[jasig-incubation] Governance for smallish projects

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[jasig-incubation] Governance for smallish projects

Susan Bramhall
The incubator contains several small projects - more portlet sized than on the scale of CAS, Bedework etc.  (Scheduling Assistant, IT Ecosystem, ThinkSpace)  I'm wondering about the feasibility of a steering committee for each.  I see 2 options: 
  • Very small committees - say 2 or 3 people;
  • One committee to govern a collection of small projects - 4-5 people
I lean to one group that could consider concerns such as marketing, web presence, release schedules for multiple unrelated projects.  What do others think?  Could we recruit 4-5 more people to form this new steering committee?
Susan

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Re:[jasig-incubation] [jasig-board] Governance for smallish projects

Jim Helwig-2
I would think that steering committees would focus on the particular project. For small projects, that could mean a small committee. If a group of projects are related, they could share a steering committee (e.g., portlet projects can use the uPortal steering committee). I would not lean towards one general steering committee for unrelated projects.

How do the individual projects feel about it? Is this something they are asking for?

My 2 cents,

JimH

on 6/13/2011 11:41 AM Susan Bramhall said the following:

> The incubator contains several small projects - more portlet sized than on the scale of CAS, Bedework etc. (Scheduling Assistant <https://issues.jasig.org/browse/INC-37>, IT Ecosystem <https://issues.jasig.org/browse/INC-29>, ThinkSpace <https://issues.jasig.org/browse/INC-35>) I'm wondering about the feasibility of a steering committee for each. I see 2 options:
>
>     * Very small committees - say 2 or 3 people;
>     * One committee to govern a collection of small projects - 4-5 people
>
> I lean to one group that could consider concerns such as marketing, web presence, release schedules for multiple unrelated projects. What do others think? Could we recruit 4-5 more people to form this new steering committee?
> Susan
>
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Re:[jasig-incubation] [jasig-board] Governance for smallish projects

Susan Bramhall
In reply to this post by Susan Bramhall
While this is interesting for the long term, I have the sense that as we
continue to struggle for resources adding more levels and groups isn't
feasible right now.  Portlets are still governed by the uPortal steering
committee with the active participation of the portlet release manager
(Jen).  She is enthusiastic about this role, and wants to work more
closely with the incubation committee to make sure the right portlets
get into and out of incubation.  I think that will help us out quite a bit.

For now, I am going to go with small committees to govern/steer small
projects.  Thanks for the feedback.
Susan

On 6/13/2011 1:32 PM, Carroll, Timothy Dale wrote:

> i definitely like the idea of distributed governance, where the projects can control their own destiny.  although, i wonder if there is another piece to the puzzle.
>
> for example, the more portlets that we produce, the more i see a need to break them up into "portlet suites" for governance, as they are falling into the same problem (BOD style governance) that Benn mentions below.
>
> one thing that i mentioned to some folks at the conference that i would like to put on the table for more general discussion is a governance model broken down by practice area or functional boundary, rather than by project.  like productivity-suite, messaging-suite,  IAM-suite, etc.
>
>
> it seems like this could apply beyond portlets to projects in general. perhaps a community of practice could be wrapped around suites of products/projects.  perhaps there is a "governance body" at the product-suite level and a "working steering group" at the product level.  this might help in cases where there are multiple projects competing in the same space.  although, there is nothing wrong with a little internal competition, i believe we could help projects succeed by through some structured awareness... simply making sure that people are collaborating and even in some cases merging thoughts, ideas, and code where it makes sense.
>
> this would lower the incubation bar, by having governance teams in place that are ready to accept and nurture these projects, but it would allow for a degree of specialization.
>
> these are all just things that have been going through my head over the past year in pondering the portlet governance issue, but it seems to apply more broadly.
>
> tim
>
>
>
> On Jun 13, 2011, at 1:00 PM, Benn Oshrin wrote:
>
>> The problem with a common steering committee is that it may not have the expertise of dealing with each project that some issues need. It'd sort of be like asking the BOD to govern these projects.
>>
>> I don't see why we can't have very small committees... if we can't find 2 or 3 people to govern a project, it probably shouldn't graduate incubation.
>>
>> -Benn-
>>
>> On 6/13/11 12:41 PM, Susan Bramhall wrote:
>>> The incubator contains several small projects - more portlet sized than
>>> on the scale of CAS, Bedework etc. (Scheduling Assistant
>>> <https://issues.jasig.org/browse/INC-37>, IT Ecosystem
>>> <https://issues.jasig.org/browse/INC-29>, ThinkSpace
>>> <https://issues.jasig.org/browse/INC-35>) I'm wondering about the
>>> feasibility of a steering committee for each. I see 2 options:
>>>
>>>     * Very small committees - say 2 or 3 people;
>>>     * One committee to govern a collection of small projects - 4-5 people
>>>
>>> I lean to one group that could consider concerns such as marketing, web
>>> presence, release schedules for multiple unrelated projects. What do
>>> others think? Could we recruit 4-5 more people to form this new steering
>>> committee?
>>> Susan
>>>
>>> --
>>> You are currently subscribed to [hidden email] as: [hidden email]
>>> To unsubscribe, change settings or access archives, see http://www.ja-sig.org/wiki/display/JSG/board
>>>
>>
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Re: [jasig-incubation] Governance for smallish projects

Cris J Holdorph
In reply to this post by Susan Bramhall
The idea of a 'steering' committee for the small projects has always
kind of sat wonky with me as well.  It felt like a lot of extra
infrastructure for very little additional value.  I kind of like the
idea of a general "Jasig" steering committee for the projects that are
not large enough to need their own.  So, I think I agree with Susan on this.

---- Cris J H

On 06/13/2011 09:41 AM, Susan Bramhall wrote:

> The incubator contains several small projects - more portlet sized than
> on the scale of CAS, Bedework etc. (Scheduling Assistant
> <https://issues.jasig.org/browse/INC-37>, IT Ecosystem
> <https://issues.jasig.org/browse/INC-29>, ThinkSpace
> <https://issues.jasig.org/browse/INC-35>) I'm wondering about the
> feasibility of a steering committee for each. I see 2 options:
>
>     * Very small committees - say 2 or 3 people;
>     * One committee to govern a collection of small projects - 4-5 people
>
> I lean to one group that could consider concerns such as marketing, web
> presence, release schedules for multiple unrelated projects. What do
> others think? Could we recruit 4-5 more people to form this new steering
> committee?
> Susan
>

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Re:[jasig-incubation] [jasig-board] Governance for smallish projects

Susan Bramhall
In reply to this post by Susan Bramhall
This is interesting news and does help.  First - I really like the idea of marketing the IT Ecosystem tool in a way targeted to smaller problems - portal is just about right and cries out for a map of dependencies.  Second, I am sorry to hear that Justin is moving on to the commercial world. 

Most important for this thread though is that this is a perfect example of what the steering committee needs to deal with.  It is primarily concerned with resources, marketing, roadmap etc.  In some cases it really requires technical depth to provide good guidance, for example with CAS.  However I think the issues that come up don't usually require in depth knowledge of the product.  The three non portlets we currently have are
  • ThinkSpace
  • IT Ecosystem
  • Scheduling Assistant (SA)
I anticipate governance issues such as committer resources and community, alignment and synergy with other Jasig projects, marketing, support of demo sites etc. to be similar across these projects even though the technologies are totally different.  I still like to think one governance body could work for all three.  I'd love to hear from leaders of the other projects.
Susan

On 6/15/2011 9:20 AM, Tom Barton wrote:
Susan et al.,

Let me take the opportunity to update you on the IT Ecosystem. Maybe the
details of one project will help to shape this discussion.

The first thing to know about this project is that it's a good tool for
attacking a very hard problem - being able to understand, quantify,
analyze, and visualize how all of the complexity in a technical
infrastructure nets out to the services it provides. But the problem
remains hard, so hard that most orgs aren't prepared to actually deal
with it, no matter the tools.

That's a tough marketing assignment. Perhaps the real marketing need is
to rethink strategy. Should the tool instead be remarketed to address
smaller versions of that too-hard problem? Eg, map out all of the
dependencies underlying a single service, a portal or a mail system
perhaps. Or other problems altogether that can benefit from the
underlying semantic web technology? Eg, adjust the underlying ontology
to reflect human influence and information networks. Keep the project
going with smaller applications until some org is ready to deal with the
intended problem, the one that actually interests me, its sponsor.

The second thing to know in connection with this discussion is that the
sole developer, Justin Montgomery, has accepted a new position in the
commercial sector. His last day with UChicago is Friday. Although we've
done a good job of wrapping it up so that another developer can take
over, we can't actually assign time to this project, at least for a
little while - some months. Justin wishes to remain a commiter, but it's
not clear yet whether he'll have the opportunity.

These things happen. How should steering cmtes steer small projects
through them? Which model discussed in this thread would most likely
promote a successful outcome in the case of the IT Ecosystem?

Thanks,
Tom

On 6/13/2011 11:41 AM, Susan Bramhall wrote:
The incubator contains several small projects - more portlet sized than
on the scale of CAS, Bedework etc.  (Scheduling Assistant
<https://issues.jasig.org/browse/INC-37>, IT Ecosystem
<https://issues.jasig.org/browse/INC-29>, ThinkSpace
<https://issues.jasig.org/browse/INC-35>)  I'm wondering about the
feasibility of a steering committee for each.  I see 2 options: 

    * Very small committees - say 2 or 3 people;
    * One committee to govern a collection of small projects - 4-5 people

I lean to one group that could consider concerns such as marketing, web
presence, release schedules for multiple unrelated projects.  What do
others think?  Could we recruit 4-5 more people to form this new
steering committee?
Susan

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RE: Re:[jasig-incubation] [jasig-board] Governance for smallish projects

Boysen, Pete [ITACD]

I would think one larger committee would work better than smaller ones because each committee member could focus on fewer aspects like marketing, licensing etc. across all of the projects rather than having to be aware of the details for each aspect of the process.

 

Pete Boysen ([hidden email])
Information Technology Services
209 Durham
(515)294-6663

From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Susan Bramhall
Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 9:02 AM
To: Tom Barton
Cc: [hidden email]; [hidden email]; [hidden email]; [hidden email]
Subject: Re:[jasig-incubation] [jasig-board] Governance for smallish projects

 

This is interesting news and does help.  First - I really like the idea of marketing the IT Ecosystem tool in a way targeted to smaller problems - portal is just about right and cries out for a map of dependencies.  Second, I am sorry to hear that Justin is moving on to the commercial world. 

Most important for this thread though is that this is a perfect example of what the steering committee needs to deal with.  It is primarily concerned with resources, marketing, roadmap etc.  In some cases it really requires technical depth to provide good guidance, for example with CAS.  However I think the issues that come up don't usually require in depth knowledge of the product.  The three non portlets we currently have are

  • ThinkSpace
  • IT Ecosystem
  • Scheduling Assistant (SA)

I anticipate governance issues such as committer resources and community, alignment and synergy with other Jasig projects, marketing, support of demo sites etc. to be similar across these projects even though the technologies are totally different.  I still like to think one governance body could work for all three.  I'd love to hear from leaders of the other projects.
Susan

On 6/15/2011 9:20 AM, Tom Barton wrote:

Susan et al.,
 
Let me take the opportunity to update you on the IT Ecosystem. Maybe the
details of one project will help to shape this discussion.
 
The first thing to know about this project is that it's a good tool for
attacking a very hard problem - being able to understand, quantify,
analyze, and visualize how all of the complexity in a technical
infrastructure nets out to the services it provides. But the problem
remains hard, so hard that most orgs aren't prepared to actually deal
with it, no matter the tools.
 
That's a tough marketing assignment. Perhaps the real marketing need is
to rethink strategy. Should the tool instead be remarketed to address
smaller versions of that too-hard problem? Eg, map out all of the
dependencies underlying a single service, a portal or a mail system
perhaps. Or other problems altogether that can benefit from the
underlying semantic web technology? Eg, adjust the underlying ontology
to reflect human influence and information networks. Keep the project
going with smaller applications until some org is ready to deal with the
intended problem, the one that actually interests me, its sponsor.
 
The second thing to know in connection with this discussion is that the
sole developer, Justin Montgomery, has accepted a new position in the
commercial sector. His last day with UChicago is Friday. Although we've
done a good job of wrapping it up so that another developer can take
over, we can't actually assign time to this project, at least for a
little while - some months. Justin wishes to remain a commiter, but it's
not clear yet whether he'll have the opportunity.
 
These things happen. How should steering cmtes steer small projects
through them? Which model discussed in this thread would most likely
promote a successful outcome in the case of the IT Ecosystem?
 
Thanks,
Tom
 
On 6/13/2011 11:41 AM, Susan Bramhall wrote:
The incubator contains several small projects - more portlet sized than
on the scale of CAS, Bedework etc.  (Scheduling Assistant
<https://issues.jasig.org/browse/INC-37>, IT Ecosystem
<https://issues.jasig.org/browse/INC-29>, ThinkSpace
<https://issues.jasig.org/browse/INC-35>)  I'm wondering about the
feasibility of a steering committee for each.  I see 2 options: 
 
    * Very small committees - say 2 or 3 people;
    * One committee to govern a collection of small projects - 4-5 people
 
I lean to one group that could consider concerns such as marketing, web
presence, release schedules for multiple unrelated projects.  What do
others think?  Could we recruit 4-5 more people to form this new
steering committee?
Susan
 
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