Recently a new discussion came up within the Ambassador group, the main topic was "Governance for the NethServer project"
I will try to summarize here some things came out of the discussion
a solid governance model is important for the quality of the project. The NethServer community is at a point of maturity that we need to start discussing this topic and come to consensus on how governance should be implemented in our community.
we have to keep in mind that the project has been initiated from a (commercial) company and the company (Nethesis in our case) builds its existence on the project and are by far the largest contributor to the project in terms of code and resources.
On the other hand, we, as a community, have to decide what we think is best for us. How we want to organize it and how we ensure quality and consistency.
I’d like an emancipatory democratic community, where one can easily participate, which we already are. We have a meritocratic board, where tasks and directions are discussed.
I’m not sure that the governance should work/go on the dev side, this is not the better skill of this group. We can add, propose, talk about ideas, however at the end, I would propose that the dev team gets free hands. If you have the skill to code, well it is a good thing, but then your place is not in the governance of the community, you might be better elsewhere
I would see a governance more in a community talent finder, to encourage people to volunteering, to put people in the right way to be positive, to organize community event, to spread the world about NS, to be a face to the world.
For Nethesis, and the Project Nethserver, a governance is a chance, to stay as close as possible of its community…just think about zentyal, they cut their links with the community. Sure that it will bring good things
As Dr Thomas Quinton told me during our community dinner at NethServer conference, the community and Nethesis are in a win-win situation. I believe it’s an important point to start with; we should ask ourselves what’s the direction and what are the next moves to grow from here.
Reading this I thinked about the great Alessio’s work as community manager. Nethesis enabled him to do this great work and I think this fact itself tells how much the company wants to see the community growing and being part of it. I see also the Ambassadors group is more and more involved in this task, by welcoming and mentoring people, and making this a comfortable place.
What I fear is a bureaucratic structure today because it would be too heavy for a community of volunteers, where people struggle to find time to contribute.
I’d like to split the discussions addressing two main topics:
1. How can we make complex decisions?
Who can coordinate the process and say the last word?
2. Who can take decisions and move the project forward?
What would we do if
- Alessio can no longer devote his time to the community. Who can coordinate things during his absence?
- One of the main devs can no longer fix new bug or implement new feature
- One of our support experts disappear?
What I’d like to expect from a governance or what I’d like to see:
plan our future together where everyone should say: ok, that’s my commitment to the NethServer project. Even small.
Example: I will test an issue per week or I will reply a support questions per week or I will coordinate the Esperanto language translations.
reinforce our teams with: new people, goals, tasks, roles and accountability.
Example the @docs_team should decide and discuss how to manage and restructure/change/organize our documentation, with total autonomy.
Having a clear path of growth for every newcomer. From being a newbie to an ambassador or even a main dev or a community leader. Example: how can I become a @docs_team member?
What I wouldn’t like see:
- A bureaucratic structure. Quoting @stephdl “A community governance is maybe just an amplification to say it’s good, go ahead, or stop it’s a wrong way.” We have to start small and find a sustainable way.
- Assigning time-consuming task to the people. We have to be aware that most of our users are occasional contributors every team coordinator sould be aware of that as well.