The Foundation Activity Tracker
If you haven’t noticed on gentoo-nfp, I’ve created an activity tracking page (with the help of David Abbot) to track periodic compliance activities for the Foundation.
Some have asked why do this, and why not simply use the Gentoo Calendar/etc to accomplish this?
My thinking is that the current tools do not go far enough. When the whole fiasco on the list about tax documents broke out a few months ago I started reading up and took more of an interest in these matters. What I’ve found is that truly staying on top of these kinds of activities involves a decent learning curve and quite a bit of organization. Even big corporations like Microsoft have let domains expire/etc. There are some activities that are just too important to allow to get lost in the shuffle.
My goal is for the activity tracker to turn into a one-stop-shop for any kind of recurring activity that the Foundation has to perform either due to strict regulatory compliance (like filing our taxes), or because it is just REALLY important (like renewing our domain name – though the scope of responsibility on that one is unclear to me).
The site is not going to be about work-in-progress or any kind of one-time events. I think that Bugzilla already is working fine for this. In fact, ideally I’d anticipate that any recurring activity like a tax filing would be associated with a series of bugs for each time it was performed.
Suggestions from the community are of course welcome. As anybody can see it is clearly a work in progress. However, I envision a day not long in the future where anybody can see an index of things that need to be done, when they need to be done next, and links to detailed pages on how to do them, and the results of having done them in the past. A volunteer wanting to take on some filing would be able to quickly learn everything they need to do it efficiently, freeing up Officers to supervise more. Or, when Officers do perform the work it will be done more consistently with fewer omissions, and links to tools, templates, and related materials will speed up the work.
And for the record, I think the volunteers managing the Foundation in the past few years have been doing a good job. This is hard work, and in any distributed organization staying on top of this is harder. In many cases they’ve inherited a bit of a mess and are doing their best to clean it up. The goal here is to make our problems and their solutions more transparent to all.
Once we’re done any concerned member of the community should be able to go down the list and audit us (well, to the extent we’re able to divulge things). If somebody notices a date coming up and no bug filed, they can file a bug or ping a trustee to make sure we’re doing our job. Sure, it might result in occasional embarrassment, but better that than serious non-compliance.