[UbuntuWomen] Testimonials for the Ubuntu Women Project Leadership Position

Matt Zimmerman mdz at ubuntu.com
Mon Feb 1 12:58:13 UTC 2010

On Tue, Jan 26, 2010 at 02:10:04PM +0000, Matthew East wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 26, 2010 at 1:35 PM, Matt Zimmerman <mdz at ubuntu.com> wrote:
> > I think that one of the issues in this case is that the membership of U-W is
> > a bit fuzzy. ??I'm sure this can't be the first time we've had a team with
> > fuzzy membership, though, so there is presumably precedent for the CC in
> > dealing with this.
> I don't believe that there have been any other examples where the CC
> appointed a team leader. Most teams are simply left to arrange their
> own governance processes. I know from my own participation that
> ubuntu-doc doesn't have a team leader, and believe the same is true of
> ubuntu-art, ubuntu-marketing. Local teams frequently have leaders, and
> are left to their own devices for how to appoint them. We've rarely
> seen issues arise about the leader of a particular team, but obviously
> are ready to resolve them if they arise.
> I don't think that fuzzy membership is a problem. I would expect that
> a vote as to team leadership would either be arrived at by consensus
> (which means discussion between anyone subscribed to the mailing list
> who is interested, with the views of the leading contributors having
> greater weight on the usual "meritocracy" basis) or by a vote of the
> whole team. If that team happens to be an "open" one on Launchpad,
> then I think that it would be consistent to allow all the members to
> vote.

Thanks for the background.  This seems reasonable enough to me from a CC

> Obvously if the team isn't happy that an "open" team on Launchpad
> correctly reflects what the team is about, then it can discuss the
> issue and resolve to change the Launchpad team settings.

>From a UW perspective, I think membership is an important question to
address, and presumably Amber is now in a position to address it.

> >> > If the CC is making this choice on behalf of UW constituents, who will they
> >> > consider those constituents to be?
> >>
> >> I don't think the choice is made on behalf of UW constituents, I think
> >> the CC is simply picking their preferred candidate.
> >
> > Preferred on what basis?  Surely the job of a leader is to serve the needs
> > of their team, and an understanding of who those people are and what they
> > need is essential to doing a good job of selecting someone.
> Yes, you're right. The CC had to make an educated guess of what the
> team might want from a leader and who would be best placed to do that
> job. This was not a scientific analysis, I suspect that most of us
> simply decided on the basis of our impressions of the team's goals.
> The CC's view of what the team's goals is was probably not as accurate
> as the team's own view because we are detached from the activities of
> the team. That's a function of the task that we were asked to do.
> Speaking personally I was reassured by the great testimonials that all
> the candidates got as it made me feel that the team would have been
> happy with any choice.
> It's worth saying that I'm 100% confident that Amber will do a great
> job for the team and I'm only saying what I say above not because I
> want to call into question the process in this case but because I'm
> interested in discussing our approach to leadership of community teams
> as a general principle with a view to establishing a coherent policy.

My motivation is the same: I think this process was a bit more ad hoc than
I'm comfortable with, and would like to see us do better in the future.  It
is important to me that our community governance be transparent and

 - mdz

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