Leaks, Drips, and Spills

Joomla Project Proposed Organizational Structure - Horse Vs. Cart?

21 Oct 2011
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Horse Vs. Cart Horse Vs. Cart

On October 18, 2011, Paul Orwig who had originally started a discussion group on September 29, 2011 about Proposed leadership structure changes & request for community feedback posted in the Google Joomla Leadership public group that he was thinking of closing discussion on the proposal even though he committed originally to leave discussion open until October 27, 2011. Immediately, more discussion ensued. At the time he was proposing to shut down discussion there were 157 posts. As of today, Friday, October 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm CDT, there are 186 posts. Interestingly enough those 186 posts were placed by only 23 individuals. And, of those 23 individuals, only 16 are not members of the OSM Board, the Community Leadership Team, or the Production Leadership Team. Besides the obvious observation that very few of the community have weighed in with their opinions, very few of the various leadership team members have weighed in with theirs either.

Those 7 posters who were members of the various leadership teams actually posted 42.5% of the total posts. The remaining 16 posters who were not members of the leadership teams posted the remaining 57.5% of the posts. One of those posted 23.5% of the remaining posts by herself trying to reach an understanding of the proposal. Many of the posters who are not associated with the leadership teams and even one poster who is have made it clear that they see no need to implement the proposed changes as they do not accomplish the few ephemeral goals that were mentioned for the impetus to change. The primary one seeming to be

One weakness of our current leadership structure is that there isn't structural accountability or oversight for either PLT or CLT, and the structural oversight that is in place for OSM (COC) is composed solely of PLT and CLT team members, which really isn't ideal. Another weakness is that our current leadership structure tends to make it too easy for PLT, CLT, and OSM to work with an independent "silo mentality". That can end up having a negative impact on inter-team communications and collaboration.

  Paul Orwig

The changes they are proposing to make are as follows:

  •  Dissolve the Community Oversight Committee (COC). In our project’s current leadership structure, the COC is responsible for adding and removing Open Source Matters (OSM) board members.
  •  Form a new board of directors with a new name that would be more easily associated with the Joomla! project than the current name of “Open Source Matters”. The primary responsibilities of the new board of directors would be to set the project’s overall strategy and direction, as well as provide oversight and accountability for all of the project’s newly formed operational committees (see next bullet point below).
  •  All of the project’s current teams that operate under the oversight of the Production Leadership Team (PLT), Community Leadership Team (CLT), and OSM would be reorganized into a number of committees. Each of these committees would operate under the oversight of the project’s new board of directors.

 Of course, if you read the other blogs on this website you would draw the conclusion that this entire proposal simply allows the inmates to run the asylum without oversight of any kind. The OSM board as it stands today cannot accomplish the simple tasks of informing its constituency of the responsibilities of any board member, publish financial reports, board minutes, or tax statements as originally promised. They have been seemingly unable to invoice those sponsors who try to sign up and they do not listen or accept feedback from those trying to improve the parts of the system that are obviously broken. And, yet, somehow this reorganization is going to fix all of that? As one poster on the JPeople site put it, they are simply "re-arranging the deck chairs". I am sure you can finish the statement appropriately. I believe strongly that when even the President of OSM doesn't provide input into the discussion, the outcome has been pre-ordained. It is obvious that they don't have the horse and cart configured correctly!

Also, what is wrong with a silo mentality in an Open Source Project like Joomla? After all the focus is on the coding and those that do that well are not interested in the business aspects which is why OSM was set-up to keep those issues away from the the developers. There is absolutely no need to structure this project like a military organization which is essentially how business is structured. What volunteer indivdiual focused on providing his coding expertise wants to operate in a business command and control structure?

Unfortunately, it appears that the current posters on the JPeople feedback site have bypassed those who object to this reorganization and are now completely hung up on relatively minor details as if the proposal is a fait accompli.

They may leave the comment period open for another 6 days (until October 27, 2011), If they do and you feel strongly about this proposal (one way or another), I would suggest posting soon.

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David Huelsmann

Dave Huelsmann was Treasurer of Open Source Matters, Inc. from 2008 to July, 2010 and Joomla Forum Global Moderator from 2005 to November, 2010. Now retired, he was a senior healthcare executive who managed large and diverse clinical laboratory, radiology, electroencephalography, and centralized patient transport operations/departments in both not-for-profit and for-profit companies throughout the United States.

Dave was a Navy Corpsman who served in Vietnam while attached to Seabee battalionmcb71

Read more about Dave Huelsmann

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