[Owasp-board] OWASP Staff Summit - March 5-7

Andrew van der Stock vanderaj at owasp.org
Thu Feb 18 03:26:14 UTC 2016

As I mentioned in the Board meeting, I would like for the team to come with
some ideas about how we can best recognise outstanding staff and make it

I understand the comment about the Projects - as in "staff should do this".
It's important to know what a Board's role is - we help set the agenda,
determine strategic goals, set budgets and ensure financial management is
in order, delegate tasks, are your champions and number one fans. But the
Board are generally not the do-ers. I know this can be a source of
confusion with Board members who have previously been very hands on and are
loathed to delegate. We must resist the doing, but enable our staff and
volunteers to achieve our goals.

If we are under specifying or over scheduling or both, please let us know,
so we can work out if we need better comms, more specific proposals, more
training, and where nothing is really helping, more staff to spread the
load. Probably worth a discussion on how we can best work together to
achieve our common goals and get stuff done.

In some ways, I know working with folks like me can be frustrating as I am
not a micromanager, as I tend not to focus initially on the details until I
can see something concrete. I do have a very bad habit of getting fixated
on the details once I have something I can see, but I try to resist as it's
soul destroying to explain every little thing. I want to enable staff to do
things in ways I can't imagine, and expect folks that I delegate work to
have an idea of how to approach the task, execute it, and get it done in a
reasonable time. If this is not the best way, please let me know. This may
be the source of "staff handle this"... I'm not sure. I'm happy to change
if you need it.

The other thing is that after the chaos of previous boards, where many
board members would have a lot of 1 on 1 communication and individual
requests on staff, this was unmanageable. I think both last year's and this
year's Board have really focused on working through Paul to manage and
monitor the tasks we wanted done, and then obviously get things done. I am
very happy to consider alternative ways the Board can make requests to
Foundation staff, but I still want Paul involved so there are no surprises
and he can monitor and manage work loads. I'm thinking something like a
task pipeline, like Trello, or something in the CRM, whatever is best for
our staff to provide visibility and to ensure things don't fall through the


On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:50 AM, Paul Ritchie <paul.ritchie at owasp.org>

> Hello Board:
> Just a quick follow up on information about OWASP Staff Summit.
> We have scheduled 1/2 day on Saturday, March 5 and all day on Sun/Monday
> March 6-7 for a staff summit and F2F meeting, being held at a suburban
> Hyatt in New Jersey.
> Everyone will be there, except for Laura and Matt T, who both have family
> obligations.  They will be dialing in as time permits over the 2.5 days
> Our hotel costs are being reduced by using about 100,000 Hyatt "points" we
> built up from AppSec Conferences.
> Our meeting will have a Team Building and Communication focus, with as
> much attention to 'How' we communicate and operate as a team vs. 'what' we
> are each actually doing.
> All staff members have made contributions to the agenda and each have
> contributed to key topics they would like to see addressed, and resolved.
> I recognize there are some questions about current staff levels and do we
> need 'different skill sets', or more resource in the Projects or Events or
> Marketing/PR area.  Our challenge is the lack of consensus at the Board
> level....and at Project level on ideas being put forward as "Staff should
> do this".
> We are happy to address any Board topics or initiatives as long as there
> is consensus that they are a 2016 priority and must be addressed.
> Best Regards, Paul Ritchie
> OWASP Executive Director
> paul.ritchie at owasp.org
> _______________________________________________
> Owasp-board mailing list
> Owasp-board at lists.owasp.org
> https://lists.owasp.org/mailman/listinfo/owasp-board
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