Breakout: Modern (Chairs) Guidebook

31 Oct 2012

See also: IRC log


Michael_Cooper, Ian_Jacobs, Daniel_Glazman, Coralie_Mercier, Chaals



[Ian goes over slides]

Daniel: in CSS WG, Peter and I started off with a one-day meeting before our first f2f, during which we met with Chris Lilley
... it helped really a lot that the staff contact met with the Chairs ahead of time to go over their role
... For later training, I'm not that sure.

<Zakim> MichaelC_, you wanted to expand to participants

Michael: anything we can do to help participants get stuff done will help the chair

Chairs weekly routines

Daniel: weekly meetings. additionally, I chat with my co-chair
... organization issues we have
... sometimes painful troubles
... quite complex
... not quite a second conference call, but it's needed to synchronize
... then we browse all the resources we have
... we review the list of issues we have, the bugs, the requests from the WG members
... looking at this and priorities, we establish the agenda for the week
... Then we have a meeting.
... After the meeting:
... we clean up the wiki where we keep track of the agenda items
... add items there
... I do my status report of the HCG if needed
... and PLH is needed.
... or staff, if needed.

Michael: A lot of the same stuff with my Chairs
... one of the things they have to do is seek agenda items
... Janina and I synchronize weekly
... Also react to things coming
... We use WBS on a weekly basis to collect items of interest from our membership
... and discuss them on the call
... other things that can happen:
... following up with people in e-mail
... these are things that sometimes slip off
... s/the meeting:/the meeting: Tweet new publications,/

Chaals: We have two co-chairs
... Art does more of the repetitive stuff.
... WepApps doesn't have teleconferences
... we meet twice a year
... I don't recall if we write to HCG (Hypertext Coordination Group)

Ian: Frequent prioritization? How does stuff get done?

Chaals: once a quarter, maybe a bit more often, we go through the specs where we've seen nothing happening
... to figure out if they're on track, what needs to be done.
... we talk about every spec
... we work in a fairly ad-hoc way.
... prioritization is externally driven
... Jeff gets upset, we get told Jeff is upset, and we figure out what to do next
... we chase people

Ian: looking at the TOC for training, first item is on project planning

<koalie_> Project Management Training

Ian: What is welcome in your groups in terms of project planning?

Chaals: Whenever we're reviewing, what's the implemenation story? and then what are the spec issues?
... our approach is fairly industry driven
... we drop what work is not backed up by Members

[Daniel: +1]

Chaals: What we prioritize is what is stuck
... in which case we spend f2f time to either unstuck it or put it on a death track (park it as a note, or drop it as a work item)

Michael: We attempt to do project planning
... Chairs can only do so much
... in my role as team contact, I'm interested if we can provide a template of questions to ask, and general guidance on project planning

Ian: in a world of volunteers, where chairs have priorities, how to do project planning?

Daniel: We're chairs, we are not leaders.
... it's entirely different
... Some chairs are dictators, some are not.
... It makes the things much harder in groups where the chair is not seen as leader.

Chaals: in an asynchronous manner, we send a call for consensus

<MichaelC_> In my groups the chairs are leaders, groups dont really operate without the chair

Chaals: rare cases when chairs have had to make statements.

Daniel: I think the role of the chair is to make sure the group delivers RECs. The rest is the means, not the goal.

Ian: to deliver on schedule, do you think the chair can shuffle resource?

Daniel: whatever means the chairs can think of.

Chaasl: The chairs do have a role of formally determining what the consensus is
... but given that we're to run by consensus, it's usually clear whether there is consensus or not
... to deliver consensus, our role as chairs is to try to bring consensus out, help the group to reach consensus
... not our task to decide what to do, but help them get consensus on what they agree.

What is is the most challenging part of your role as chair?

Daniel: Time zones are a problem for me
... sometimes I'm missing something; the bulk of the workers are in the US
... Also, confidential discussions at the Member level, clashes between the Members
... it's outside of what is visible
... diplomacy role.

Chaals: the most challenging part is where you have strong disagreement in the group and where there are very clear reasons on both sides

Ian: Tips for documentation?

Chaals: no

Daniel: no

Chaals: Be nice, negotiate, etc.

Daniel: And sometimes declare that there is no consensus
... suggest that both part of the argument get out to further their argument and come back

Michael: Achieving consensus is a challenge.
... Also dealing with all the things that come up

Chaals: Dealing with soundly based disagreement is often difficult. Dealing with bad relationships is misery

[Michael nods]

Chaals: Challenge to deal with obstructive members
... personally that doesn't consume a massive amount of energy
... they're not the thing that gives me headaches
... it's not useful to bang my head against the wall
... in one sense maintaining a culture in a group is challenging especially a group that meets twice a year

[Daniel agrees]

Daniel: What gives the culture of CSS WG are the people who are ancient to the group

MichaelC: Challenge for a new chair to adapt to a culture.

What are your top priorities for documentation?

Daniel: I would like to have different pages instead of the single-document process, to describe the various steps of REC track
... less legal vocab
... I have my own pages of what it takes to get in LC and to get out of LC

chaals: +1
... what is really useful is what you need to do to be in each state

Ian shows the transition document

<koalie_> transition document

Daniel: THAT's what I want
... it's too well hidden

Ian: need to make this more discoverable [Ian shows where it is in the Guidebook]
... We need to figure out what's the really important things people do regularly and need help with

MichaelC: I want a proacitve thing
... might be a presentation issue with the Guide

[Ian goes over Transition Requirements document]

[time check: we have 8 more minutes]

How to help

Ian: Write up your needs as a chair or chat more with us
... Join the Modern Guide project (review content, write content)

Daniel: We should have an introduction to new chairs when they start

Ian: Anything we should report to the plenary?

Michael: maybe ask what they value, since only a handful showed up at this breakout

Coralie: What are the other sessions ours was competing with?

Summary of Action Items

[End of minutes]

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Present: Michael_Cooper Ian_Jacobs Daniel_Glazman Coralie_Mercier Chaals
Got date from IRC log name: 31 Oct 2012
Guessing minutes URL: http://www.w3.org/2012/10/31-guide-minutes.html
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