2009/4/1 AndrewRT <andrewrtur...@googlemail.com>:
> One aspect which might be putting people off is the frequency and
> length of the Board meetings we've been having to date. The initial
> Board has met 23 times so far (nearly once per week on average) often
> for 3 hours or more. Whilst this is probably necessary when we're
> getting things sorted out, I'd like to suggest that the next board has
> shorter and less frequent meetings. I think meeting once per month for
> no more than 2 hours would be ideal, so that it's not too much of a
> burdon on Board members and we avoid burning our volunteers out. At
> the same time we can change the Board into more of an "oversight"
> role, and do more "organising" work outside.

I think 2 hours a month is unduely optimistic. We should certainly be
able to reduce the amount of time spent in meetings, but not that
much. At the momemt we have around 15 hours a month of meetings,
cutting that down to 2 seems very unlikely to me. I think monthly
meetings, with emergency meetings when necessary, is a good idea, but
we have to accept that those monthly meetings are likely to be quite
long (although hopefully not as long as some of the past meetings!). I
think some face-to-face meetings would also be good, since you can
cover quite a lot more by getting together for a day. I believe there
was some support for 2 face-to-face meetings a year (one at the AGM
and one other) - depending on the geographical distribution of the
board we may even be able to increase that.

I think we need some greater dedication from board members during
online meetings. At the moment members are often doing other things
during a meeting, which slows everything down. That's understandable
when meetings are so frequent, you can't dedicate an entire evening to
just the meeting, but if we make them monthly hopefully people can pay
attention more. When I was chairing the meeting last night I found I
had a great deal of difficulty knowing when to move on to the next
item - I'd ask if anyone else had any more comments, but I didn't know
how long to wait for responses. I often tried to move on only to
discover that somebody had been typing another comment. In a
face-to-face meeting, the chair would go round the room making eye
contact with people and would know if they wanted to say something,
but that isn't possible on IRC. We need to work on that. Perhaps
simply moving to something like Skype, which tells you when people are
typing, would help.

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