LoCo teams around the world

If you have been following the loco-contacts mail list you may have seen the recent hint that the coming LoCo Directory will be using the ownership of loco groups on Launchpad as a source of information about who is the LoCo contact for that group. This got me thinking.

How do different teams around the world organise themselves?

The assumption that the loco contact is always the same as the owner of the Launchpad group seems a bit simple. As teams evolve beyond a certain size, tasks get split, and the administration of the Launchpad group and the task of being Loco contact don’t necessarily go hand in hand.
So I’m curious – how do other teams get around delegating tasks and assignments?

In the rest of this blog post I shall try to give a short introduction to how we are currently doing things in the Danish team. I hope people from other LoCo teams will share their experience and ways of doing things as well. And of course pointers as to how we may organize the Danish team even better are very welcome!

Danish Team

Twice a month (except during holiday season) we have an IRC meeting. Everyone is welcome at the meeting, and this is where we discuss our future plans and events. If need be and we can’t come to a consensus on a topic, we have votes. One person, one vote. In essence, this is how the Danish team works currently.
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To take care of financial issues we have a board of trustees, including a treasurer. This makes handling money issues and making agreements with third parties a lot easier. Most people here (sponsors to make an example), will feel much safer donating money to an association, as opposed to some private person.

One a year (during spring) we have a general assembly, where we elect the board and the LoCo contact.

Of course this adds a bit of bureaucracy. We had to write some by-laws and we have to go through the entire hassle of having elections once a year. But it also secures that the board and the LoCo contact have a mandate from the community, and it makes it easy for the community to replace a LoCo contact or a board member, if they themselves can’t seem to realise that it’s time to step down.

That is how it works for us. Needs in other teams may be different, but I like the idea that once a year the position as LoCo contact is brought to debate and a vote, to make sure that (hopefully) the best person for the job is actually doing it.

So, how does everyone else do this?

3 thoughts on “LoCo teams around the world”

  1. That’s rather organised of you, and does seem to be a lot of red tape, but if it works, then that’s great. The Irish team has a point of contact, one person as we’re a rather small group. We usually try and have an irc meeting once a month. Members partake in the irc meeting and we do have one chair appointed. During the irc meeting people offer to take on some tasks. Each month it varies. We’ve no board, but it works out well this way for us. We generally just share the workload and the job/tasks get done.

  2. The Washington, DC team has um…pretty much no bureaucracy. When we want to do an event, we send an email to the mailing list going “I want to do X. Who’s with me?” and that’s that.

    Traditionally, this means our leader (Kevin) sends a check to the local folk festival so we can have a table, then one of the others guys and I get print stuff from the Free Software Sticker Book and laminate it with packaging tape then either cut them out at home, while on public transit going there, or while there and Kevin shows up with a box of CDs and a pile of Software Freedom Day swag (this is in September, so we mix the two).

    Each fall and spring I organize an installfest with my school’s ACM chapter, so a few LoCo folks show up to help. When the Federal Office Systems Expo happens each year, all the local LUGs plus our LoCo staff a booth showing off FOSS. Other than that: “hey guys, I have an idea!”

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the way your LoCo team does Governance and the feedback on the LoCo Directory.

    To be honest, we tried hard to make the LoCo Directory to be integrated with launchpad and it made sense for the owner to be the LoCo Contact since it is throuh that single person that most communications are channeled through by the ubuntu community or when making requests service or resource requests to canonical.

    Our guessing on having this may be wrong, but we haven’t gotten much feedback yet since we don’t have it running somewhere. We will make this available soon for more valuable feedback from the rest of the Ubuntu Community.

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