Please discuss on the discussion page.

The implementation of this proposal starts on 14.04.09, so if you have ideas or wishes, please refactor it till then



A couple of issues have delayed decision-making: Who is empowered to make a decision, and when can a final decision be made? The proposed process addresses these issues.

In general the process is split into 3 phases:

  1. Brainstorming & general discussion - gathering information and arguments, and define the question that needs to be clarified or the proposal being made
  2. Refinement - discussion of the specific question or proposal and refining it to a final form
  3. Vote - Vote on the final question or proposal (no additional changes made until after vote)
To ensure focus on obtaining a result, the decision process is limited to a specific duration: two weeks.

Before someone initiates the decision-making process, he/she must do the following:
  1. Write a description of the proposal or question being addressed, with appropriate background information.
  2. List the pros and cons of the proposal and options. The list does not have to be comprehensive.
  3. List any key questions that need to be answered in order to make the decision.
  4. Find a moderator for the process.
The initiator creates a wiki page with this information and the decision-making process begins at the start of phase 1.

Phase 1: Brainstorming & general discussion

There are two wiki pages created:
  • Proposal page: All information about the proposal or question is contained on the proposal page, including pros, cons, questions, and references.
    • Important: the page must be precise, effective, and as objective as possible. Readers must be able to get an overview of the subject, easily and effectively, to ensure that voters are as well-informed as possible.
  • Discussion page: Commenters can exchange their thoughts during this phase. Discuss arguments and provide relevant references. Work together to find objective information.
    • Important: Track objective information and arguments on the proposal page, as well as any key questions and their answers. Otherwise, this information can easily be lost, as the Dicussion-page is not accessable from phase 2 on!
    • This phase allows for feelings to be exchanged and for comments to be captured, while providing a structure for capturing important information so it is not lost.
    • The scope of the proposal is decided during this phase, so that the proposal can be refined in phase 2 without diverging into an open-ended question.
Duration: 6 Days

Phase 2: Refinement

In this phase, discussion is held to refine the proposal or the options for the question being addressed, based on the information gathered during phase 1. The relevant information, arguments, and references are present on the proposal page to help readers form their opinions. Comments are made directly on the proposal page, at the bottom. Commenters provide their opinions and point of view on the proposal.

During phase 2 and 3, any ( read and write ) access to the discussion page is denied to everybody.

Why?: If you want your arguments to be mentioned and be included into the decision process, extract them into the Facts-Topic! Simply commenting in the Talk-Topic is not the way to accomplish that. This is simply the illness we currently are sick of: Commenting but less refactoring - no separation between information and "additions" or POVs. In addition, I dont want to be the person who needs to read the Facts-Topic AND the whole corresponding Talk-Topic to get all information, because 50% of them are hiding in the comments on the Talk-Topic between feelings, organizing stuff and things like that.This page gets opened after the poll has been ended.

Duration: 4 Days

Phase 3: Vote

A poll is opened and every community member has one vote.

Who is a community member?: Registered users on Foswiki using their real names (no aliases). No further restrictions yet — this may need adjustments if we face any exploitation

Form of ballot: A simple checkbox interface. Every vote must have a short comment. All votes are public.

Duration: 4 Days


The decision is listed on a specific topic including all documents (discussion, proposal, proposal comments, and poll results).
In some cases, the decision may be announced — perhaps on the Community.WebHome page.


Proposal page

A topic where all relevant information, pros, cons, questions, and references can be found. It should be the first place for readers to get an overview of the proposal.

Discussion page

A topic where commenters express their opinions and exchange information and results from fact-finding. You can work out arguments here, but the final result must be placed on the proposal page. The discussion page cannot be edited during phases 2 and 3.

Proposal comments page

A topic used during phase 2 that contains discussion and refinements on the proposal, based on the information on the proposal page. This topic is included at the bottom of the proposal page.


In the last phase, people vote on the proposal. This is done by a public vote. Every vote must include a comment


The tasks of the moderator for a decision are
  • Remind people to update the proposal page with information, facts, arguments, and references
  • Handle any special cases, and update the decision-making process accordingly.
  • Provide assistance as necessary. Help community members new to the process to learn about the decision-making process.

Structure of the proposal page

  • Proposal: What is being proposed and what are the various options
  • Information: description, definitions, references
  • Arguments: pro and con
  • Questions: key questions that need to be addressed to make the decision
  • Voting results: results from the poll
  • Moderator: moderator for the proposal

BasicForm edit

TopicClassification CommunityMatters
Topic Summary How the Community can make decision-making more organized and focused
Interested Parties Community
Related Topics
Topic revision: r11 - 08 Apr 2009, CrawfordCurrie
The copyright of the content on this website is held by the contributing authors, except where stated elsewhere. See Copyright Statement. Creative Commons License    Legal Imprint    Privacy Policy