Recently I blogged about the Ubuntu Membership survey report and that we were planning to have a meeting with the Community Council to review the findings and outline some next steps. I just wanted to provide a quick update on this.

We had the meeting yesterday, and you can read the meeting log here and we had some great outcomes and next steps.

In the report I provided the findings, and the feedback was generally very positive about how our membership process works. I did though outline the primary themes for areas in which we can drive some improvements. They are:

  • Setting Expectations – there was a lot of feedback that suggests that the expectations around membership are unclear. This survey has outlined primary areas of participation (e.g. LoCo Teams and Translations) so we could explore methods of clearly defining expectations in those specific areas more.
  • How The Process Works – some feedback suggested that elements of how the process works were unclear. A documentation review could be useful
  • Mentoring and Support – attitudes to mentoring was divided in the feedback. The feedback did suggest that some find mentoring useful and the best support comes from other members – we could explore ways of better connecting prospective members to existing members (maybe rotated meetings, AskUbuntu or something else).
  • Meeting Improvements – feedback suggested concerns about the timeliness of getting to applications (e.g. prospective members are sitting around for hours before the board gets to their application) and meetings not going ahead due to lack of quorum. We could explore finer grained timing of application reviews and possibly expanding the boards to prevent the quorum issue.

We first discussed the Setting Expectations topic in the meeting and identified that we could provide more examples of what is considered good work. I took an action to put together some wiki pages and to ask each of the Regional Membership Boards to provide input (this has been completed and we are awaiting feedback):

  • jono to set up the pages and then mail the RMBs for input

Mako also offered input that we could encourage those who provide testimonials to also provide input and guidance on if the wiki application page from the member could benefit from some improvements. Mako is going to add this clarification to the documentation:

  • mako to add clarification to docs to encourage reviewing apps from testimonials

popey pointed out the the Ubuntu Membership page doesn’t really provide a crisp and concise description of the benefits and purpose of member. He took an action to add this:

  • popey add elevator pitch to Membership page summarizing the purpose and function of membership

Daniel also outlined that many prospective members don’t realize there is a mailing list where you can ask questions. He is going to raise the visibility of this list in the documentation:

  • dholbach raise awareness of the list as a place for support

We also talked a lot about the feedback in the report about meetings. One point that popey made was that if a given board does not have quorum a good last resort is to look for other governors empowered to provide membership and ask them to step in to help make quorum. As an example, if the EMEA board is missing one person for quorum, they could ask a member of one of the other boards to step in to make quorum so the meeting can go ahead. This last resort is approved by the Community Council but not necessarily known as an option to all boards, so popey volunteered to communicate this out, and this should reduce quorum issues:

  • popey mail RMBs about lack of quorum workflow

Finally, it was identified that there is no current documentation for how new board members perform approvals. Lyz has started work on such a document and will publish it:

  • pleia2 to publish “welcome” document for new board members with policy for approvals

Overall I am really pleased with how this process has developed. The report provided some solid data and the meeting reviewed that data to drive improvements and next steps. I am confident this will make the Ubuntu Membership process even smoother and more efficient. Thanks to everyone who participated in the meeting, and thanks to the Community Council and all the Regional Membership Boards for all their contributions!

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