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From Benson Margulies <>
Subject Thoughts about formalizing the role of shepherd
Date Sun, 13 Jan 2013 16:46:07 GMT
Right now, a shepherd assignment is a temporary job. It starts as the
reports for a cycle begin to come in, and it ends when the shepherd
feels that he or she has done what makes sense in terms of reporting
to the community and, in some cases, delivering some constructive
nudges to the projects.

I've been thinking about an alternative, but it may not be popular.

In my alternative, the IPMC organizes itself as follows:

At the top of the pyramid, tied down to the Aztec altar, is me, the chairman.

Next down are the 'vice-chairs', currently known as the shepherds.
Each of these people is responsible for a group of projects, dispersed
across the reporting cycle. The shepherd, at least, tunes into the
reports, but also checks in during the three-month reporting period --
particularly if we have identified issues that the project needs to

Next we have the mentors, who are 'inside' the projects, offering
guidance, coaching, and supervision. However, the fact is that we
don't have enough volunteers to have multiple, active, tuned-in
mentors for all of the projects all of the time.

Last, but hardly least, are the freelance members of the committee,
who tune in on things like release reviews.

If we adopted this plan, we'd add a shepherd slot to the metadata for
each project, and I, as chair, would take action if the designated
shepherd wasn't available to do a review for a project in a reporting
cycle. Either I'd do it myself, or I'd put out a call for assistance.

I'm not going to defend this scheme tooth-and-nail. If folks prefer
the current approach, I'll focus on fixing the schedule to make it
easier to make it work.

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