rules.

>> Use the mailing lists (this one as much as possible, but also the
>> famsco list) to share the key points of what is going on, and come up
>> with a way to get status updates pushed out to the list, rather than
>> in an IRC channel.
>> It will lead to more discussion, better discussion, and a larger
>> group of engaged Ambassadors.
> While I agree it could increase transparency and will get more
> ambassadors involved, I consider this ineffective. I don't want to
> write 10 mails and read 100 for something that can be easily be
> discussed in a meeting in 10 minutes.

A meeting with no attendants is even more ineffective.

See above, if you need to *discuss* something on a global level, a
discussion via mailing lists is very transparent, and the asynchronous
nature of email gives everyone being interesting the opportunity to
catch up and even provide feedback.

If you need to *decide* on something, it might then be worth to bring it
up to the next meeting, nicely summarized so that everyone can easily
decide during that very meeting.

> I don't see how this can be replaced with a discussion on a mailing
> list. Take the budget for example: Do we really want to forward every
> ticket to a list and discuss it there?

No. Do you really want to dicuss every budget spending planned in the
regions on a global level? I wouldn't. Decide once on the rules, and
then leave it up to the region to execute. It can still be done via a
ticketing system for the matter of recordkeeping and transparency but
does not need to be discussed on a global level.

>> So then what do you do with the FAMSCO meetings?
>> One of several things:
>> * An open conversation for anyone who wants to show up at that time,
>> FAMSCO or non-FAMSCO.
>> * A chance for a subset of FAMSCO to work together on a single topic.
>> * An opportunity to lock down a fixed time each week during which a
>> Red Hat contact is available to focus entirely on FAMSCO issues.
> That's all nice and fair, but IHMO that's not a FAmSCo meeting any
> longer. And adding an extra Red Hat person will certainly not make it
> easier to agree on a time.
> We do need these meetings to discuss certain things and we need a
> quorum to make a decision.
>> My point is, all the tools exist for FAMSCO members to collaborate
>> strongly together outside of IRC.
> What tools exactly? We have mailing lists and we have a wiki, but
> that's all. When it comes to efficiency, none of that can compete with
> a direct conversation. I really wish we still had Fedora talk.

I guess it all comes down to personal preferences. I am extremely busy,
travelling every single week, have a family. I prefer to use as many
asynchronous communication means as possible.

>> Try it -- but try it in an organized and simple fashion by choosing
>> one or two things to start with -- and change the culture of FAMSCO
>> so that the mailing lists and the wiki are more important, and
>> visible, collaboration points than any one IRC session.
>> This is easy to say, and hard to do, because it breaks the habits
>> that FAMSCO has fallen into over the past few years.  That's why I'd
>> say start small, prove that it can work, and grow.
> You know FAmSCo business better than many of us. What part do you
> think could be moved over to another form of collaboration easily?
> Really, I don't think the problem is breaking the habits. I am willing
> to try something new, but IHMO we should be very carefully to change
> things that have proven to work for years.

Well, you started complaing about people not showing up to IRC meetings.

Matthias Kranz, RHCA                            Phone: +49 89 205071-205
Manager, Solution Architects EMEA                Cell: +49 172 81 26 452
Red Hat Munich, Germany                        Office:          82-71205

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