[openstack-dev] [tc][forum] TC Retrospective for Queens/Rocky

Doug Hellmann doug at doughellmann.com
Tue May 29 21:26:16 UTC 2018

At the forum last week the TC held a retrospective to discuss how
we felt things have gone for the TC over the last 6-ish months,
since the previous election. I will try to summarize the feedback
here based on the notes in the etherpad [1], but please reply if I
misremember something, leave out details, or otherwise give an
incomplete view of what we talked about.

We approached the retro using the 3 questions (what went well, what
didn't go well, what can we change) but in this summary I'm going
to focus on each topic, because some ended up in multiple sections.

We all agreed that having some new members on the TC is healthy.
Graham, Mohammed, and Zane have all already started taking a very
active role.

The work Thierry has done to engage with the kubernetes community
leadership through in-person meetings at some of their conferences
has been received well by participants from both groups. The recent
event in Copenhagen was more lightly attended than the one in Austin
in December, in part because of the increased demands on the time
from the participants as their events grow larger. We, of course,
also have other outreach activities from Dims, hogepoge, and others
who are working directly on integration projects, but since this
was a TC retrospective we were talking specifically about TC-led
engagement between the communities.

Our efforts at communicating outside of office hours through
discussion digests and the #openstack-tc channel seem to be going
well. There was some discussion of whether the office hours themselves
are useful, based on the apparent lack of participation. We had
theories that this was a combination of bad times (meaning that TC
members haven't always attended) and bad platforms (meaning that
some parts of the community we are trying to reach may emphasize
other tools over IRC for real time chat). We need to look into that.

Thierry brought up the point that the diversity tags may be less
relevant as they are currently defined, especially because some
projects with very low activity may end up bouncing back and forth
between "diverse" and not with a very small change in participation.
Mohammed and Thierry are going to work on addressing that. See the
thread starting with
http://lists.openstack.org/pipermail/openstack-dev/2018-May/130776.html for

There was some discussion of how well the interaction with the
Foundation staff and Board is working. Opinions were mixed, but
generally still positive. I will be working with Alan to increase
engagement with the Board and with Thierry and other Foundation
staff on that relationship. I encourage all of you to join the Board
meetings when it is possible. It looks like we will have another
in-person joint leadership meeting before the PTG in Denver, so
start thinking of things we might want to place on the agenda for
discussion. Keep in mind that given the large size of the group,
pre-seeding discussions with a mailing list thread can help frame
things for everyone, just like with design summit sessions.

Chris also brought up a concern about a decline in the electorate
voting for TC members. I don't remember having enough details in
the room to confirm this as an overall trend, but there was some
discussion of the most recent numbers seeming low in an unhealthy
way. We need to talk about this further.

Jeremy also brought up a lack of geographic diversity among the
candidates who won the elections. That continues to be a challenge,
and the cause isn't obvious to me. I hope that past (and future)
candidates will get involved with the TC regardless of the outcome
of the election, since we do want their input and being active is
one of the best ways to raise your profile for an election.

Colleen mentioned that our goal selection was "contentious" and
based on the discussion of Stein goals and the goal process in
general I think we have some good feedback about how to improve
that. I'm sure Sean will be posting about that session separately.

Chris brought up a concern about whether we have much traction on
"doing stuff" and especially "getting things done that not everyone
wants," Graham noted a lack of "visible impact," and Zane mentioned
the TC vision in particular. Based on conversations last week, I
am currently tracking a list of 20+ things the TC is working on. I
will add the public ones to the wiki page this week as I catch up
with my notes (remember, sometimes these things involve disputes
that can be more smoothly handled one-on-one, so not everything
that is going on is necessarily going to have its own email thread
announcing it).

As far as the vision, although we aren't "done" with those items,
I do think we’re doing better than may be obvious, in part because
we haven’t reviewed it recently. Thierry, Emilien, and Jeremy
volunteered to review our progress. It would be good to do that
before the PTG, and to especially consider how we can talk more
about the impact of the changes we have made as part of that work.

Related to the discussion of being effective, I proposed that we
team up on each task we agree to take on. By having at least 2 TC
members looking at each item, we’ll have better coverage when someone
is on vacation, etc. Ideally we will not always pair up with the
same folks, so we also have more of an opportunity to work together.

Related to the idea of being more active, I proposed that we more
actively engage with PTLs and project teams to try to spot issues
before they fester. Last week we started addressing at least 2 such
issues that only came to light in other conversations, which tells
me we can't sit back and wait for PTLs to ask for help. I will work
on a plan for dividing up responsibility for checking with teams.

Zane proposed introducing some sort of cadence to making progress.
Perhaps by having teams of 2 or more focusing on different areas,
we can set up a regular reporting schedule to trigger that? Every
2 weeks?

Again, this is my personal attempt to summarize what I remember
from the discussion based on the notes. Please don't hesitate to
add to the thread.


[1] https://etherpad.openstack.org/p/YVR-tc-retrospective

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