Board/Minutes/2022-02-S2S/De-bottlenecking the board

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

Notes by participants. Might be enriched.

This session took place in parallel with "Parallel session: Mitigating Bus factors". A summary was provided to the other group.


  • Guillaume Rischard
  • Jean-Marc Liotier
  • Tobias Knerr

Not Present

  • Mikel Maron

Officers and board

Post-meeting addition of links and formatting by Dorothea Kazazi.

Collaborative notes

Current low capacity due to temporary issues, but even at nominal capacity the Board is very constrained and it will not improve in comparison to the expanding OpenStreetMap universe.

In the past, delegation to Working Groups (WGs) hasn't been perceived as a problem. However, as the number of tasks increases, tracking and communication becomes a challenge.

JM: delegation depends on how we organise the relationship with the Working Groups (WGs) and similar groups. Independence is important - WGs aren't under executive direction. Do we need a formal frame to delegate?

TK: Board should do less - there are things on our action items that we don't have to do. Doing more is not sustainable for ourselves. Try to be productive, but being more productive wouldn't increase our capacity much.

GR: Some of the low capacity might be circumstantial. Delegation has historically worked, unless there wasn't enough work forces

TK: Delegation isn't work-free: we need to check whether and how the work gets done

GR: how does the board eliminate tasks that are low importance/urgency? Difficult to tell board members not to work on something.

JM: we don't use our issue tracker. Mark issues as obsolete, etc.

GR: We did a MoSCoW prioritization this morning with Gunner. Can do the same on action items like Dorothea suggested.

JM: don't try to work on too many things at once. Don't confuse action items and whole projects.

TK: limit myself to only a few action items so that it's plausible to get it done.

GR: I see how both someone with no action items and someone with too many action items could be frustrating to other board members. If there is no board members assigned, actions wouldn't get done.T:

TK: share issue tracker with working groups?

GR: some Working Groups protective. Yet another system.

TK: Link action items to tickets in issue tracker?

GR: Include action items that have been delegated to working groups in the list, with board person(s) in charge of communicating with working groups?


  • Limit the number of work in progress on the action item list. Keep the issue tracker as a backlog.
  • Assign priority to action items
  • Include delegated working group tasks in the action items
  • Review regularly ("MoSCow" ?)

Action items