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

Zoe Braiterman zoe.braiterman at owasp.org
Tue Feb 5 12:19:11 UTC 2019

Thank you, Sherif, for your insight.  Looking forward to continuing a
wonderful 2019 with you all!


On Mon, Feb 4, 2019 at 1:33 AM Azzeddine Ramrami <
azzeddine.ramrami at owasp.org> wrote:

> 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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*Zoe Braiterman*
Chair, OWASP Women in AppSec (WIA) Committee -
owasp-women-in-appsec at lists.owasp.org
Vice Chair, OWASP NIST NSTIC IDESG (NNI) Initiative
Learning Lead, OWASP Learning Gateway (OLG) Project
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