Governance Readiness Working Group

@jwf. There has been no more useful document to me in the past two years than the Open Source Archetypes. In the sustainability conversation it is especially relevant as paths to maintaining the core are very different for a community supported infrastructure project vs an large application developed by global non-profit. Often we just jump into the conversation on sustainability without first establishing what type of project we are discussing. Curious if you think that there is a need for a new archetype for Digital Public Goods or if there may be various flavors of DPGs that fit different archetypes.

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I split this off into a new thread so we don’t steer the Governance Readiness Working Group off-course with our discussion!

Thanks @Dreirik! This maturity model may help us to give some structure to our proposal. I also see connections with the complementary goals of the working group.

I’m totally in for this. Thanks for the proposal @jwf. I can give a hand with that :slight_smile:

And welcome @heatharensen! I’ll follow the discussion in the new thread.


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Cool. Let me know how I can help! :+1:

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Hi everyone,

in the last days, I’ve been filling the data fields that were missing on the website. I think we can say that we have reached the first final version. As usual, everything can be improved, so feel free to send PR or comments.

With this, I think we can conclude the main line of work of this group, at least for now :slight_smile:

I would like to thank everyone that has been working on this, giving feedback, attending the meetings, participating in the poll, etc.


thank you for keeping this running and putting all together!

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@jlcanovas! This is so great!!

Do you think we could include the list of contributors on the site somewhere? I know you mention making the site and mention Sustain as part of it, but maybe we should call out the Governance working group? Just an idea! But overall I love it!!

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True! I’ve just added a link to point at the Governance Readiness WG webpage.

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Hi all, I just learned about a new webpage that I think can be very interesting to the people in this working group because it offers “an indexed collection of governance documents from Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) projects. A tool for people wishing to learn more about governance in FOSS.”

Read more about the initial idea behind in this short blogpost:

I think it would deliver interesting insights to scan this collection with powerful search and index tools for similarities and conventions between them - in relevance to their respective and chosen governance model.


Hi folks - sorry for the long delay between actions, it’s a challenging time for everyone i assume :neutral_face:

I’ve taken some steps to align the Principles of Governing OSS Commons workgroup output with the output from this group, which I think are different aspects of the same idea.

As mentioned before, the Principles group took Elinor Ostrom’s principles of Institutional Analysis and Design, from Governing the Commons, and translated those jargony principles into language that resonates with OSS communities. In our last workshop, we started developing a matrix in which each principle could be considered across the various layers of resources in an open source community – the code, the documentation, maintainers time, the brand/reputation, etc. I finally found time to go through the questions/checklist from this Governance Readiness working group, to see how these questions might align with the matrix.

See the result here, and in a table in our original source document as well.

Note that I exercised some editorial judgment both in sorting different questions into different parts of the matrix, and also in suggested revisions to some of the questions. (ofc I’m not an authority; I assume these suggested revisions should themselves be subject to review :wink:

Moving forward, I’m eager to hear feedback – does this alignment seem to make sense? Both in the aims/outputs of the two workgroups, and also on a topical basis? How can this be made more useful, and how should we iterate on it?

Thanks! greg


Hi Greg,

thanks for the update and for pushing this collaboration between WGs. I’ll have a look at the document asap and add my comments there.



Thanks @greggish, this is a great step forward!

Where does the cell references in the matrix and spreadsheet point to?

I’d be open to having a monthly meeting or so to advance this more.


Hi @greggish,

I’ve just reviewed the spreadsheet and added some changes (in red). I mostly agree with your proposal and have added the missing questions.

Regarding the alignment between the WGs, I think that the principles provide a framework for the questions we identified in this WG. Actually, we also found the need to give some dimensions to our questions (as the ones used at the report, cf. Annex 1; or the ones at CommunityRule). By relying on Ostrom’s principles, we can leverage in a more robust context.

I think that Ostrom’s principles approach governance from a broader point of view, or maybe it should be called “evolutionary” point of view; that is, it considers the current development status of the project. We were facing these issues when identifying the questions, as some of them are more suitable for specific development phases of a project (e.g., new or old projects). Also, it introduces situations we were not fully considering (e.g., governance on documentation).

I’m open to discussing this in a call if you prefer, @GeorgLink, please join!

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+100 I think we can get some synergies from combining our approaches and move forward together.

When is the next call?

There isn’t one planned at the moment. I can change that, though! I’ll send you three an email.

Anyone else want to join in?


Thanks @RichardLitt for organizing it! :partying_face:

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Thanks @RichardLitt! :blush:

If anyone else is keen on joining, here is the Doodle poll for next week. :slight_smile:

Hi everyone,

we will have a meeting to discuss the last comments of the thread. You are very welcome to join. These are the details:

Monday, November 2nd, 2020, at 11:00 ET / 17:00 CET


These are the main points motivating the meeting, but we are open to any additional one:

Making the meeting effective

  1. To do: Check the matrix produced by the Principles of Governing OSS Commons WG and enriched with the questions created at the Governance Readiness WG.
  2. To do: Have a look at the questions created in the Principles of Governing OSS Commons WG.
  3. To do: Have a look at the questions created in the Governance Readiness WG.

Joining the call

If you wanna join, just contact me or @RichardLitt


I wasn’t able to make the meeting on Monday, but curious to know how it went!