PreVH Weave Handbook/Decision-Making System

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Proposal: How we make decisions

Distinguish between LIVE and ONLINE decision making


Individual Empowerment

Where possible, we favour individual empowerment, with communication, over consensus. Individuals are

  • free to make decisions for low-impact, reversible change, which does not require group resources (levels of these yet to be decided), and requested to communicate these changes to the group, where relevant
  • free to make decisions for medium impact, reversible change, within defined scope areas e.g. Translation, Site theme etc.
  • for medium to high impact reversible change, use the Modified advice process*.


Group agreement

STEP 1: A person or group creates a proposal. This is posted online.

Use an online decision making tool (perhaps Loomio) that facilitates measuring resistance (like #Fast Consensing*)

STEP 2: by unacceptable* levels of resistance an individual who has substantial resistance creates a new proposal and another online decision making process starts up. A sub-group might also be formed instead of an individual who create a new proposal. (e.g. one or more people with a resistance factor of two. Collective resistance that is higher than 40% of the group)

STEP 3: If by this stage agreement has not been reached, we approach a facilitator to support a process of convergent facilitation.


Silence = endorsement?

Request: that a response is given at all times when a proposal is made - even if the response is “I am not responding’ to acknowledge that the proposal has been seen. After a non-response (silence) of 3 days the proposer will proactively try and establish contact.


Communicating task ownership and status

When working on the same shared resource, we have a way to “file-lock”, to avoid duplication or confusion. Current strategy is to use a task spreadsheet; each task is allocated to a person, who indicates if they’re currently working on it, and the last time they updated that. If someone wishes to work on that same task, and it’s locked, they are requested to contact the allocated team member to ask to collaborate. If the person cannot be contacted for 2 days, and the task on the spreadsheet hasn’t been updated for over a week, a person may take it over (indicating as such on the spreadsheet). For an urgent task, these times come down to 1 day, and 2 days.


Implementation Council

A representative from the Pre-Virtual Home Group becomes a member of the Imp Council with no decision making power until they have become a Transitional Partner. Their input will be considered with equal weight by the Council as that of Council Members. Their role is to communicate between the two groups.


Appendix

Fast Consensing

In person version: People respond to a proposal with 3 options:

  • silence (agreement)
  • 1 finger up (minor resistance)
  • 2 fingers up (major resistance)

Resistance is calculated (eg 2 people with 1 finger up, and 1 person with two fingers up, = Resistance of 4. In a group of 5 people, there would be a maximum of 10 fingers, so this would be 40% resistance.


Modified Advice Process

(copied from IntPl-E2-Governance)

Individual decisions are made using a modified version of the Advice Process as defined by Frederic Laloux, author of Reinventing Organizations. In the original, an individual is welcome to make any decision provided they have sought advice from those specifically affected by the decision as well as from those with relevant expertise. Such advice is always considered non-binding regardless of who gives it. The modification is that anyone in the advice process -- the person asking for advice or anyone providing advice -- is welcome to ask for a group decision-making process, and that request is binding. This might happen if the stakes are particularly high, or there is controversy regarding the decision, or for any other considered reason. When a request for group decision-making is made, the person requesting it and the originator of the proposed decision collaboratively decide together who to include in that process based on their understanding of who would be affected and who has relevant expertise.


Original Notes from April 29 meeting

Considerations:

  1. Uma: Different thresholds of participation for different decisions - big picture vs documents etc
  2. Bob: Align with what’s called for in NVC-O as much as possible; wanting to move away from consensus to individual empowerment, “safe enough to try” for low-impact reversible change; does it consume resources does it commit us to something that’s hard to undo
    1. Thresholds based on impact and reversibility, resource intensiveness
    2. Solid information/feedback flow within the group required
  3. Brent: would want clear guidance, like a checklist re: thresholds (i.e. re: how reversible, how much impact, how resource intensive mean I can go ahead or would need to use advice process)
  4. Brent: clear roles so that people are not working over each other (two people changing the same thing or duplicating work)
    1. Bob: also concerned re: roles leading to bottlenecks
    2. Brent: Metaphor: File-locking during editing
  5. Uma: would emphasize communication; and redundancy of roles
  6. Bob: want to play with the edge of ‘anyone can do anything’
  7. Brent: for task/proj mgt: using something with smallest/lowest learning curve; fan of using plain text or googledocs

Options/strategies

  1. Consensus
  2. Input required / ‘silence’ = approval or endorsement
  3. Gradients of agreement
    1. Agreement at a scale of 1-7 and stop to discuss further if anyone is at 5 or below.
  4. Advice process with the clarity of roles; certain Roles may not be able to make decisions on their own
  5. Rep Link with ImpC
  6. Convergent Facilitation process
  7. Spreadsheet for collective task/project management