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From Suresh Marru <>
Subject Re: Thoughts about formalizing the role of shepherd
Date Mon, 14 Jan 2013 00:02:09 GMT
One comment or worry I have is, so far the shepherd comments have been very useful, but we
have to be cognizant of the fact that shepherds are very less informed then mentors (by design).
So the shepherd comments have to be really constructive. There is a risk of some delicate
conversations offending mentors who volunteer lot of energy on the ground -- especially if
a shepherd (without too much context) makes a strong recommendation. I am not sure this will
be the case, but just a caution. In any case,  please do not take my comments seriously as
I am fairly new to both shepherding and mentoring.

+ 0 -- With much much insights, I will refrain any strong opinions on formalizing shepherds
and will remain neutral.


On Jan 13, 2013, at 11:46 AM, 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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