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Plone’s Next Decade: The Plone Foundation Board

A group of active Plone community members have discussed what the Plone Foundation and its board can do to provide leadership for our community’s next decade. One of the results of that discussion is the following set of recommendations for board candidates. Some of us plan to incorporate this into board candidate statements. We invite everyone to discuss it and adopt or adapt whatever they think is useful.
Plone’s Next Decade: The Plone Foundation Board

Plone's next decade

 

Foundation membership

Bringing new blood into the core of the community is vital.  We should be moving folks into the Plone Foundation quickly. The Foundation membership should be active enough in committees and voting to make Foundation membership more desirable. It should be very easy to explain to anyone who is a core contributor (core code, documentation, training, or marketing) why they’d want Foundation membership.

Project leadership

No individual should be allowed to own a project beyond his or her  ability to move it forward. Moving it forward includes bringing in new participants, empowering their participation, and engaging in transparent communication.

Committees

Major foundation committees such as Marketing and Membership should be appointed afresh each year. Continuity is good, but grooming new leadership and getting new ideas is critical. Accountability is a must: All Foundation committees should have publicly visible goals and keep their memberships informed of progress toward those goals.

Sprint funding

The Foundation should take an active role in funding and promoting strategic sprints. As with every other aspect of our activities, this should be done with an eye to grooming new talent.

Public goals

Every new Foundation Board should set public, yearly goals for their term. Those goals should be in line with a long-term strategy for the PF and Plone as a software.

Funds and fundraising

PF fundraising should be much more active and visible. As a corollary, it should be very clear where PF funds go. The PF needs a formal annual statement that includes finances.  It should start every year with a budget that includes a plan to spend money towards specific yearly goals, as well as a target fundraising amount. The Foundation, like any team leader, should be accountable for its actions.

Openness

Transparency should be the Foundation’s mantra instead of an afterthought. The fact that the board sometimes becomes privy to confidential information shouldn’t affect transparency about its day-to-day activities. The current processes of gathering ideas and giving feedback are archaic. They kill momentum. These processes need to be modernized to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. Feedback and encouragement are the power and responsibility of the board just as with any other team leader.

Diversity

The last couple of boards have done a great job of developing diversity statements. Diversity and openness are key to our longevity. Future boards need to make sure this commitment goes beyond statements of purpose.

Local communities

We need to develop and empower local Plone communities. These are often the first point of contact for non-English speakers and recently have proven to be a great source of new Plone developers.

Board communication

Having diverse points of view is good, and the board need not always be in consensus. However, when there is clear agreement among board members, each board member should communicate on behalf of the board and exercise community leadership on behalf of that consensus. Board communication should take place everywhere in the community, not just in news releases.
Nothing here should be interpreted as a criticism of past boards. Some of us have served on past boards! Rather, please view this as a list of the practices we want to work on and improve so that we can bootstrap Plone’s next 10 years.
Signed,
    • Érico Andrei
    • Martin Aspeli
    • Maurizio Delmonte
    • Jean Ferri
    • Carol Ganz
    • David Glick
    • Matt Hamilton
    • Jan Ulrich Hasecke
    • Craig Haynal
    • Elizabeth Leddy
    • Steve McMahon
    • Rose Pruyne
    • Paul Roeland
    • Jon Stahl
    • Armin Stross-Radschinski
    • Matthew Wilkes
    • Nejc Zupan
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