[Vote ends on 2024-02-29] Steering committee: simplify member removal process

We’ve been facing irregularity in participation for a long time which leads to difficulties to reach the quorum in votes.
In the PR, I suggest simplifying the member removal process. Key points are:

  • Members should be responsible
  • Members should track the topics: if they ignore their removal topic, that’s not others’ issue
  • As the quorum is required for any vote (including for removal ones), I’m sure there won’t be any outrage.

Let’s polish it a bit, then we can start a vote within a couple of days.

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I don’t think the current process is bad and needs simplification. We never ran through with it yet (though I guess we should get it started), and I really think that having

Another Committee member (hereinafter the initiator) contacts the person by email asking if they are still interested in fulfilling their Committee member’s duties.

as the first point in the process is something we definitely should keep. We’re not an anonymous big corporation that flushes some of its existing users from its database, but this is about members of a small committee. The first (public, official) step in removing someone should be (trying to) talk to that person, not about the person.

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I don’t really agree. Well, at least not 100%. I think we should give the person in question the chance to defend him/her/itself/whatever. I’m with you there. But do we need to use email? And should it be only 1:1?

Can we create discussions that are SC private? So that only SC members can see them?

In this case, we could directly start with creating a Steering Committee member audit (that nobody else can see!) and still give the person in question the opportunity to argue why we shouldn’t change the SC membership.

This would have the advantage of all the SC members are involved from the beginning.

@mariolenz A private topic should work. I was thinking about it, though wasn’t sure as decisions should be public. We could start audit in a private one, then change the visibility or create another one to vote in.

Anyway, I don’t think we should formally ask if people are still happy to participate when we don’t see them [almost] at all: if people really want and are naturally interested, they participate. They are automatically pinged via email when every topic is created. We also ping them 1:1 when we can’t reach the quorum:) Thus, to me, pinging them in via email feels like a really extra thing as there were a lot of indirect reminders about the duties the membership implies up to that point.

Apropos of nothing, we could use (private) messages to the @SteeringCommittee. (:wave: @gotmax23)

BTW I wouldn’t make the discussion public afterwards. Neither the discussion nor the vote. The process was private to the SC up until now, why change it? We’re just looking for a better way how to do it.

The final decision, at least if it’s to remove someone from the SC, has to be public though. Maybe in News & Announcements and / or Bullhorn?

:+1:

I like the idea of a private topic in the forum. Previously we used email, this feels like the natural evolution of that.

I’m a strong -1 to the topic been made public. Folks need to be able to discuss freely pros and cons.

A “Thank you $person for your support over the years” or “Welcome $person to the Steering Committee, $ansible_interests” in the Forum & Bullhorn feels right.

2 Likes

I fully agree! Let’s make and keep the discussion private.

@gundalow What do you think about PMs to the SC? At the moment, I think this would be a good way to discuss things like this.

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When I was doing this myself
I’d speak (video if Red Hat) or DM if external to the SC member and see how they are doing. Having an initial private 1:1 is key, that should be done by the person that knows them the best (otherwise The Chair).

@mariolenz Are you talking about the discussion with all the SC, or just the individual?

I guess that’s a question of do we want to talk in front of the potential-exSC member, or behind their back.

+1 to private discussions

@gundalow Are you referring to my question about PMs to the SC? Maybe I’ve put this badly, but I meant a message to to SteeringCommittee group. In this case, the person in question would be involved since still being a member of the group. The discussion wouldn’t be behind their back.

To make sure, maybe the SC member starting the member audit should additionally inform the person in question that there are concerns if they are still active, and ask them to join the discussion.

Do we have one SC member who’s still not here in the forum? If so, we’d have to reach out separately to inform them of the discussion.

As far as I can see, all SC members have an account here in the forum now.

That’s a start, but having an account in the forum isn’t the same as being active…

3 Likes

Hey folks, I added a note that the topic must be private, PTAL [SC vote needed] Steering Committee: simplify member removal policy; update links by Andersson007 · Pull Request #1075 · ansible/ansible-documentation · GitHub

I didn’t find a way to create a private topic. How do I do it?

Or did you mean a message to the steering committee (the whole group, not to people individually) which, I think, is always and automatically private?

@gwmngilfen can we use a special category with access restricted to a certain group for such topics?

@Andersson007 What’s you reason to not use PMs to the group? It works now, without having to introduce a category restricted to the SC.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that PMs to the group are better… I just want to understand why you think a category restricted to the SC would be the better solution.

@mariolenz i don’t think it’s better or worse, i don’t know :joy: Any options would be appreciated

It is a Discourse PM to lots of people AFAIK, or create a category that is not public and only allow access to a restricted group?

The advantage of a category / group is that it’ll have an archive that will automatically be available to new members of the group so the history of decisions is not lost.

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Messages to the group are already available. Since SC private categories aren’t it looks like a better (or at least the quicker to implement) solution to me.

But let’s see what the rest of the @SteeringCommittee thinks about this.

BTW I’ve just thought about something: Discussions on group membership in a SC private category could be seen by future SC member, or am I wrong? But using PMs to the current SC rembers are restricted to them.

To really keep the discussion private (even in the future) I think PMs would be better.

For privacy reasons it might be better to not have those discussions archived :wink:

Anyway, we didn’t have those discussions archived up until now because they were via email. So I don’t se any disadvantage using PMs.

However, for privacy reasons I don’t think future SC members should see discussions on past members. All in all, I tend to PMs to the SC group for both pratical (it’s already possible) and privacy reasons.

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