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Mautic Community Governance Model

Originally published at: https://www.mautic.org/blog/press/mautic-community-governance-model/

The Mautic community continues to grow, and with growth comes a need to develop a governance model to enable and empower volunteers.  We want to encourage the community to take up responsibilities and have a say in the direction of the Mautic Open Source project, while working collaboratively with Acquia. In acquiring Mautic Inc., Acquia…

Thanks a lot for this comprehensive proposal. Having digested it for a while, here are my thoughts:
1. Motivations and fears

(a) Acquia (my guesses, anyway):

  • We wish for the best possible development of the Mautic product
  • We want to grow open source contribution
  • We want to make sure that the Mautic brand is not damaged
  • We want to avoid any developments that are not in our own best interest
  • We do not want to give up control unless we can be sure that the Community can really deliver the desired quality sustainably.
  • We want to make our own products and services successful
  • We want to protect our investment

(b) Community

  • We wish for the best possible development of the Mautic product
  • We want to grow open source contribution
  • We want to guarantee that building a business around Mautic is never going to be restrained because of conflict with Acquia’s interests
  • We want a clear and explicit distinction between the OS product and Mautic Inc / Acquia offerings
  • We want to work closely with Acquia, welcome their support, and acknowledge that both party belong to each other
  • We want self-governance, not necessarily short-term, but with a timeline. Things like “leadership” and “decision making” need to be determined by the community itself. This may absolutely mean that certain roles will be given to Acquia personell (e.g. DBH) for a long time, but eventually that has to be a free decision by the community.
  • In order to make those decisions in a coordinated way (and for various other reasons), we want an NGO of sorts as the independent embodiment of the community

2. Questions

  • What exactly does “stewart” mean? Some sort of “trustee”?
  • How can the community deal with Law & Finance if there is no NGO?
  • What is the specific scope (and authority, if any) of the Community Council? (Examples?)
  • How does all “community-elected” work?
  • “review at six months” -> by whom?
  • What is good decision making? Does that not depend on the matter at hand? (Of course rules are needed, e.g. https://discuss.neos.io/t/guideline-how-to-get-binding-team-decisions/1631) Note: Consensus != Majority in vote. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consensus_decision-making
  • in general: What is OUTSIDE of the authority of Council and Steering Groups, i.e. outside of community’s hands? (Examples?)

3. Reflections

  • I am very happy with the vast majority of the suggestions in the proposal
  • Given Project Lead’s power (“Select team leads”, “retain casting vote”, “elect members into any other group”), that person being Acquia personell rather than community-elected sound most problematic to me. From the tech call, it also did not sound like DB intended that setup in the long run.
  • In general, it is obvious that a lot of thought already went into the structure. Maybe a bit too detailed and too strict - specifically, there is zero room for grassroots initiatives.
  • Personally, I could live with the fact that the power over community assets is only delegated to the community, as long as we have a guarantee that in case of withdrawal of that delegation, the community has the rights and means to take the contents (blog posts, forum contents, …) and use it in a “forked” manner.
  • The other way round: One idea would for Acquia to not only give a timeline for a transition, but to tie that to certain requirements (like structures or achievements)
  • I would still like to understand the analogies and differences to the Drupal setup as a reference point.

4. Roundup

The setup described in the “Mautic Community Governance Model” post is excellent (and also generous) for the near future. Beyond that, the lack of self-governance is obviously the one big gap. In the effort to overcome it, we need to keep both sides’ underlying motivations and fears in mind.

IMHO, a timeline and outlines for a real hand-over plus a “criteria of readiness” list might be the best way to make both sides happy, and thus pave the road towards the bright future which we all strive to ensure for Mautic.

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P.S. I had some private conversations in the meantime, and it is 100% the case that good previously active people left the community because they felt like in a dictatorship, or are currently on the verge of leaving for just that reason.
Which is telling me that while I still think that DBH’s leadership is still very valuable and even critical, we need to reverse the setup: The community should appoints its leader, not vice versa.
Not a new thought, fully in sync with all previous considerations - but a slightly different angle, so I thought I’d share it here :slight_smile:

BTW Not much activity in this thread… However, please don’t mistake the absence of public discussion for lack of interest.

This governance model is a good starting point, we have to start to see what happens.

I didn’t find anything about success, how to measure for instance:

  1. Leaders and contributors success
  2. all framework success

For example, Marketing can be measure per Mautic downloads across the world? Per number of stars on Mautic GITHUB?

Objective should be clear to measure each vertical success.

DB is the best person to start that, at least for the next 2 years.

Thank you

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This is one of the best books I’ve already read about that

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