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From Dave Fisher <>
Subject Re: Thoughts about formalizing the role of shepherd
Date Mon, 14 Jan 2013 20:55:18 GMT

On Jan 14, 2013, at 12:33 PM, Christian Grobmeier wrote:

> On Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 7:18 PM, Benson Margulies <> wrote:
> ...
>> The problem I'm looking at is indeed the chronic lack of reliable
>> mentor presence in the projects, as witnessed (maybe) by the signoff
>> statistics in January.
> With shepherds you might spot problems and bring them to the table.
> But it does not fix the problem of mentors going awol, putting more
> mentor energy into a project. I mean, we have often releases on
> general@ which have trouble to get necessary votes.
> I believe "Shepherds" are good as they are now, but I do not see a
> reason for making them more formal or make up rules for them.

I agree. Benson should assure that Shepherds get a new assignment every time. If I were assigned
the same podlings every quarterly report then that would get to be boring.

If a shepherd sees a mentor problem in a podling that they are suddenly interested in then
they may choose to volunteer.

>> There's 'tear down the incubator' -- decide that the chronic leakage
>> of mentors means that the whole system we have is not working. I
>> can't, personally, state an alternative.
> You need people who think of the Incubator as they would think on the
> others project they commit. Committed people.
> If the system is tied to committed people and they are none, we have a problem.
> I have learned that by Jukkas passion and commitment.
> If we would find a way to motivate people to spend some time here, we
> won. The question we need to ask: what is preventing people from
> investing their valuable spare time into the incubator?

On the Incubator report perhaps there could be a section called:

Mentoring issues / turnover:
	- Needs additional mentor(s): Tashi
	- Recent mentoring turnover: Chukwa

I think focus there might help IPMC members consider where to place their commitment.


> Cheers
> Christian
>> Thank you for reminding me of the idea of a champion.
>> If folks would rather focus on seeing if we can make something of
>> that, fine with me.
>> On Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 9:36 AM, Ross Gardler
>> <> wrote:
>>> Why would adding another formal role solve the problem that saw the
>>> creation of shepherds (missing mentors)?
>>> Are you tackling a different problem now?
>>> Unless there is a really solid reason for it I would be concerned about
>>> crating structure in the incubator that isn't present in the ASF proper.
>>> Should this new role be a better use of the existing champion role,
>>> complete with the handing over of that title to a PPMC member before
>>> graduation and a progression to PMC chair upon graduation? We discussed
>>> this some time ago and agreed it was a good idea but we never really
>>> carried it through.
>>> Ross
>>> Sent from a mobile device, please excuse mistakes and brevity
>>> On 13 Jan 2013 08:46, "Benson Margulies" <> wrote:
>>>> 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
>>>> address.
>>>> 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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