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2008_post_mortem_minutes [The Plumbers]

1. Volunteering - what can we do differently next year a) did we have enough volunteers/volunteer positions

Kristen: no we did not have enough volunteers. Needed more help in the core team and planning. need to have backups for various roles. shouldn't have one person doing so many different things. Need to get more help.

Bart: had a very flat structure, need to another level of hierarchy. can add more folks but have clear ownership.

Need one person to oversee how all the things are going - that's what Bart means by hierarchy.

Tess's role (with Angela's help) shwag (stay with core team) events (stay with core team)… the one thing tess liked budget (stay with core team) psu coordination (consider reaching outside of core team, consider hiring out) volunteers (pat will own this next year) logistics (hire someone to do banners and marketing, potentially hire someone via Linux Foundation)

Tess and Angela need to make things look more painful, and ask for help. :-)

How do we recruit the people that like to do the stuff that the kernel folks don't necessarily want to do (logistics/posters/etc).

Kristen: We should cough up the dough to hire someone to handle the logistics. Val 2nded. Handling the logistics is not the value add that this commitee provides.

Bart: need to make a much harder look at what we provide. can the conference be excellent with out it.

Tess: we need to decide what's important. Don't need to spend a lot of cycles on doughnuts, etc. when something is decided leave it.

Need to get help with the budget. Currently have someone in mind. The budget needs to stay within these team. Need help with the PSU project mgmt stuff.

votes on outsourcing to Linux Foundation for certain tasks. Entire team was in favor.

why didn't we pay the extra $3000 to handle the registration? use the linux foundation registration system.

b) what jobs should we recruit for in our 2009 CFV (call for volunteers :) )

  1. need job descriptions here too - can announce jobs at party this way

Brandon's Job

all the website stuff (tweaking the design a tons, logos, content update)
	content update needs to be farmed out, give folks accounts to update
	farm out website design and maintenance
abstract review - setting it up, review criteria

Val: get a separate volunteer to handle the follwing three tasks. person doesn't necessarily have to be located here, just needs to call in

wiki admin
mailing list admin
system admin stuff
	emailing osl to update all the config stuff

website choices for next year:

take what we have now, and make small mods
revamp and hire someone
stick ourselves on the lf site
	would brand ourselves LF.
commitee agreement: take what we have now and hire someone to

polish our website and shoehorn it into a contect manager system (to allow team: Empower the team to be able to modify the design later). Brandon is in charge of picking the person to hire.

need owner for the student/newbie track, will hand over to this with linuxconf (team agreed).


need owner of handling marketing/publicitiy - getting the
press announcements out. discussed PageOne - expensive.  our
audience reads not sure how much marketing we really
need outside of lwn, blogging.


Very successful to have someone who cares about IT and projectors
sufficiently staffed
need to get psu to budget more wireless for the room
Bart: need a new plan for IT next year.

c) did we have enough/too many meetings

Kristen: tried to start with just mailing list, request in Jan/Feb for meetings. Met 1 time per month. Bart: frequency was good, don't need everyone at all the meetings can have more meetings but with focused groups Brandon, Val: IRC meetings were very useful, great supplement to meetings Tess: start meetings in Nov. skip Dec. trash = meeting Kristen: felt meetings from the very beginning would have been useful not all volunteers, for certain tasks, clear on what their roles where initially, meeting helped clarify. be clear it's not just a portland conference and it's about linux kernel and low level. change the name of the mailing list to be less portland specific. having it on keith p domain wasn't so great, move elsewhere.

agreed: monthly starting in Nov, skip Dec.

d) were the collaboration tools we used sufficient (mailing list/wiki)

didn't have a schedule - need a schedule manager/project manager. let the project manager decide if/what tool to use for tracking

found this wiki a bit challenging from an orginazation aspect - hard to find info, a bit odd

re-org of the wiki, need someone to restructure the wiki and be a wiki maintainer - needs to be someone who has to be involved in the other aspects, and part of the core team. team voted and agreed.

public and non-public wiki page needs love

Tess: mailing list - needs to divide up the mailing lists for groups. don't need 5 lists.

Val, and others: found multiple mailing lists a challenge. need to have a name and description of all somewhere

Kristen: some folks asked why it wasn't on the public mailing list - “I can't believe you made this decision without discussing on the public mailing list”. make it clear we're not making secret decisions. Bart: consider making mailing list archives public. Val: disagreed, sometimes folks won't say what they need.

Next year: need more partitioned mailing lists Jamie: consider making mailing list setup match mailing list layout should be easy to add additional mailing lists

e) volunteering DURING the conference. — Many of you people were pulled in to help here and there. Should

  we try to hire more students?  Were you asked to do too much?

Tess: very appreciative at the support of the core team on day 1 of the event… everyone asked if she needed help, and showed up at 7am.

Had almost too many volunteers.

could have done with fewer volunteers Thursday, and none Friday (except tear down)
may have been because registration was cancelled
PSU volunteers was not helpful during tear down, they were MIA.

Hiring the slave guys to help with locking up, setting things up incredibly valuable. 2 hired this year, consider increasing to 3 for Tuesday, and 2 for the rest of the week.

Logistics volunteer to do last minute logistics the week before.

— how did it work having Intel, IBM and PSU volunteers? Were they helpful?

too many on Friday. Made Intel and IBM feel good to be helping out. Smart way to involve those companies.

f) did hiring two people during the conference make sense? yes, see e.

2. Working with the Linux Foundation a) are we happy with our relationship with LF?

Tess: Logistically we would have failed on our ass without them. Angela was awesome, period.

Registration and refunds a pain, problem can be solved by using LF registration.

Major pain to get Lyn (and Board of Directors) to pay for stuff

is there a way to have petty cash or something	

no one on the core team should pay for anything, unless you are told to do so. Team Leads should fill out ACH so they can submit expenses via LF

Val: didn't know all that LF could do for us, as a result didn't always leverage. asked how to find out what they can do - Angela was there, and could come more.

Bart: great working close with LF, but it's still good to make sure there is a clear separation. keep to plumbers: budget, website, marketing, make it clear committee a separate org, signage

Kristen: we almost did too good keeping KS and Plumbers seperate, wasn't clear that they were at the same place and if you're at KS you can attend the other. consider: offer a package deal, pay less if you attend both. keep costs for students down, especially if they register for both.. maybe $75 for both and $50 for either. all in favor of a package deal and combined registration.

———- break


the registration covered the cost of signage and PSU
to be gold or platinum pay $10k, if you want to be platinum
and sponsor an event, here are the choices.  the sponsors pick
the event and paid for whatever it was.  Aura was covered by
the KS IBM sponsorship. we don't have to have events, we will
only do if a sponsor covers the event.

Registration fee

Jamie: looking at freedom hack, etc. that have no registration and etc. they are all smaller.

Consider having a scholarship program for next year. Include a certain number of scholarships in the sponsorship. Could make volunteer opportunities available.

Need to make clear what their registration dollars go to, make it more clear where their monies are going. team agreed: scholarships: yes, events where hacking is encouraged: yes, keep events swanked down: yes, keep registration price the same: yes.

Bart: other sponsor complained about the extravigance of the events

Sarah: instead of cocktail hour, have people sitting at tables with their laptops (hacking away) with waiters delivering

have a setup for mini summit before the conference - need to know from the groups ahead of time

advise folks who want a mini conf, point them to linuxconf

next year get the sponsors bring the schwank down for their events, make it more casual. maybe a big event at the zoo with local brews.

Sarah: addressing comment that there was not enough hacking time. two hotels where so geographically apart made night hackfests not possible. Angela said they'll be having closer ones next year. and provide a map with their locations.

Angela: very few folks stayed at the hotel

Host City Representative - someone that pulls local stuff together

3. Program. a) go over feedback from the conference b) microconfs - should we do a CFM (call for microconfs).

Kristen: this year we decided on a set of miniconfs on our owns. Should we do a call for microconfs early? Reasons 1) we badgered people to run microconfs when we already had done it

include how you are going to organize it in the microconf proposal, include potential speakers in proposal

Jamie: alternative - asking for papers first, then determining microconfs from that.

Kristin is going to do a lessons learned with the microconfs

Have a call for microconfs, only fill 8 of 10, keep two slots open based on papers coming in. program chair would ultimately own that decision. team agreed to this.

c) CFP/registration/refunds for speakers - how can we handle this better

use LF registration. reserve some number of talks for speakers. need to have a way for all proposals folks to be able to still register even if it's close, etc. OLS has a delayed registration where you can register but paid later. LF can have a special registration for the sponsors.

we have to link in the registration stuff into a lot of places

need to stick with the same timeliness of speaker registration as 2008 even if it's a pain in the ass.

d) can we agree on a suggested schedule for 2009

this should be moved to a followup meeting. need project manager to define scheduler.

Question is: should we start the 2010 program committee early.

Stay in Portland in 2010 - maybe rotate around to handle volunteer burnout. not a lot of preference in surveys. location info is wide open. Need to sort out 2010 in Feb/March. should we take bids for other locations?

Sarah: survey is biased because it only captures folks who attended, not those that didn't.

Need to identify leader for 2009 and 2010 soon.

have a steering committee to help make sure the conference keeps a direction, and provides a helping hand for the program. potentially use one of the existing open source groups.

Kristen will pursue the steering committee. team agreed (all but jamie)

who picks the leader? we pick the next leader, and let that person decide rest of team. core team picks the leader.

Need to pick leader before November.

4. website/mailing lists a) feedback on this years website b) should we redesign the website for next year c) how much of the website do we want to be responsible for d) was our website collaborative enough?

5. registration a) what did Eventbrite do that we liked. b) what did Eventbrite do that we didn't like b.5) How about actual registration at Aura and PSU? Did it work well? Fast? c) early registration discounts - are they worth it d) can we agree on a suggestion for the right day for opening registration for 2009 e) badges - I got a lot of comments (lite, but still) about what should be on the badges

6. Logistics/IT a) go over feedback from the conference - what can we do differently b) venue - what did we like/dislike about PSU c) is there anything we should do differently as far as the IT stuff went e) Signage. Tess has updated our signage needs for next year to include little signs for the elevators :-). Quick review of that list would be good.

7. Student Day a) feedback from the conference b) was it worth it? Do we recommend doing it again in 2009?

8. future conferences a) should we form some sort of LPC steering committee to find volunteers for future years conferences?

9. Events - any feedback on events? Was there too much alcohol? Not enough Portland beer? Too fancy? Too many events?

Volunteers - need two volunteers for everything media relations (val) IT (two folks) need two Angelas - General Chair (kristen) Program Chair (andy/bart) Student Day (Sarah) - won't happen next year various volunteer tasks

tear down
2008_post_mortem_minutes.txt · Last modified: 2008/10/07 19:40 by kristen
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