Foundation/AGM21/Election to Board/Answers and manifestos/Q4 Do you have any previous relevant experience
Guillaume Rischard - Q4 Do you have any previous relevant experience?
I’m particularly proud of my successful negotiation and discussions on two things in the OSM context: the OSM US local chapter where it was important to build mutual trust, and the attribution guidelines where we overcame disagreement and pressure, and ended up declaring that the hidden attribution style seen on some sites was not acceptable. I enjoy listening to all sides in a negotiation that’s in an impasse, and coming up with a solution.
As the OSMF is scaling up its efforts to hire people, managing projects or teams is becoming more important. I helped contract and manage Quincy and then Martin for their work on iD, and am meeting with our HR consultant on Monday to finalise the contract for the Site Reliability Engineer we’re hopefully hiring very soon. Finally, I’m our accountant’s contact to the OSMF.
Michal Migurski - Q4 Do you have any previous relevant experience?
I have held a series of engineering and product management jobs in organizations dedicated to open data or mapping in some form. In my current role at Facebook as engineering manager, we are expected to let engineers decide direction and implementation while helping clear obstacles from their path. Our approach is compatible with OSM’s plan to allow engineering staff and volunteers to decide what’s important and to provide adequate support for them to reach their goals.
In my personal time, I also work with a group of political scientists and legal experts on PlanScore.org, a political geography project to reduce the harm of partisan redistricting in U.S. politics. The key challenge of our work has been to make novel social science work accessible to journalists and politicians. Each of us on the team comes to the work with a distinct set of skills and points of view, and we’ve succeeded in aligning goals and schedules to meet everyone’s publishing and collaboration needs.
Amanda McCann - Q4 Do you have any previous relevant experience?
I've been on the board for 2 years now, I have experience doing it. I do not have experience with big organisation buzzwords like “managing multiple stakeholders”. I never find this type of language very informative or useful. Anyone can say anything.
Mikel Maron - Q4 Do you have any previous relevant experience?
I've served on the OSMF Board for a long time, alongside very skilled people from whom I've learn a ton and continue to learn. It's a unique role and the question states what's needed for a successful Board in a great way. I think the present Board operates very well in how it listens to and debates with each other, gets a full picture of community sentiment and ideas through consultations and surveys, and knows how to put in the work to get to consensus.
In challenging scenarios, I try to remain calm (and I admittedly find that hard at times), look to multiple channels of communication to help build trust, and constantly try to incorporate points of view toward a productive way forward. Most recently, I experienced this as the Board took up the topic of safety at our in person events. At the start, there were pretty different opinions on the exact form the policy should take. We had a lot of discussion -- in meetings, and in chat, and it was sometimes tense. Broadening out the discussion on this topic to consult with working groups, members and the community helped immensely to find a consensus view. We particularly kept focus by drafting iterations of the text, and working through specific wording, resulting in an adopted policy last month.
I have long experience managing projects and teams over my career. In my current role at Mapbox, I manage two teams of 8 people all together. My approach to management is to put trust in the skills and judgement of my team, and work in service to them to provide the support and mentorship they need, and help unblock and provide cover to get results.
In my project work, particularly in Map Kibera, I've had to manage people with many different agendas. Their school mapping project is a great example, where input and approval was needed by parents, teachers, administrators, and government officials on what kind of data to collect, and how best to use it. One of the greatest challenge is knowing who to trust, and where to invest time and effort into close partnership, especially in a culture which is not my own. There was really no shortcut to putting in the time -- developing relationships over time, to understand who is serious and aligned on the greater mission.
Roland Olbricht - Q4 Do you have any previous relevant experience?
Please describe any experience you have that might help you be a board member. Here are some examples to help you ...
Bluntly, I do not buy this list of examples. The core mission of the board is to represent the community, i.e. for every mapper here must be one or multiple board members that they trust to speak to and ask to bring forward their interests within the OSM project.
Bryan Housel - Q4 Do you have any previous relevant experience?
Yes, I served on the OSM-US Board during the 2018-2019 term.
Please describe any experience you have that might help you be a board member. Here are some examples to help you:
Q: Being a board member for OSMF often involves complex negotiation and discussions within the board, with working groups, and with the wider OSM community. Teamwork and the ability to make decisions, listen (truly listen) and hear a diverse set of opinions takes humility, time management, calm process planning, and community-building skills. Do you have an experience where you managed scenarios and conversations that you may not have agreed with and/or that challenged you?
There have been many examples in my years working with OpenStreetMap where I’ve managed scenarios involving people that I haven’t agreed with and that have challenged me..
My strategies for dealing with challenging scenarios are:
- Work out your differences in private if possible, do not publicly attack people’s work.
- Bring in another person to be a witness or provide an outside opinion.
- Speak honestly about what the disagreement is about, be factual.
- Get quickly to why the disagreement matters to you.
- Avoid arguments about things that don’t matter.
- Fight for people who are being treated unfairly.
- Apologize when you mess up.
Q: Do you have experience of managing a project or a team of people? Do you have any experience of coaching others to lead (i.e. managing managers)? How long have you been doing these things? Have you ever managed multiple stakeholders with different agendas? What was the situation? What did you do? What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
Years of Open Source work has given me lots of experience working with teams of people and balancing “multiple stakeholders with different agendas”. Often the most important group to consider - your users - aren’t even part of the discussion or involved in the process. Having empathy towards others is essential.
Years ago when I was working on iD, I wrote down a list of the “order of precedence in all design decisions, and in prioritizing how I spend my time”, and I would refer to it occasionally when unsure about a decision:
1. People who have never edited a map before
2. People who use iD regularly as their primary map editor
3. Developers who actually use OSM data for something and need the data to be a certain way
4. Developers who have forked iD and built something cool and open with it
5. Developers who have forked iD and built something uncool / secret with it
6. People who don't use iD but pop by our issue tracker and make polite and helpful suggestions
7. Everyone else
Telling people that they can’t have their way can be difficult, but having a list like this to guide the decision making process can help. (Tip: People with less power need to be higher up on the list.)