[UbuntuWomen] Testimonials for the Ubuntu Women Project Leadership Position

Matthew East mdke at ubuntu.com
Tue Jan 26 14:10:04 GMT 2010


Hi Matt,

You just responded to me but I think from the context it was intended
to go to ubuntu-women@ as well. I'm cross posting to the CC list.

On Tue, Jan 26, 2010 at 1:35 PM, Matt Zimmerman <mdz at ubuntu.com> wrote:
> Thanks for your response.  Should we be cross-posting this to the CC list at
> this point?  I'll leave it to you and Lyz to decide.
>
> On Mon, Jan 11, 2010 at 09:56:03AM +0000, Matthew East wrote:
>> However in the case of an ordinary community team (artwork,
>> documentation, marketing, translation, ubuntu-women, local community
>> teams and so on) the CC isn't involved in the appointment of any
>> leader and the team is left to figure out their own processes and
>> leadership, if indeed they wish to have a leader at all - many don't.
>> For teams where a leader is appointed, I think my own expectations
>> would be that they would be selected either by consensus of the whole
>> team or by election within the team on which all participants in the
>> team can vote.
>
> 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.

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.

>> > Can you tell us a bit about how the CC will make their determination?  Is it
>> > fair to say that the expectations on
>> > https://wiki.ubuntu.com/CommunityCouncil/Delegation apply, as well as the
>> > UW-specific material on
>> > http://wiki.ubuntu-women.org/UbuntuWomen/LeadershipNominationsProcess/January2010?
>>
>> No, I don't think the delegation page applies. As far as I can see,
>> the CC will simply try to select the best candidate for the job by
>> evaluating the candidates wiki pages and looking at the UbuntuWomen
>> wiki page.
>
> How did this work in the end?  I'm still a bit unsettled by the idea of the
> CC selecting a leader for a team under such circumstances.

We reviewed the wiki pages of each candidate and the testimonials
given by community members on each candidate, and picked the person
who we preferred as leader of the UW team.

>> > 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.

-- 
Matthew East
http://www.mdke.org
gnupg pub 1024D/0E6B06FF



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