[openstack-dev] [tc] [all] [glance] On operating a high throughput or otherwise team

Thierry Carrez thierry at openstack.org
Tue May 17 08:56:27 UTC 2016

John Garbutt wrote:
> [...]
> Agreed that with a shared language, the ML is more effective.
> [...]
> I think some IRC meeting work, in a standup like way, for those with a
> previously established shared context.

Actually shared context / shared understanding / common culture is a 
prerequisite for any form of communication. The ML discussions are more 
effective, the IRC meetings can be effective, the reviews are more 
effective etc.

This shared understanding was simpler to generate in the early days of 
OpenStack where developers were a smaller group. We assumed that most of 
this shared understanding would naturally transmit to newcomers, so we 
overlooked documenting it and did not actively rebuild it as we went. We 
diluted the Design Summit into the gigantic Summit event, further 
preventing this cross-project culture to emerge in our group.

Over the past cycle(s) we worked on the project team guide to document 
the shared culture. But it's not finished, and that's not enough. We 
also need time (as a cultural group) to discuss and reach this common 
culture, without distractions and without people external to the group 
disrupting the discussion (yes you see where I'm going).

> [...]
> Synchronous vs Asynchronous (and in-between), high vs low bandwidth
> communication tools all have their place. None of those replace having
> curated content for new/returning folks to gain the current shared
> context

+1000 -- this is not about choosing between MLs vs. face-to-face 
meetings. You can't have a global community and rely only on meetings 
without excluding someone. You can't build the shared understanding and 
make quick progress on specific issues using only MLs.

Global and virtual communities face three challenges: confusion, 
isolation, and fragmentation. They need to make use of the full spectrum 
of synchronous/asynchronous and 
simple-collaboration/complex-collaboration communication tools to 
address those challenges and actively generate transparency (fighting 
confusion), engagement (fighting isolation) and cohesion (fighting 

> I hate management speak, but I love the way these issues are described
> in this book:
> https://www.kenblanchard.com/Store/Books/Gung-Ho!

I also highly recommend reading "Where in the world is my team?" from 
Terence Brake about the need for a range of tools to fight 
confusion/isolation/fragmentation in global/virtual communities.

Thierry Carrez (ttx)

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