[CFIC] Re: CFIC: Governance and Management

Lance Jones lj at ucar.edu
Tue Jan 15 10:17:50 MST 2008

Aaron Andersen wrote:
> Not quite sure what you mean here. Putting staff into a management 
> group that doesn't report to a supervisor and do the work is usually 
> a recipe for chaos. Is that what is meant here? As proposed the 
> management group is synonymous with an engineering group i.e. NETS, 

Rereading what I wrote... I can see where your confusion comes from.
Let me see if I can clarify...

What I want to do is put adequate structure in place to ensure
accountability and responsiveness to users needs (i.e. primarily the
sysadmins), but not so much as to create a ponderous bureaucracy.
Working from the first draft, the relationship between the mgmt and
advisory groups is too loose. Jim's subsequent comments help clarify the
relationship, but we can go further:

1) More clearly define the extent to which the advisory committee has
meaningful input into the activities of the mgmt group. The NCAB model
works well for NCAB, but it's not a good fit in this case. I'd like to
see less "laissez-faire" wording.  Some examples of precisely the sort
of thing that should be discussed and decided on by this advisory
committee are the questions of rack mount servers vs. tower, and buy all
new racks vs waiving in existing racks.

2) Explicitly list the advisory committee along with the existing
committees under "Chairs of technical committees" on page 2.

3) From the draft: "it is recommended that there be a technical and
administrative representative from each entity whose computers are
housed in these facilities".

Is this an advisory committee or a family reunion? This is too many
people for an advisory committee, especially one that should be
primarily technical in nature.  Cut out a bunch of the administrative
reps- money discussions are best handled at the governance level.  We
need only one or two admin reps on the advisory committee- just enough
to keep Mgmt from making really boneheaded recommendations to Gov.

4) Reps from "finance" and "physical plant services"... I can see PPS,
but isn't finance already well represented by FAIT?

5) "Initially there may be a need for frequent meetings, however, longer
term it is anticipated that bi-annual or annual meetings would be

That should be Gov's or possibly Mgmt's call.  I'd like to see this
sentence dropped, or at least rewritten to acknowledge that.

6) Who represents the consensus opinion of the advisory group to the
governance group- the chair or the colo manager? If the answer seems
obvious, then lets state it.

This may all seem a little too specific, but... it's pretty late in the
process and specificity is exactly what we should be aiming for. It's
going to be harder to reach consensus without it.


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