Working Group Guidelines
GA: General Assembly, larger meetings attended by the entire OWSNC community where decisions are made
WG: Working Group, smaller groups where ideas are formulated and proposals are drafted for the GA to consider
Purpose of Working Groups:
We embrace and support each other in the fact that any group will have a wide variety of opinions and tasks at hand. WGs are the primary tool of a consensus based group to effectively process and make decisions. The primary purpose of a working group is to draft proposals for the greater community to approve.
We use working groups to:
- Increase the effectiveness of overall group decision making by delegating brainstorming and proposal formation to smaller, more efficient discussion groups
- Focus peoples skill sets and interests on topics they will be most effective
- Share responsibility, distribute authority and promote wider social trust models
Guidelines for the Working Group Model
- Anyone may form a working group for any purpose. Before forming a working group it is a good idea to review the existing working groups and see if it makes more sense to join one.
- Creating a working group is as simple as a declaration: “I am (or we are) starting a working group for ____”. This is best done as an announcement at a GA or on the OWSNC-Community mailing list. Often during GAs and WG meetings, a discussion topic will come up that seems suitable as a topic for a working group.
- Anyone is allowed to join or leave a WG at anytime. Members should attempt to stay in communication with others and attend meetings set by the WG.
- WG decision making should be made using the consensus process, just like the GA. The GA role assignment can be modified to match the size and collective voice of the WG. For example, often times one person can handle multiple roles in a small group.
- Each WG should have a spokesperson or spokespeople. The spokesperson/people may change/rotate or stay static. The spokesperson is responsible for:
- Delivering a report to the GA every week including introducing proposals for review and consensus by the GA
- Fielding requests/questions by members about the WG from non-members. The spokesperson (and backup) should have their contact info available to all other members of the community.
- At the outset of (and for the course of) a WG, members should decide on the following items that are generally autonomous to a WG:
- Mission statement and goals for WG
- Spokesperson or people
- How and when to conduct meetings
- WG should create an Internet presence on the OWSNC website, post meeting notes and next meeting dates/locations. (The Tech team can help with this. See the forum.)