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[Debconf-team] DebConf organization working group and next steps

Dear DebConf organizers and participants,

Please note that I write this message on behalf of the DebConf Chairs.

We have just finished compiling the DebConf organization working group
meeting notes, and apologize for any frustration caused by the time this
has taken. Please check the wiki for full coverage of what was
discussed, what decisions were made and how [1]. We also invite you to
improve those notes, since it was not an easy task to keep track of
every point discussed.

There were 4 working group sessions during DC14, the first two to gather
views on how DebConf organization could be improved; the last ones were
devoted to reaching a rough consensus about our aims, proposals and
commitments on deadlines.

Read below the summary of our agreements.

What we want:
* Clearer decision-making processes
* Better-defined subteam membership
* Better-defined subteam responsibilities
* Subteam membership that continues from year to year
* Clearer timeline for the DebConf year
* Clearer documentation on agreed processes

Accepted proposals:
* New roles: leads, shadows, wizards, local liasons
* Related tasks grouped into fewer subteams, avoid overlapping roles
* All global team members should belong to a subteam
* Team leads will be recruited by canvassing past team members
* Encourage rotation of team leads before burn-out

Agreed timeline:
* 1st week of October: agreement on list of subteams and
responsibilities (vorlon is working in the first draft)
* December 1st: bid proposals submission
* 1st week of December (some items might continue into January):
  - Clear team membership including appointed leads, shadows, local team
liaisons and possibly wizards
  - Agreement on default timeline of DebConf year
  - Push documentation of subteam processes
* January 31st 2015: bid decision for DebConf16

We agreed that the chairs would take on the administrative task of
facilitating the teams' composition, so I'll explain in a bit more
detail how we are going to proceed.

As soon as we have agreed on a list of subteams, we are going to publish
a call for help, inviting people for a long-term commitment to a
specific team. We are also going to send individual invitations for
people who have already helped in specific tasks in previous years and
are no longer involved with DebConf organization.

When the base groups are formed, the lead and shadow positions will
emerge by answers to these questions: "Who would make good leaders for
those teams?" and "If you see yourself as a team leader, who would be
good alongside you?". Our intention is that this process will facilitate
appointments to roles, and avoid the initial appointments simply being
chosen by us or people being only self-appointed. By allowing people to
answer the questions in private email, we want to create a safe space
for sincere and well-deserved nominations.

Due to the urgency of fundraising activities for DC15, this process will
in fact start before we expected (today). With the team membership clear
(and documented), it will be easier to arrange meetings where the most
interested people will be able to attend and to make decisions that
won't be questioned later.

We are happy to hear your comments on this process and we count on you
to make it a great success. At the end we all want the same thing: long
life to DebConf, and a long and happy life to DebConf organizers ;-)

Thank you for reading so far and have a nice weekend!

Moray, Tincho, Tassia.

[1] https://wiki.debconf.org/wiki/DebconfOrganizationWorkingGroup

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