Things that would help others help the Jupyter governance refactor

Hey all - first, I want to say thanks very much to the folks that have been
helping research and push forward the governance refactor. This is really important work, and I appreciate the time you’ve put into jump-starting the process.

That said, over the last few months I’ve found it hard to participate in the governance
refactoring process. This isn’t for lack of wanting to help, but because it was
unclear to me how to help in a way that is sustainable given a
busy several months. I think
there is some low-hanging fruit that we can improve around
the process to make it easier for others (and me!) to jump in.

I want to highlight that this is not meant as a critique of the process,
but an attempt at giving some constructive feedback.

Some suggestions for the weekly meetings:

Make regular posts and reminders about the governance meeting

In my experience, standing meetings quickly get lost in the background of other things
that scramble for your attention. Unless you plan on attending every single one and put
it on your calendar, it’s easy to forget that a meeting is even happening after the
first few occurrences.

Suggestion: make an announcement about the governance meetings on the Sunday or Monday before each (Tuesday) meeting. Announce this in the community forum, and maybe the mailing list. If we really want open participation, ping Twitter as well. This would activate the idea in people’s minds and potentially make them more likely to attend.

Here’s a short template that we could send out each week, adapted from @Zsailer’s language for the JupyterHub team meetings:

✨ Attention Jovians ✨

The Jupyter governance team is meeting every week to
research and propose changes to the project's governance
structure. It invites your participation and input in this process!

We have a weekly meeting to discuss latest developments,
it is held on

_Tuesdays at 9:00am California time (4:00pm UTC)_.

The next meeting will be on **Tuesday, October 14th, 2019** at 9AM California time
(or your [timezone](

* You can find the agenda [here](<link to agenda>).
* And we'll meet on Zoom (video conferencing) [here](
* You can find minutes, notes, and action items from this process in [this community forum thread](

Make it easier to participate remotely / asynchronously

That said, attending a live meeting is still a big ask for many people. The Jupyter project is international, and it’s hard for many folks to make a meeting at a specific time. Many people have other things to do, and so must carve out time for governance conversations here and there.

The governance office hours minutes have a lot of helpful summary information. However, there also seems to be missing information in there. For example, there’s talk of a plan and timeline that I don’t see listed, and references to documents that I cannot find online anywhere.)

There should be a single place that contains the current “state” of the governance refactor process including where we are, and what’s left to be done. I’d think
something like: A gantt-style chart with a timeline, a list of current information that has been gathered, and a list of immediate and long-term action items that need to be done,
with an emphasis on highlighting places where Jovyans can help out.

Add more structure during and after the meeting

There are particular topics that some Jovyans may be interested in discussing
or assisting with. Each of those pieces may (or may not) be discussed in the weekly meeting. Most people in the Jupyter community have limited time, and need to decide ahead of time if they will attend. It’s hard to do this without any kind of plan or agenda for these meetings.

Weekly office hours should have an agenda and goal released at least 24H beforehand. This would allow people to orient themselves beforehand and decide if they should make the meeting, it would also help structure the meeting itself to ensure that the topics that are most important are the ones that are discussed.

In the JupyterHub community, we include a HackMD along with our meeting announcement and ask people to add discussion items ahead of time. We try
to strictly time-box the meeting and this helps us prioritize what to discuss.

A quick wrap-up

I hope that these suggestions don’t come across as negative or unhelpful. I hope that these ideas are seen as something we can use improve the process. To re-iterate
a point above, I am deeply appreciative of the team of people who have worked on this so far.

If anybody wants to speak with me about any of these topics, I am happy to do so - I’ll try to put together some of my own thoughts on governance (and link in @afshin 's community input thread) and engage a bit more in this process (it has been a hectic last few months but I will make time for this if it is helpful).


Good feedback Chris. We had a good starter discussion a couple of weeks ago about some of these points. Governance Office Hours Meeting Minutes

Like naming, schedules and communication are difficult :wink:

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