[Owasp-leaders] Lessons from being on the OWASP Board

Azzeddine Ramrami azzeddine.ramrami at owasp.org
Mon Feb 4 07:32:42 UTC 2019

Thank you for this update and good luck for this year.
Azzeddine RAMRAMI

Le lun. 4 févr. 2019 à 02:36, Sherif Mansour <sherif.mansour at owasp.org> a
écrit :

> Hey everyone,
> I've been thinking for a while of writing down some thoughts on some
> lessons from last year.
> First I'll say that I am very excited about 2019 on the board and what we
> can accomplish for the community.  We have already had an offsite, and now
> the ED & staff are working on a proposed plan based on the priorities we
> have set and we'll build a budget based on said plan.
> This is great.
> Here are some lessons I have learned from passing some motions - including
> having more than two global OWASP events & having Tel Aviv in 2019:
>    1.
>    Discuss the issue with the community: Be transparent, rip the
>    band-aid, and show courage. Articulate the problem and ask for solutions
>    (It is what it is).
>    2.
>    Discuss the issue with the staff: The staff are the ones who implement
>    a lot (almost all) of this work so without their buy-in or proposed options
>    - even if the vote passes - may not get done. It would be even better if
>    the motion makes their life easier too.
>    3.
>    Work with the board out in the open on a proposed solution - you'd be
>    surprised who turns up to lend a hand, and they ideas you get - just don't
>    be to precious about your ideas - pick what is best for the community.
>    4.
>    Give the board time to review - I usually present the board with a
>    draft solution to discuss, but only vote on it in the following month to
>    give people time to digest and ask questions.
>    5.
>    Respect and take your peers feedback to heart - No one has the exact
>    perspective as you, be considerate, understand what people's red-lines are
>    and craft a proposal that keeps that in mind.
> So - with buy-in and feedback from both the community and staff - BoD
> members would have some confidence in the motion - by being transparent and
> giving board members time to think about it, it could cause limited issues
> during the vote - and finally if you factor the board members concerns in
> the motion (or as best as you can) then you should be fine.
> Keep in mind that anything we do - we have to do it as 7 people and not
> one.
> This is sometimes the challenge I have seen in the past as a source of
> frustration.
> All 7 of us have different perspectives on what will help the foundation
> the most - and each has different interests. So not all of us will have the
> same level of enthusiasm for the same thing (naturally), but it's important
> to push each other forward, be constructive and think of the foundation's
> best interest.
> I should know, I've put one or two motions last year.
> Many times in the past a board member would place a major change (that
> they feel strongly about ) a few days before a vote -  and because the rest
> of the board haven't had a chance to review it, it feels a bit "hey! let's
> do this today" - The discussion would take too long, confusion would rise
> and the motion wouldn't get voted on. Beyond that it would cause
> frustration for the board member who worked on it. That also does not even
> include vocal community members nor if the staff have the bandwidth to
> implement a motion (or know how to do it) even if it gets voted on.
> As I look back at this email I am guessing some of you might be exhausted
> just thinking about it. I'll be honest by heart sank when Tanya decided not
> to run, because I thought she would (and still can be) amazing as a board
> member. However the rewards are worth it.
> --
> Sherif Mansour
> OWASP Global Board Member & OWASP London Chapter Leader
> Site: https://www.owasp.org/index.php/London
> Email: sherif.mansour at owasp.org
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