Meetings and mailiglists/decision finding process

Karsten Wade kwade at
Mon Aug 20 19:27:02 UTC 2007

On Sun, 2007-08-19 at 00:41 -0500, Michael Stahnke wrote:

> If a status report is given a minute before the meeting, then we have
> to take a break during the meeting to read and discuss.  Either that,
> or we read it after the meeting and any discussion happens the next
> meeting or on list.  It just seems ineffective to have a deadline a
> minute before we are in a forum to take action...unless everything
> only applies to the next meeting.

We may need a distinction between "statuses that require discussion
before the meeting" and "statuses that do not require discussion."  This
is a gray area, no distinct line, so we need to leave room for the
discretion of the individuals involved.  I recommend we have a guideline
such as, "Report early if you have an item worth discussing so there is
sufficient time on list; otherwise get status reports in before the
meeting starts.[1]"  Anyone who fails to give a topic sufficient on-list
time learns the consequences.

This guideline would fall out from the guideline/directive that
discussions happen on list, not saved for IRC, with the 48-hour minimum
cooking time for new topics to stew on list.  FWIW, that is probably a
good practice across Fedora. :)

- Karsten

[1] I'm just being a realist based on my experience.  If you say "one
hour before the meeting", it is as likely to arrive before that as after
that.  If we set the deadline "24 hours before the meeting", it is as
likely to arrive before that as after that, and once it hits after that
time, it's as likely to arrive in the last five minutes as at any other
five minute interval since the deadline passed.

A similar situation occurs with other people reading the status.  It's
as likely someone reads the report when it arrives as during any five
minute period from arrival to just before the meeting.

This is why I like the five-minute-before-the-meeting rule.  It
acknowledges that a measurable portion of the people do not deliver or
read reports until that last five minutes.  It really only takes that
long to read them, anyway.
        Karsten Wade              ^     Fedora Documentation Project 
 Sr. Developer Relations Mgr.     |        |          gpg key: AD0E0C41
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