[OpenAFS] Foundation Plan redux

Jerry McAllister jerrymc@msu.edu
Mon, 27 Oct 2008 12:49:32 -0400

On Mon, Oct 27, 2008 at 09:17:56AM -0700, Simon Wilkinson wrote:

> On 27 Oct 2008, at 07:48, David Boyes wrote:
> >* Transparancy
> >
> >The processes and procedures used to make decisions and select  
> >goals and
> >leaders should be clearly documented and applied, and it should be
> >easily determined how decisions are arrived at and the decisions each
> >participant made.
> From my reading, it seems like the proposal already addresses issues  
> of transparency. Do you have specific areas in which you have concerns?
> >
> >* Sustainability
> >
> >Any organization that is going to survive beyond the first generation
> >needs a clear development plan and a succession plan to ensure that
> >leadership is available and understands the tasks and steps to run the
> >organization.
> >
> >The current documents do a fair job with the first principle of
> >conservatorship, but I don't see much work on the other two yet.  
> >Perhaps
> >the idea is to develop the processes as things progress, but there are
> >good working examples of similar organizations that would probably  
> >prove
> >to be valuable examples if used as a starting point.
> >
> >I'm also concerned that there is little discussion of the  
> >sustainability
> >principle. How does one become part of the various organizations or
> >committees described in the proposed documents?
> It's not clear to me how one becomes a board member, beyond the  
> normal corporate election structures. Criteria for becoming a  
> gatekeeper (appointment by the TAC), or a TAC member (appointment, in  
> the case of corporate members, or election for individual members)  
> seem pretty clear.
> >How long can one obtain
> >as a gatekeeper or board member? Is there a term limit (a desirable
> >thing, IMHO, as it forces an organization to develop new leaders  
> >rather
> >than having the same faces in the same places)?
> In this case, as with AFS standardisation, I strongly disagree that  
> term limits are desirable. At their worst, they just ensure the  
> retirement of strong post holders, and their replacement with  
> inexperienced ones.

Without some way of encorporating new persons in to the process/organization,
it will die. <-- that's a period there.   Of course, you do not want to
cut off wise contributions just because they have been doing it for 
a while.   So, you need something more creative.    Create a structure
that a person naturally works through and reaches a point of continuing
participation, but does not impede new persons from moving in to the
structure and work with responsibility.

Organizations die or become ineffective as often by stagnation as
by incorporating new, inexperienced and possible incompetent persons.
So, think of a way to ameliorate both undesirable tendancies.

> OpenAFS badly needs a way of encouraging new faces, and growing those  
> individuals into positions of responsibility. I don't believe that  
> requiring the abdication of successful leaders after some arbitrary  
> period will help with this. It's kind of like cutting off the head of  
> a random animal in the hope that it will grow a new one - it works in  
> a small number of cases, but the rest of the time you'll end up with  
> a lifeless corpse.
> Cheers,
> Simon.
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