Team Agreements Proposal

Edit: this proposal has been accepted! Thanks for everyone’s input, it will be available on the governance repo

Here is the formal proposal: will start the poll for consent decision within a few days since this has already been discussed quite a bit.
Newest proposal for @team agreements (with @msiep’s suggestion incorporated)

Relevant gitlab issue located here


I agree to:

  • participate in as much of the weekly meeting as I can; If I am unable to attend, I will give notice of my absence in advance (by the meeting’s start time) and relay any pertinent information to the agenda (either through another team member or by adding items to the agenda)

  • respond to all snowdrift-related messages directed to me (or pertaining to my role/s) within 48 hours via my preferred contact method; If I have other matters that take priority and can’t fully respond in that time, I will notify another team member.

For any agreements I make related to Snowdrift.coop (including the ones above), I will follow up and be accountable for the actions I agreed to. If I break an agreement, I will:

  1. Clean up disturbances caused
  2. Follow up as soon as possible with those affected
  3. Change the agreement instead of repeatedly breaking it

2 Likes

P.S. Kudos to @photm for the original draft of this agreement AND for the consent decision process!

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I would still like this a little more carefully worded. A team member who just can’t make the time that works for everyone else shouldn’t be pushed aside per se. I’m just concerned the wording could read as though there’s a weekly expectation to express regrets.

I want to make it clear that it’s acceptable for someone to say one time that the meeting time just doesn’t work for them. They won’t be hassled or expected to keep sending repeated regrets.

Please let’s update the wording to be sure that is clear without doubts.

This is not reassuring enough that it’s okay to say “I’m going on vacation for 2 weeks” or similar. I’m not sure “notify another team member” is right, that’s too specific. I’d rather something more general around committing to do what one can to let others know in advance about extended absence. For unexpected absence, the “break agreement” stuff applies in that case.

@wolftune I hear the concern - It’s not explicitly stated one way or another beyond ‘I will give note of my absence in advance,’ but the way I read that implies as long as it is in advance; there is no statement that it’s required to do so weekly, which I would interpret as meaning it’s okay to do so for multiple weeks in one statement.

I attempted to come up with smooth wording for this but not having success. Another way of iterating this is to have an asterisk qualifying what ‘in advance’ means for extended absences, or there could be a whole 'nother bulletpoint such as:

  • notify the team if I will be absent for more than a week and will be unable to respond to Snowdrift related messages in that time (or attend meetings)

But if the goal is to make this more inviting for folks, I think it’s a trade off between more words (which makes the document look like it more of a commitment to sign), and explicitly addressing the concerns you had. Again I’d err on the side of being less wordy. If not explicitly stated and vague enough for someone to wonder if that’s okay, they could always ask?

I like less wordy, but I know that some people may read things like Codes of Conduct and commitments with a sense of fear or hesitation, like worries about the consequences of potential violation. In that state, some people will just decline or be quiet rather than express a concern. That’s not ideal, but we have to meet people where they are at. I don’t want to inadvertently exclude more introverted or shy people from the team.

So, I want the wording to focus on being reassuring and inspiring. We want people to feel good that they are joining a reliable team that upholds high ideals. We don’t want the focus to be “oh, I can’t be on this team, I don’t think I can make the weekly meetings”.

A rewrite

I agree to:

  • participate in the weekly meeting as much as I can
    • When I know about absences in advance, I will notify others and relay pertinent information for the agenda
  • respond within 48 hours to snowdrift-related messages directed to me or pertaining to my role/s (as long as they come through my preferred contact methods)
    • If other priorities come up that temporarily leave me less reliable, I will notify the team of the situation

I take full responsibility for all agreements I make. If I break an agreement, I will:

  1. Clean up disturbances caused
  2. Follow up as soon as possible with those affected
  3. Change the agreement instead of repeatedly breaking it
1 Like

That post is hidden for non-team-members. This means

  • Team members cannot be reached within 48h except by other team members. Is this intended?
  • People interested in team membership do not know what kinds of contact methods would be allowed. This is probably not intended.

In this case, more words would make the commitment less strong, i.e. more inviting. Maybe “If you cannot attend meetings for a period of time, communicate this in advance. Relay pertinent information for the agenda.”

Does “@ team agreements” mean the agreements are a prerequisite for being added to “@ team”? Are there any additional prerequisites other than a) making it explicit that you keep these agreements, b) asking to be added? I think the proposal should make this more clear.

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Maybe even “being a member of @ team”? I.e. do all current team members need to keep these agreements once the proposal becomes effective, or is this only for new team members?

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@photm I’m really glad for all your input. My apologies for not responding to this sooner! (very busy right no). We have discussed this in meetings and I’m going to go through the formal proposal process with the most updated agreement.

Being obligated to respond to the number of existent team members isn’t a trivial: being obligated to every person who addresses a team member seems like a lot.

I will incorporate the wording:

(as long as they come through whatever my preferred contact method is)

to make it clear that any preferred method is acceptable. And yes, I believe those should be private for anyone who may want more personal contact information not to be public. But thanks for noting that.

1 Like

#proposal

Previous related threads:
Origin of discussion with driver statement
Finalizing a proposal

Official Proposal for all @team members (existing and future):

I agree to:

  • participate in the weekly meeting as much as I can
    • When I know about absences in advance, I will notify others and relay pertinent information for the agenda
  • respond within 48 hours to snowdrift-related messages directed to me or pertaining to my role/s (as long as they come through whatever my preferred contact method is)
    • If other priorities come up that temporarily leave me less reliable, I will notify the team of the situation

I take full responsibility for all agreements I make. If I break an agreement, I will:

  1. Clean up disturbances caused
  2. Follow up as soon as possible with those affected
  3. Change the agreement instead of repeatedly breaking it

  • Objection (explain in a reply)
  • Consent with Concern (explain in a reply)
  • Consent

0 voters

Proposed review Date: June 1, 2020

P.s. thanks for everyone’s input: I’m really appreciating the poll implementation and all the work you did on the proposal process @photm

Does this include weird methods that not everyone might have access to? For instance via proprietary services like facebook, or free but esoteric P2P things like bitmessage, ricochet, …?

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Concerns (not objections)

I just want to make sure that this doesn’t seem unwelcoming in situations (like @chreekat currently) where someone explicitly says that the meeting time just doesn’t work for them.

A thought about clarity we might add: should there be any responsibility to do anything when missing meetings with advanced notice (such as reading the minutes or checking in to see if anything discussed is relevant or asking someone who will be present to bring something up)?

I hear the concern there, but IMO seems the chances of this happening is very unlikely as is a non-issue: if it comes up we could just propose / encourage the use of something that’s more aligned if these come up. It’s probably more the exception than the rule so I don’t think it’s worth the extra words here

I’m curious what @chreekat thinks about this wording, but I would interpret “as much as I can” as being only once in awhile, if that’s the circumstances.

could be interpreted as “it’s okay for me to notify if I’m going to be gone for 3 weeks, or or untill further notice” IMO.

^ seems mostly covered by

In terms of responsibility for other actions to take when missing a meeting besides relaying pertinent info, that’s a good question. It seems like it depends on the work and time-sensitivity of whatever the role is. Any tasks that are blockers, ideally would be addressed / taken care of as much as they can be, but it also seems like that’d be individual responsibilities depending on the related tasks - so responsibilities from week to week would likely change. Not sure of a good solution there, maybe for certain roles this would be made more explicit?

Still seeming like this is good enough to move forward now.

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@iko @msiep @fr33domlover @h30 @david please look over this and add your input when ya’ll get a chance, thanks \o/

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Concern: There’s no review date.

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I edited one in for 3 months from when the poll closes, June 1st. Good catch @photm

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I agree.

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I agree.

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I agree.

And while I’m obviously late to this game, I think the “vacation mode” stuff should be split into its own clause (we could nickname it the “vacation clause”) that loosely interprets “vacation” as any premeditated absence greater than 48 hours.
Better than trying to come up with clever wording and wonder if it will work, and presents the additional complexity in a nice isolated packet.

3 Likes