Forum:Upcoming board meeting August 2021
Our next board meeting will take place at 16:00 (4pm) UTC on Saturday August 14, 2021. We invite all members of the community to join us for the first part of the meeting. The extremely short notice is due too it being the only time that most of the board members are available in the next month.
A large topic for the upcoming meeting is board elections, specifically when there are the number of candidates is less than or equal to the positions to fill. Forum:Changes to the Weird Gloop elections was opened for the community to weigh in, but didn't receive much attention.
- Action log
- Tech update
- Board elections
- Community concerns
- Risk register
- Business plan
- Previous action items
As always if you have anything you'd like us to discuss please feel free to comment below or contact one of the board members: Isobel, Elessar2, Haidro, Legaia2Pla, Riblet15, BigDiesel2m, Toktom, Cook Me Plox or Gaz Lloyd. The previous meetings notes (May 2021) are available at Forum:Board Meeting - 2021-05-01.
thank you, Your Board.
Announcement -16:09, 6 August 2021 (UTC)
- Just adding a link to our current  page. 09:13, 7 August 2021 (UTC)
Comment - I have been attending some of my work's board meetings lately which has been an interesting opportunity to see how an established board operates. I have some ideas from this that I’m proposing that we implement. I thought it would be helpful to post these in advance so that board members can read through before the meeting & any non-members can add their thoughts here if they like. Also conscious that two of these would add duties to Haidro’s role as bookkeeper, but he can’t attend to give his opinion during the meeting discussion.
1) That we establish an action log to track the actions that are decided in meetings. The action log would contain details of what each action is, its status, when it was decided, who is responsible for the action, and a date that it is aimed to be completed by. I have made a mock-up of what this could be like here. The chairperson would be responsible for ensuring that actions are clearly defined during meetings, and that they are assigned a date for completion and that someone is assigned responsibility to complete the action. As is done currently, the minute taker would be responsible for accurately recording agreed actions in meeting notes. I propose that maintenance of the action log would be added as part of the bookkeeper role: the bookkeeper would be responsible for updating the log following each meeting and for chasing up with action owners around the due date. We already tend to set “outstanding actions” as a section in meetings, but I’d suggest that we formally make this a standard agenda item where we use the log to check on any actions that are open. The person assigned to each action would give an update on progress and we would then discuss if the action can be marked as complete or if any further work was needed.
I think that this would be helpful for ensuring that we stay on track with agreed actions and for improving transparency/visibility of board work with the community. I propose that we should have a public action log available on the wiki. We could also have a private log for board members only; in the event that board members agree that actions or some details of actions should not be publicly recorded (i.e. there is unanimous agreement or a majority vote to keep something private). We could use a google doc for a private log and restrict access to current board members - the private actions should be marked up in another colour or something so it’s clear what are agreed redactions compared to the public log.
I’d suggest that we discuss this proposal at the outset of the agenda section. If there is agreement to implement this then I think we will need to refine our current actions to clarify exactly what needs to be done and add owners & due dates for ones that are ongoing.
2) That we implement a risk register to have some basic plans in place for how to prevent/mitigate situations that could threaten the operations of Weird Gloop/the wikis. You can make these quite complex with scores of how likely & how impactful a risk is but I think we probably only need to record what the situation would be/why it would be bad and what we would do to handle it e.g:
|Jagex could decide not to renew funding for Weird Gloop or there could be a delay in us receiving payment from them. As we are dependent on Jagex for our source of income, this could result in us being unable to meet the costs required to host the wikis and disruption of our service.||We are going to start a Weird Gloop OnlyFans as an alternative source of income. We have estimates that we could earn £1 million a month from this as demand for Weird Gloop OnlyFans is very high. This is more than enough to cover the costs of hosting the wikis.|
I think that having this in place would greatly help the board’s ability to be able to deal effectively with threats to the future of the company. By planning in advance how to remove risks or how to handle difficult situations that we cannot entirely prevent we can ensure that we are not dealing with issues reactively, and that we act with the best interests’ of the wiki community.
As with the action log, I’d propose that we have a public register and a private one. I can see there being a greater need for redaction of some items from public display with this document. We have community concerns as a regular agenda item, again I’d suggest making this a standard agenda section for each meeting. We could discuss new community concerns first; giving consideration to whether they warrant recording in the risk register along with any mitigation agreed from the discussion. It might be that we need to take an action to put a mitigation in place or do further investigation and then update the risk register further when the action is completed.
I’d suggest we discuss this at the beginning of the community concerns section this meeting; if we agree to implement a risk register then we can go through the community concerns bearing in mind that we may need to add them to the register.
3) That we implement some kind of business planning. I don’t know a lot about business planning but it doesn’t feel like we’re currently working in a very strategic way and effectively prioritising things. I feel like we could do something like:
- Get some kind of input (meta forum thread?) of improvements and new features that the wiki community would like
- Do some user research (like the yearly surveys we used to do) to get feedback on what improvements and new features wiki users would most like to see
- Look at what are the most requested things are and discuss how we might achieve them
- Set priorities for the company that include consideration of the community feedback and make a plan of the steps that we’d take to achieve them
- Set out some kind of financial plan of our income vs planned expenses
For example our last survey showed that people really wanted better drop rate information on RS3, so we could discuss and agree that to achieve this we’d need to develop our relationship with jmods and convince them to give us information on drops. We might decide that the best hope for this is to attend RuneFest and get to know some jmods better, and therefore allocate some budget to RuneFest attendance. Another thing that was requested was “better search function”, so we could look at whether there was any technical work that could be done to make searching better, perhaps allocating some resourcing to a project on implementing that.
If we agree that some kind of more formal planning system is needed we could try and establish a plan now; while I guess most businesses would do this at the start of a financial year but I don’t think that we really need to. It is probably better to create a plan once board members have been in the role a while and understand the responsibilities of the board. If we wanted to go ahead with a more formal planning system we’d need to set out when/how frequently plans should be made. We’d need to agree the process and how to balance transparency and accountability to the community with confidentiality of details of our contract i.e. financial details. Maybe we could discuss this in the “financial” part of the meeting agenda.
4) Alternatively, if there is not agreement to implement a more formal planning process I would like to discuss if there is any budget left this year and ideas for what that could be spent on (e.g. last year we did not have RuneFest related expenses so we did t-shirt gifting).
If we are continuing with the status quo I’d like to propose that we put funding towards the OSWF programmes.
We have had difficulty getting our agreed allocation of bonds from Jagex regularly; we recently received 100 bonds but this was after a long delay. This puts pressure on OSWF organisers to pay out rewards using their own funds for prolonged periods. It is not viable to rely on organisers being able to do this indefinitely with uncertainty about when we can expect reimbursement from Jagex. Running OSWF like this could lead to the wikis being unable to give prizes out to people that have earnt them or to us having to stop running OSWF to prevent this situation from happening (we have currently stopped OSWF on RS3 because of this, unsure what the situation with funding is like on OSRS).
I feel that the OSWF programmes are beneficial to the wikis as they incentivise new people to join editing and/or allow us to give priority to particular work that we want to get done. After the last board meeting I did some analysis on participants of OSWF on RS3 & OSRS over the preceding year, you can see that both programmes resulted in us gaining some editors that had little editing experience before participating and who made additional edits after they had participated.
Our budget is supposed to be ~30 bonds/month (shared between all wikis). Buying bonds works out to £39.99 per 10 bonds so it would cost £119.97 a month to match this. IsobelJ (talk) 22:57, 7 August 2021 (UTC)
Comment - I had a couple of concerns I gave to Isobel while chatting, figured it's be useful to add them here as well:
- MW 1.31 has (or is imminently about to) reached EoL and we're solely dependent on Kitty for that upgrade. He is extremely capable, and I'm continually amazed he doesn't do this professionally, but has been busy lately, and I'm not a fan of the bus factor of 1. It would be good to get updates on that upgrade, any support needed, and identify any risks to mitigate.
- Given the recent implosion with Freenode, I'd be interested to see if there's a scenario (in business terms) where something similar could happen to us in terms of the company takeover, e.g. Gaz or Cook selling the company or appointing another director without oversight. I know the spin off (libera chat?) took steps to mitigate that in the future, might be worth assessing if those are worth pursuing.
Comment I had given this suggestion in the Discord, but wanted to put here for visibility. On the topic of the OSWF issues, my proposal was to make the tasks bigger to compensate for the delayed or even lack of bond payments being made to the wiki team. I do understand the concept is small projects to get people editing with the incentive of a bond, but it is entirely possible the tasks recently have been too small (and I have taken note of that personally). How much bigger would need to be discussed, and payment scaling would need to be adjusted. In reality I did some OSWF to help the wiki, the reward was a side bonus, but that may just be how I felt about it. I don't really think a lot of people would be too upset if the requirements for a completed task were raised. On top of this, it is also possible to have less tasks overall, as I do believe we had what - 8 to 10 tasks going at once? There should be a good balance of less tasks overall, and slightly beefier requirements that is a good meeting ground to alleviate the bond issue. Kosmiklove (talk) 19:51, 10 August 2021 (UTC)
- I don't want to put off people making suggestions but I think that fundamentally the problem is that we're relying on members of the community to fund the project in the absence of Jagex reliably paying us. Even with the recent payment there's 25 bonds owing to either volunteers or unclaimed prizes. Assuming we do get a payment in 3 months time from Jagex, to keep the programmes going the organisers will need to pay for all the additional prizes until then from their own cash. It's completely unreasonable to run the project in this way - 90 bonds is 2.5b RS3 GP or 470m OSRS GP. That is a significant amount of money for people to pay out and do without over a prolonged period of time. On RS3 we simply do not have people who are willing and able to do this any more - I am not sure what the situation is with OSRS. This proposal isn't to say that Weird Gloop should permanently fund OSWF - it should probably be enough to make a one off payment so that we're ahead with funds rather than waiting for repayment from Jagex (we can still chase for them to fund the programme as well). Alternatively we can just not run OSWF until we catch up with the next payment. My own stance on this will depend on the financial decision on this will depend on the update financials that we are presented for the company & other decisions that are made during the meeting. IsobelJ (talk) 14:14, 11 August 2021 (UTC)
Closed - Meeting notes have been posted at Forum:Board Meeting - 2021-08-14 12:27, 22 August 2021 (UTC)