#Order of the Bee By-Laws
These by-laws were ratified by a unanimous decision of the founding Board on September 15, 2014.
The scope of this document is to establish how our organization operates. The spirit of the document is to capture policies only when they need to be written down, reviewed, and agreed to by the membership.
This document does not deal with the mission, vision, or strategy of the organization.
How We Are Organized
We are organized as a [collection of individuals][membership] serving on [committees][committees] all working toward a common goal coordinated by an elected [board][board].
Who Can Join [membership]
Anyone who wants to contribute to the community can join our organization. There is no minimum experience level required to join, so your contribution can be either technical or not. To become a voting member you will need to spend time making significant contributions to a committee (see [voting members][votingEligibility]).
For specific details about how to add yourself to the member roster, see the web site.
Open and Friendly to All
Our organization is open to all who share our passion for our mission. It does not discriminate on any basis whatsoever and does not tolerate those who do. Any behavior that is harassing or discriminatory is cause for removal from the organization.
The Board [board]
The Board consists of exactly five individuals. The Board coordinates the activities of the organization. It attempts to align the activities of the organization with the mission of the organization. The Board may also be called upon to break stalemates when [committees][committees] fail to reach consensus.
The Board serves the community. Therefore, it is not expected to make major decisions without consulting the membership. There are many smaller, day-to-day decisions that the Board may need to make which the membership gladly delegates to the Board.
The Board also has the credentials for the GitHub repository and social accounts.
An interim founding Board has been created by the founding members. The founding Board will serve for the remainder of the calendar year, 2014.
The founding Board members are:
- Martin Cosgrave
- Ole Hejlskov
- Oksana Kurysheva
- Boriss Mejias
- Jeff Potts
More information on these individuals can be found on the web site.
Board Elections [boardElections]
Board elections take place every year. To be considered, a candidate must be a [voting member][votingEligibility] and must first be nominated by a voting member no later than the end of the nomination period. Candidates cannot nominate themselves.
Other than being a voting member, there are no minimum qualifications for Board members, but it is generally assumed that successful candidates will have demonstrated significant public commitment to the Alfresco community and this organization.
The election consists of the following phases:
- Nomination phase
- Campaigning phase
- Voting phase
Here is the Board election process:
- At least 90 days before the election period begins, the Board will announce the election timeline which includes the dates for each of the three phases.
- At least 30 days before the campaining phase, a nomination period begins. During this period voting members may nominate a candidate by sending an email to the public list. The nominee may accept or decline, but they must accept via the public list. If the nominee fails to publicly accept the nomination before the end of the nomination period, they cannot be considered as a candidate in the current election cycle. At the end of the nomination period, no more nominations are accepted.
- The campaigning phase starts immediately after the nomination phase and lasts no more than two weeks. During the campaigning period candidates may choose to introduce themselves to the community and explain why they would make a good board member. This should be limited to a single email to the public list. Spamming the community is likely a poor strategy. After the end of the campaigning phase candidates must stop using the public list to promote their candidacy.
- The final phase, voting, begins immediately after the campaigning phase and lasts two weeks. During this phase votes are submitted by voting members. Voting members are free to change their vote until the voting phase ends. At the end of the voting phase the votes are tabulated and the new Board is announced. The new Board is expected to be "seated" and functioning within 7 days of the official results announcement.
Removing a Board Member Involuntarily
A Board member can be forcibly removed from the Board by a two-thirds majority vote from all known voting members.
Interim Board Elections
Should a Board member resign or otherwise become unable to perform their duties, the remaining Board members will set dates for an interim election which follows the same process as a normal [Board election][boardElections] but is limited to replacing the outgoing Board member.
Board Member Compensation
Board members are not compensated by the organization.
The organization is divided into committees that further our mission and, hopefully, make our work more productive.
Each committee must select a committee chair. The committee chair keeps things on track, delegates tasks, and reports progress to the community. How the chair is selected is up to the committee. If more than one person feels strongly that they should be chair, the committee shall put the matter to a [vote][voting].
Committees are expected to act mostly autonomously to accomplish their goals. Committee chairs can use their judgement as to what requires the entire community to make a decision on and what the committee can move forward with on their own.
The whole point of dividing into committees is to prevent overly-broad discussion, single-threading, paralysis, or overwhelming a small number of individuals.
Anyone can join a Committee. To join a Committee simply introduce yourself to one of its members, the Committee chair, or a Board member and one of those people will help the new Committee member get plugged in.
Only [voting members][votingEligibility] of the organization can cast votes when the Committee deems a formal vote necessary.
Committees are encouraged to get consensus amongst committee members through discussion. Communication can take place using the public list or, if the committee wants to, they can use a committee-specific list.
Don't over-use voting. It's tedious and drags things out. Use it for major decisions or decisions where there is a lot of discussion and consensus appears to be murky or hard to achieve.
Example #1: The web site committee is thinking of changing the theme from yellow to orange. After an email to the group, a few people are strongly in favor and most don't reply at all within a reasonable amount of time. No one appears to be strongly opposed. No vote is required. The committee should push forward.
Example #2: The web site committee is thinking of eliminating an entire section of the web site. A few people are strongly in favor. A few seem opposed. The person proposing the idea sends an email with the subject of "[VOTE] Let's remove section XX from the web site" and describes their position in the body. Committee members have a limited time to reply all with their vote (see "[Voting Process][votingProcess]", below). At the end of the voting period, the person initiating the vote sends a second email with "[VOTE CLOSED] Let's remove section XX from the web site" and in the body gives the vote count and whether or not it passed.
Voting Process [votingProcess]
When a decision is put to a vote, the vote is open for a 72-hour voting period during which the committee members respond with +1, -1, or 0 (abstain). After 72-hours the person initiating the vote closes the vote and announces the voting results.
All votes must take place via either the public Order Of the Bee list or the public Committee-specific list. Votes can never be held in-person, via chat, or other channels.
A vote passes if it obtains a simple majority of the votes cast.
Voting Eligibility [votingEligibility]
With regard to voting there are two types of members: Non-Voting Members and Voting Members. Both are members of the organization. The only difference, as the name suggests, is whether or not the individual can cast a vote.
All members start as non-voting members. Non-members are encouraged to show their support of and contribute to the organization by working on one or more committees.
Voting Members [votingMembers]
You must be a "voting member" to cast a binding vote in any general vote, committee vote, or Board election. The following are qualifications that must be met for voting members:
- A voting member must be an individual, not a collection of individuals.
- A voting member must have a verifiable identity. We do not allow anonymous members or members who use pseudonyms.
- A voting member must not be an employee of Alfresco Software, Inc. or any of its divisions or subsidiaries. Employees of formal business partners, however, are eligible if the other qualifications are met.
Becoming a Voting Member
A voting member can propose that a non-voting member be changed to a voting member once they've proven themselves by working on a committee. The voting member does this by sending an email to a list that is private to existing voting members. The existing voting members discuss whether or not that person has made enough contributions to the Order (not only to the Alfresco community, but to the Order, specifically) to be made into voting members, and they hold a vote on the private list. If this vote passes, they are now voting members.
It is important that the list of voting members be kept reasonably up-to-date. From time-to-time, the Board or one of its designated Committees may determine that someone who was previously a voting member is no longer active in the organization and should therefore be considered a non-voting member. This can only take place after a reasonable attempt is made to contact the individual to discern their status, and, having failed to receive a response (or hearing directly from the individual that they no longer wish to be considered a voting member) the member's status will then be changed.
Any time a member's voting eligibility changes it must be announced to the group via the public list.
When someone becomes a voting member they must be listed on the web site as such. If someone changes from a voting member to a non-voting member their status will be changed to show that they are a non-voting member. It is up to that specific member whether or not to continue to be listed on the web site as a member.
This is not a commercial organization. We do not sell goods or services. The organization does not seek to prevent individual members of the organization or employers of those individuals from pursuing their own commercial interests.
Contributions & Sponsorships
The Order does not accept monetary contributions at this time, but we welcome sponsorships and donations of goods and services. See the web site for more details.
Changes to the By-Laws
Changes to the by-laws require a two-thirds majority vote from all known voting members.