[OpenInfra Foundation] [Board] Following up regarding calls to draw conclusions - Was: Informal calls to draw conclusions from June meeting strategic discussions

Julia Kreger juliaashleykreger at gmail.com
Wed Jul 13 23:09:14 UTC 2022

Greetings everyone,

I would like to first thank everyone who joined the discussions on this subject.

As often happens, the first call was heavily attended. The second call
was a much smaller group, and in that call we quickly focused on the
very same topics which the first group's discussion centered upon. In
my mind, this underscored how important this core topic and the
intertwined dependencies are for everyone.

Overall, it seemed like simplicity was the key item which resonated.
Simplicity makes a lot of sense because infrastructure is complex. The
way an individual in an operations role using software perceives value
is driven by an understanding of how much easier it makes their own
life. The important thing we should all keep in mind is that
perceptions evolve based upon user experiences and exposure to new
information or emergent needs.

But for something to be simple, we first need to understand how it is
perceived. We need to share our experiences and feedback. We need to
actively listen to and prioritize that feedback. Utilizing the
feedback we gain to build new perceptions and help guide the next
steps of our work. Not just on the board, but this should be something
every operator, code contributor, and end user should engage in.
Without this engagement and discussion, it is impossible for us to
understand how the other side of the three forces is perceiving things
and thinking. What one group may think is easy, may be frustratingly
complex to the other group. Not just our software must be simple, but
the process to contribute must also be simple. I think here is an
opportunity for us all and we should be asking ourselves "Is this
simple for [users|operators|contributors]?" with every step we take.

Granted, driving feedback is difficult. We've learned from experience
that there is no one single way to build communication channels.
Specific preferences often govern use of tools for an individual. We
all have different styles of communication as well. Our individual
jobs have different focuses for us all, and that translates into how
we are able to work. We also have different expectations on what and
how we expect to communicate, and the process we wish to follow.
Sometimes that process may be reasonable for one individual or group,
but entirely unreasonable for another. We need to be mindful and
reasonable. Build channels, and be willing to change or evolve as

We need to identify, understand, and take on the challenges before us
in order to evolve. To do this, we need to give ourselves permission
to change and evolve. But in order to do that, we need to understand
where we want to go. This means having vision, and using that as a
guiding light. But vision should exist at every level. My personal
perception is it is not uniformly practiced in our communities, but
perhaps it should be. I believe this is also an opportunity, but one
where it would be a positive culture change to encourage it within

In reflection, most of this is about changing and evolving the
culture. Encouraging better communication, mindfulness, and vision.
Placing simplicity as a core value, and giving ourselves permission to
change and evolve.

For the board, I believe these discussions help us frame our
perceptions and future discussions. I think our next step is a vision
to guide us. Perhaps then a resolution to set an expectation? Some of
what we're talking about is actively and mindfully evolving culture.
This too may be one of those things there is no one solution. We have
many projects, and cultures. That does not mean we cannot encourage
the principals as we work to attempt to bridge feedback loops.
Building feedback loops is definitely a challenge, one which all of us
need to ponder. Simplicity is also situational, but perhaps just
agreeing as a core principle, might be enough to begin a shift in
mindset. Of course, perhaps more discussion on this  topic is
required. If so, let me know, and we can schedule additional

On the topic of feedback loops, I emailed Allison Price about one
specific feedback loop idea which came up yesterday. The idea is to
make it easier to engage by allowing a user survey submitter to
indicate if they are willing to be contacted by the project team(s).
The hopeful result is that User Survey comments are easier to
follow-up upon and ultimately understand, hopefully turning into
understanding, action, and ultimately an established communication
channel. Allison has indicated she will get this change into the form
in advance of the public push for this year's user survey which will
be closing on August 31st of this year.

At the end of the day, I think there is no one direction the board can
set. There are clearly many, and it all starts with dialog and shared
understanding of where we wish to go.

One final note, regarding visioning. I would like to thank the
foundation and some community leaders by helping facilitate training
on this subject some years ago. The board did participate in some
similar discussions and engagement back in the Boston summit time
frame. If you would like to understand how I'm using the word vision
and the process in which I have in mind, you may wish to visit
ZingTrain's article "The power of visioning"[0].


[0]: https://www.zingtrain.com/article/the-power-of-visioning/

On Thu, Jun 30, 2022 at 7:03 AM Julia Kreger
<juliaashleykreger at gmail.com> wrote:
> Greetings everyone,
> The Foundation's Board of Directors will be holding two informal calls
> to draw some conclusions from the strategic discussions the Board of
> Directors had after the June Board meeting.
> These calls will be at 1400 UTC on July 5th, and July 12th.
> We will be using Zoom to facilitate the call, and etherpad for notes.
> Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81728152837?pwd=JincD5Ta7CAkHFEa6n0fAFAbjVSYS0.1
> Etherpad: https://etherpad.opendev.org/p/board-unofficial-2022-june-meeting-conclusions
> If you need to dial in to zoom using a telephone:
>     Meeting ID: 817 2815 2837
>     Passcode: 902813
>     Telephone numbers: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/krKen32nh
> If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
> -Julia

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