Documentation Team Leader?

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Ron Faile Ron Faile
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Documentation Team Leader?

>Hoping to hear from you on my question in the second paragraph.
>
>--Jean


I agree with Jeremy that there needs to be more unity in and enjoyment from this
project. I haven't had much time to post since starting a new job and admittedly
losing interest as some of the past discussions have become quite heated at
times and very counterproductive.  


I think that Jean would be a good fit for the role, especially since she is
qualified and has shown her commitment to OOo for many years as well as interest
in this project. Her experience would serve us well. So +1 there. As to the type
of leadership being discussed, I am not for a specific title as such except if
it is needed temporarily for someone doing external communications with other
groups as has been said earlier. What is needed is someone tactful who will not
try to control the group, but guide and help it along. That's what is needed
most. And that is what I find lacking in David. No offence intended, that's just
my opinion. I don't want to get too much into the structure of things, but it
would be good to have at least one other person who could offer guidance in this
respect, especially since we all have everyday lives.

Another concern that I have had is the method of managing the user guides. While
I was comfortable with using the wiki to track the docs, the same was not so
when Alfresco was first implemented. I'm not asking to go back to using the
wiki, just that whatever path is chosen that it be clearly defined and work as
promised.


Your take Hal, Barbara...

Ron

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davidnelson davidnelson
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Re: Documentation Team Leader?

Hi Ron, all, :-)

On Wed, Apr 27, 2011 at 11:40, Ron Faile <[hidden email]> wrote:
> What is needed is someone tactful who will not
> try to control the group, but guide and help it along. That's what is needed
> most. And that is what I find lacking in David. No offence intended, that's just
> my opinion.

No offense taken. Although I was a little surprised as I'd never seen
myself as trying to control the group. Lacking in tact? Well, my own
perception would have been that, as a general rule, I wasn't but that
we can all lapse there from time to time.

On the other hand, it was precisely the reservation I gradually
developed about Jean (no offense intended by myself either, this is
just an explanation). I originally tried to persuade Jean to become
team leader. She has lots of technical qualifications for the role.
But I have occasionally read, and been the subject of, some quite
irrascible posts by her on subjects that did not really merit such a
response. So I ended-up with the POV that she was somewhat lacking in
some of the interpersonal gifts needed, and having a few qualms about
what her "management style" would be like.

Like you, Ron, I really detest disagreeable mailing list discussions.
When I was helping out with the work on the community bylaws, it was
specifically me that wrote-in the clause: "Every Member is expected to
deal with other Community Members and with our end users with
courtesy, forbearance, objectivity, open-mindedness, friendliness,
understanding, patience and goodwill."

I'd be very happy if we can all carefully bear the above in mind when
posting to the list.

But let's see how things evolve. If the active English docs team
members decide that she should take a leading role, I'll be happy to
collaborate and cooperate in equinamity. However, you'll probably have
read my thoughts about the best timing and conditions for team
leadership in the originating thread.

David Nelson

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Tom Tom
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Re: Documentation Team Leader?

Ouch.  

I thought David would have been superb.  I must have missed the posts where he
was less than courteous and helpful bt such things happen.  He seemed unwilling
to go for a leadership position expressing reservations about it but i kinda
pushed him into it and that all back-fired on me.

Many co-operative groups run extremely well without a specific leader, running
by committee/council or by whoever happens to be most active in a particular
sub-group at that particular time (like a relay race).  We seem to be happily
going on like that already so i think it's questionable as to whether we really
need a single leader at all.  


I realise that most people are more comfortable taking orders unquestioningly
from higher authorities and need to set someone up to be in charge over them
rather than thinking for themselves and taking responsibility for their own
actions but hierarchical organisations are much less robust than co-operative
enterprises.  What happens when the leader is away or orders something daft or
has a personality clash with someone?  A committee would deal with those
situations smoothly without any ripples.  Hierarchical organisations tend to
fall apart with even simple and obvious problems such as that..

I think this documentation group needs to formalise it's current structure (ie
what are the "working groups" = sub-groups) and just clarify who is
representative on our little committee.  Each representative needs a 2nd person
or perhaps each group needs 2 people to represent them.  At the moment we have
not really given thought to what groups we need and who would represent them but
i would say the groups at the moment are;  

Alfresco web-site and very technical issues = David
Alfresco work-flow and practical how-to = Hal
Non-alfresco work-flow, guidance and tech issues = Jean

Ideally we would have 6 groups including some sort of administration / steering
group in order to keep people from "ganging up on each other" too easily but
artificially creating unnecessary groups is a very bad plan as it can just
create extra "make work".

For examples of good co-operative type organisations look at Mondragon in Spain
or Italy (i think) or Suma or Radical-Routes (or is it Roots?) in the UK.  
However both the first 2 are much larger and more corporate than we need to be
and the last is extremely low-tech and might not even have a web-presence at
all.  Look up worker co-ops in your area and you might get a few surprises.  
Here, just north of London England, we have 1 worker co-op that made components
for the space shuttles although it's more recent products might be less familiar
to home-users.  Most people might know of "social enterprise" co-ops or social
firms such as furniture, recycling or grocery stores.  I think it might be
because of those grocery stores and such-like that people don't take co-op
structures seriously but many high tech organisations also try to avoid being
too hierarchical because hierarchies are less robust and less innovative
(oddly).

This is all stuff that people working in OpenSource projects should already grok
right to the core of their soul  because it's exactly the sort of thing that
makes MS so vulnerable to malware compared to OpenSource projects which are
robust.  


"Just following orders" has been a very poor excuse for some extremely bad moves
throughout history.  So, lets avoid hierarchical structures and keep things
robust & open to innovation but lets formalise which groups are needed and
identify who is in charge of each group.  Perhaps we could have elections if
it's not obvious who is best at what.

Regards from
Tom :)




________________________________
From: David Nelson <[hidden email]>
To: [hidden email]
Sent: Wed, 27 April, 2011 5:39:05
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-documentation] Documentation Team Leader?

Hi Ron, all, :-)

On Wed, Apr 27, 2011 at 11:40, Ron Faile <[hidden email]> wrote:
> What is needed is someone tactful who will not
> try to control the group, but guide and help it along. That's what is needed
> most. And that is what I find lacking in David. No offence intended, that's
>just
> my opinion.

No offense taken. Although I was a little surprised as I'd never seen
myself as trying to control the group. Lacking in tact? Well, my own
perception would have been that, as a general rule, I wasn't but that
we can all lapse there from time to time.

On the other hand, it was precisely the reservation I gradually
developed about Jean (no offense intended by myself either, this is
just an explanation). I originally tried to persuade Jean to become
team leader. She has lots of technical qualifications for the role.
But I have occasionally read, and been the subject of, some quite
irrascible posts by her on subjects that did not really merit such a
response. So I ended-up with the POV that she was somewhat lacking in
some of the interpersonal gifts needed, and having a few qualms about
what her "management style" would be like.

Like you, Ron, I really detest disagreeable mailing list discussions.
When I was helping out with the work on the community bylaws, it was
specifically me that wrote-in the clause: "Every Member is expected to
deal with other Community Members and with our end users with
courtesy, forbearance, objectivity, open-mindedness, friendliness,
understanding, patience and goodwill."

I'd be very happy if we can all carefully bear the above in mind when
posting to the list.

But let's see how things evolve. If the active English docs team
members decide that she should take a leading role, I'll be happy to
collaborate and cooperate in equinamity. However, you'll probably have
read my thoughts about the best timing and conditions for team
leadership in the originating thread.

David Nelson

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Tom Tom
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Re: Documentation Team Leader?

In reply to this post by Ron Faile
Hi :)

A leader leads.  That is exactly the definition of leadership.  Yet this email
asks for a leader that wont "control the group".   Someone that does not control
a group is NOT a leader, by definition.  

Single-leader structures are an anthema to an OpenSource project.  We need a
more robust, community structure but we need to formalise what it is.
Regards from
Tom :)



________________________________
From: Ron Faile <[hidden email]>
To: [hidden email]
Sent: Wed, 27 April, 2011 4:40:17
Subject: [libreoffice-documentation] Documentation Team Leader?

>Hoping to hear from you on my question in the second paragraph.
>
>--Jean


I agree with Jeremy that there needs to be more unity in and enjoyment from this

project. I haven't had much time to post since starting a new job and admittedly

losing interest as some of the past discussions have become quite heated at
times and very counterproductive.  


I think that Jean would be a good fit for the role, especially since she is
qualified and has shown her commitment to OOo for many years as well as interest

in this project. Her experience would serve us well. So +1 there. As to the type

of leadership being discussed, I am not for a specific title as such except if
it is needed temporarily for someone doing external communications with other
groups as has been said earlier. What is needed is someone tactful who will not
try to control the group, but guide and help it along. That's what is needed
most. And that is what I find lacking in David. No offence intended, that's just

my opinion. I don't want to get too much into the structure of things, but it
would be good to have at least one other person who could offer guidance in this

respect, especially since we all have everyday lives.

Another concern that I have had is the method of managing the user guides. While

I was comfortable with using the wiki to track the docs, the same was not so
when Alfresco was first implemented. I'm not asking to go back to using the
wiki, just that whatever path is chosen that it be clearly defined and work as
promised.


Your take Hal, Barbara...

Ron

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Jean Weber Jean Weber
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Re: Documentation Team Leader?

On Wed, 2011-04-27 at 10:10 +0100, Tom Davies wrote:

> A leader leads.  That is exactly the definition of leadership.  Yet this email
> asks for a leader that wont "control the group".   Someone that does not control
> a group is NOT a leader, by definition.  

I totally disagree. Leaders can and should do much, but "control" is
absolutely not one of those things. A "manager" might "control" but a
*leader* does not. Your definition is NOT the one we are using. So
perhaps we need a different term to describe what I (and I think, Jeremy
and Ron) are talking about.

Or I need to itemise what I think a leader does. Some things (not a
complete list) are:
* coordinate
* encourage
* suggest actions
* teach

--Jean


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Jean Weber Jean Weber
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Re: Documentation Team Leader?

In reply to this post by Tom
On Wed, 2011-04-27 at 09:55 +0100, Tom Davies wrote:

> Many co-operative groups run extremely well without a specific leader, running
> by committee/council or by whoever happens to be most active in a particular
> sub-group at that particular time (like a relay race).  We seem to be happily
> going on like that already so i think it's questionable as to whether we really
> need a single leader at all.  
>
> I realise that most people are more comfortable taking orders unquestioningly
> from higher authorities and need to set someone up to be in charge over them
> rather than thinking for themselves and taking responsibility for their own
> actions but hierarchical organisations are much less robust than co-operative
> enterprises.  What happens when the leader is away or orders something daft or
> has a personality clash with someone?  A committee would deal with those
> situations smoothly without any ripples.  Hierarchical organisations tend to
> fall apart with even simple and obvious problems such as that..
>
> I think this documentation group needs to formalise it's current structure (ie
> what are the "working groups" = sub-groups) and just clarify who is
> representative on our little committee.  Each representative needs a 2nd person
> or perhaps each group needs 2 people to represent them.  At the moment we have
> not really given thought to what groups we need and who would represent them but
> i would say the groups at the moment are;  
>
> Alfresco web-site and very technical issues = David
> Alfresco work-flow and practical how-to = Hal
> Non-alfresco work-flow, guidance and tech issues = Jean
>
> Ideally we would have 6 groups including some sort of administration / steering
> group in order to keep people from "ganging up on each other" too easily but
> artificially creating unnecessary groups is a very bad plan as it can just
> create extra "make work".


There is a vast difference between "following the guidance of a leader"
and "taking orders unquestioningly... rather than thinking for
themselves and taking responsibility for their own actions". I don't
think anyone here is in the least interested in the latter; certainly I
am not. David makes a less dramatic mistake (perhaps just a "slip of the
tongue") in referring to "management" when I'm talking about leadership.

If you think we as a group have been getting along well without a
leader, please re-read, in particular, Jeremy's and Ron's recent notes.
Also, IMO not much is getting done, and most of that is from a very
small number of people.

We don't have enough people for working groups, much less
representatives of those groups. Don't I wish we did! Many of your
suggestions would be very good if we had enough people.

--Jean


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Tom Tom
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words Re: [libreoffice-documentation] Documentation Team Leader?

In reply to this post by Jean Weber
Hi :)

I think we might be all using different words in the same way or the same words
in different ways.  I have been away on a boat for a few days and obviously need
to catch-up on my emails.  This whole issue about hierarchy and leadership is
one that keeps cropping up and confusing people so we probably do need to pin it
down in someway.  I think people will be more active now that Alfresco has been
sorted.  Also i think people would be more certain about what they were allowed
to work on if they were in a specific group and could intuit what needs doing
from the name of that group.
Regards from
Tom :)




________________________________
From: Jean Hollis Weber <[hidden email]>
To: [hidden email]
Sent: Wed, 27 April, 2011 10:26:00
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-documentation] Documentation Team Leader?

On Wed, 2011-04-27 at 10:10 +0100, Tom Davies wrote:

> A leader leads.  That is exactly the definition of leadership.  Yet this email

> asks for a leader that wont "control the group".  Someone that does not control
>
> a group is NOT a leader, by definition. 

I totally disagree. Leaders can and should do much, but "control" is
absolutely not one of those things. A "manager" might "control" but a
*leader* does not. Your definition is NOT the one we are using. So
perhaps we need a different term to describe what I (and I think, Jeremy
and Ron) are talking about.

Or I need to itemise what I think a leader does. Some things (not a
complete list) are:
* coordinate
* encourage
* suggest actions
* teach

--Jean


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