At the Joint Leadership Summit (JLS) held in San Jose, California from July 29-31, 2011, one subject which received a lot of attention was our project’s leadership structure. It was widely felt that making some changes to our project’s leadership structure can strengthen communication and collaboration between teams, as well as improve oversight and accountability for all contributors and teams. The proposed changes aim to improve productivity and community engagement throughout all areas of the project.

Note about Translations to this blog

In order to be more inclusive about this subject for non-english speaking members of our community, volunteers from the Joomla! Translation Teams are publishing translations to this blog. Please check the Translations list at the end of this blog to see what translations are currently published. New translations will be added as volunteer schedules permit, and the links in the Translations list will be updated when new translations are published.

Proposal for leadership structure changes

A proposal composed of three interwoven changes to our project’s current leadership structure was agreed to at the JLS. It was also agreed to present this proposal to the community for input and feedback:

  • Dissolve the Community Oversight Committee (COC). In our project’s current leadership structure, the COC is responsible for adding and removing Open Source Matters (OSM) board members.
  • Form a new board of directors with a new name that would be more easily associated with the Joomla! project than the current name of “Open Source Matters”. The primary responsibilities of the new board of directors would be to set the project’s overall strategy and direction, as well as provide oversight and accountability for all of the project’s newly formed operational committees (see next bullet point below).
  • All of the project’s current teams that operate under the oversight of the Production Leadership Team (PLT), Community Leadership Team (CLT), and OSM would be reorganized into a number of committees. Each of these committees would operate under the oversight of the project’s new board of directors.

Proposed transition plan

It was proposed that the project’s current leadership structure would remain in place while a group of nine current project leaders would work together to define important details of the project’s new leadership structure. Those nine project leaders would be composed of three members each from the PLT, CLT, and OSM, with each leadership team choosing its three representatives to join that group. The proposed changes also include having these nine project leaders become members of the new board of directors (along with two board members initially to be chosen from outside project leadership), once the final agreed upon plan for leadership structure changes is ready to be enacted.

The first duties of those nine project leaders would be to make decisions on items such as the following:

  • Choose a name for the new board of directors.
  • Investigate what legal issues need to be addressed regarding the leadership structure changes.
  • Define terms for board members, as well as the processes by which existing board members may be removed and new board members would be added.
  • Define the initial number of committees that will report to the new board of directors, what responsibilities each of those committees will have, and what the process will be for potentially adding, removing, or combining committees in the future.
  • Define the process to add two additional board members from the community who would join the nine project leaders to form the first full board of directors, with the idea that the final full size of the board of directors would continue to be eleven people.

The next important step in this process: Your input and feedback!

It was agreed at the JLS that it is important to be open and transparent about this proposal, and also to engage our community by inviting input and feedback. Input and feedback from you and other members of our community will be taken into account before decisions would be finalized or plans put into motion to implement any leadership structure changes.

This is your opportunity to contribute to our project’s continued growth and success by giving your input and feedback in the discussion on the JPeople site about Proposed leadership structure changes & request for community feedback.

We want to know if you agree or disagree with these proposed changes, or if you feel some important factors have been overlooked. If you disagree with something, please help move the discussion forward by coming up with an alternative suggestion!

While we want to allow enough time for plenty of constructive and respectful discussion on this important subject, at some point the process will need to move forward. In order to balance those considerations, this discussion will remain open at least until October 27, 2011, but after that date the process may continue moving forward. Before any changes are implemented, project leadership will report back to the community with more details about the new structure and statutes/bylaws of the new board/organization.

Translations list

Sincere thanks go out to volunteers on the Joomla! Translation Teams who have translated this blog into the following languages: