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Re: " W3C Culture" CG? RE: Problems I'd like to see addressed in Process 2016

From: Kai Scheppe <k.scheppe@t-online.de>
Date: Mon, 27 Apr 2015 11:00:04 +0200
Message-ID: <553DFA94.6080400@t-online.de>
To: Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>, chaals@yandex-team.ru, Arthur Barstow <art.barstow@gmail.com>, "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
CC: Coralie Mercier <coralie@w3.org>
Hi all,
(chiming in from the very rear ranks :-) )

Revitalizing W3C - I think it is about culture and people, not documents 
or guides.
Everybody's gut reaction is to create a process or use a tool of some 
sort, in the hope that this will change human nature.
It will not.
First you need the culture, then the process or tool to support it.

So how is human nature expressed in W3C work?
I think people do not have the patience and the interest to stick with 
standardization work throughout the entire process.
Therefore they are happy to leave that work to others (W3C) if it does 
not directly affect them.

What is the culture at W3C?
W3C and those few really active members, most of whom are on this list, 
want to "get it right" the first time.
This, however, created a drawn out process that is turning the public away.

I think what is missing at W3C is a slightly different outlook and hands 
on people work.
More agility, less waterfall.

Suggestions for a solution:
- deliver quicker results by focusing on the most important things first 
and do that well
- embrace incompleteness in specs and allow for practical usage to show 
where the journey needs to go (Kaizen is the model here)
- use short intervals to publish new iterations, which should consist 
mostly of addendums and few corrections
- chairs need to lead much more strongly and, for example, drop issues 
if work is not being done or debated endlessly, because obviously it is 
not important enough to obtain a result
- the rules must be few, simple and clear, but truly enforced
- create a much stronger focus for groups, by providing the role of 
moderator who has no technical stake in a specification, but solely 
works with the participants to keep them focused

In summary I think the W3C process could benefit from looking more at 
agile software development processes.
Those methods build on human's chaotic nature and refine a product over 
The current waterfall-like culture of creating specs is straining W3C 
and draining people - and the resulting specs are not final either.

-- Kai

On 26.04.2015 17:29, Jeff Jaffe wrote:
> On 4/26/2015 12:49 AM, chaals@yandex-team.ru wrote:
>> + coralie@
>> 24.04.2015, 21:24, "Arthur Barstow" <art.barstow@gmail.com>:
>>> On 4/24/15 2:01 PM, Michael Champion (MS OPEN TECH) wrote:
>>>>   http://w3.org/Guide .  I don’t think what I have in mind is a CG to
>>>>   advise the staff on how to update the Guide.  I was thinking more 
>>>> like
>>>>   a CG to crowdsource a "Guide for a Revitalized W3C.   It might:
>>>>   -  Critically review the  written (in the Guide and Process 
>>>> Document)
>>>>   and unwritten W3C policies and cultural norms to identify those that
>>>>   really work in practice and those that haven’t aged well or don’t
>>>>   align with modern industry and OSS practice.
>>>>   - Give open minded consideration to common critiques of W3C culture,
>>>>   e.g. our regrettable tendency to “bikeshed all things”
>>>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkinson%27s_law_of_triviality
>>>> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkinson%27s_law_of_triviality>
>>> Given W3Process CG still uses a lot of old skool practices the
>>> consortium should presumably discourage (f.ex. still using Hg rather
>>> than Github, schedule-driven releases, synchronous decision making,
>>> weekly calls, etc.), it seems like a more `progressive` group should be
>>> used or a new one created.
>> The Process CG doesn't use synchronous decision-making or 
>> schedule-driven releases in general - it is only the AB Process task 
>> force, who are camping within the structure, that works that way.
>> If the contents of the Guide, or some putative replacement, are 
>> placed in github - or some similar easy editing mechanism is exposed 
>> - I see no reason why we couldn't just work on it here, and I'll 
>> track it to make that possible.
> The team has a great interest in this project and we would certainly 
> be willing to participate with any venue (this ProcessCG, O&TCG or a 
> different one) that wanted to pick up the task of keep the guide 
> vibrant and relevant.
>> Coralie is carbon copied (Old School terminology and spelling 
>> warning) here because she is the listed maintainer for the Guide, and 
>> it would be worth doing something to make sure we don't just fall out 
>> of synch or throw away the good stuff in there with the rest.
>>> FWIW, I think the above is in scope for the OpenAndTransparent CG ;-).
>>> However, it also seems like all that is needed to bootstrap the 
>>> above is
>>> to create a new project under github.com/w3c/ (such as
>>> {How-To,Guide,GuidelinesAndBPs, ...}) and then announce the project and
>>> solicit PRs. It's not clear any formal `group` is actually needed.
>> Right. Although it is pretty useful to be able to explain where to 
>> send comments, and know where to expect them to be sent if you might 
>> want to respond…
>> cheers
>> -- 
>> Charles McCathie Nevile - web standards - CTO Office, Yandex
>> chaals@yandex-team.ru - - - Find more at http://yandex.com

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Received on Monday, 27 April 2015 09:00:32 UTC

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