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Evaluate regular SRE meetings
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Description

Most of the communication currently takes place in the -staff IRC channel, with occasional use of email. However, goals, questions and issues of all kinds of priorities and teams (not all discussion is SRE specific). There are no regular meetings planned to discuss the status of goals, performance and incident reports, thus we cannot ensure all SRE members are aware of important highlights and events that took place. A regular SRE meeting (once per fixed time interval, with the ability to reschedule if desired) with the proper communication methods helps to keep knowledge of current state (and progess/to-dos) aligned within SRE.

Besides that, especially in our environment full of volunteers, it is of upmost importance to have one-to-one meetings (between team member and director). To have a conversation about the impact of Miraheze to daily life and vice versa (the successes and the downsides), providing a place to rant and mention frustrations and other topics that are not specific for the team but its members individually. These meetings are not to 'bother' people about SRE's progresses and financial figures, but are focussed on their individual wellbeing and performance.

Sub-tasks:

  1. Determine meeting type
    1. Whole team: all types of tasks and information in one meeting or separate (one for decision making, one purely for information, etc.)
    2. Individual (one-to-one)
  2. Determine meeting objectives (why do we meet?)
  3. Evaluate communication platforms and methods
    1. Method: chat only, audio call or video call?
    2. IRC? Discord? Telephone call? Jitsi?
  4. Choose frequency and length of meetings
    1. Frequency: whole team bi-weekly, individual monthly?
    2. Length: no more than 1.5 hours for whole team, about an hour for individual?
  5. How-to for agenda
    1. Example: team determines the agenda points, sends proposal to SRE director, SRE director uses input to create the agenda and distributes it beforehand

Event Timeline

Southparkfan triaged this task as Normal priority.Apr 16 2020, 22:47
Southparkfan created this task.
Southparkfan edited subscribers, added: Paladox, John, Zppix; removed: Void.Apr 16 2020, 22:54

(changed subscribers to reflect SRE members)
Site Reliability Engineering, your input is valued :)

Southparkfan updated the task description. (Show Details)Apr 16 2020, 23:11
Reception123 added a comment.EditedApr 17 2020, 18:35

There's quite a few questions that need to be asked:

  1. What exactly would an individual meeting consist? Between who? And what would that be useful for? Couldn't individual meetings just be spontaneous conversations that happen anyway?
  1. How would meetings be scheduled? As we all live in different countries and have different timezone different IRL schedules I see it being quite tough (in normal times that is) to find a time when everyone will be completely available.
  1. So that brings the question: will attendance be mandatory? What about more inactive/semi-active SRE members?
  1. Would video/audio be more effective than text? Would it be more/less convenient for people? Would it be better to use text to have logs for people who weren't able to attend (question 2)

I'd say for the 2nd question that attendance should be encouraged but if someone is having a busy week that week or are simply not available for any of the times they should be able to not attend and to receive logs (question 4) or a summary of the meeting

A bit unrelated but this gave me an idea of (either way) having a weekly report sent out to SRE called "What has changed this week" where the most important changes to infra are said (i.e. "SSL has been moved from mw1 to jobrunner1)

RhinosF1 updated the task description. (Show Details)Apr 17 2020, 21:14

From my view, If I was to join as an mw-admin again, I’d prefer to have meetings over a text-based medium.

I think utilising Discord and/or IRC would be suitable and that regular meetings with a D/SSRE would be a good idea to discuss progress, thoughts, concerns.

I think a big team meeting would be difficult due to our international and remote nature but I do agree with maybe a regular Tech News being sent to all sysadmins + any community that want it with changes to technical infra, planned changes/deployments etc. Maybe even time to introduce deployment windows.

  1. What exactly would an individual meeting consist? Between who? And what would that be useful for? Couldn't individual meetings just be spontaneous conversations that happen anyway?

See the related paragraph in the description. I don't have strong feelings against spontaneous conversations, but neither would I be able to guarantee availability or the ability to discuss the topics we want as long as we want. Besides, not everyone with personal issues will take the initiative to contact others. Planning allows us both to find a matching spot in our agendas.

  1. How would meetings be scheduled? As we all live in different countries and have different timezone different IRL schedules I see it being quite tough (in normal times that is) to find a time when everyone will be completely available.
  2. So that brings the question: will attendance be mandatory? What about more inactive/semi-active SRE members?

The frequency is a to-be discussed point and I understand concerns due to volunteers living in different countries. If the ideal moment for a meeting does not exactly match with the interval (e.g. meetings are planned bi-weekly, but one-off a meeting has been moved to the next day because that fits the schedule better), that does not have to be a problem.

Attendance will not be mandatory in the sense absence will be directly punished. We all have our own schedules which is fine, if you can't attend once, you will get a summary of the meeting via email (if audio/voice) or be able to read back (if chat) - no problems there. People deliberately avoiding participation (because they are inactive) would be an issue, but I hope that won't happen here.

  1. Would video/audio be more effective than text? Would it be more/less convenient for people? Would it be better to use text to have logs for people who weren't able to attend (question 2)

Convenience: that's my question for you, since personal preference plays an important part here. If everyone prefers audio, I'm not going to only allow chat if that's my preference.* Text logs/summary: see above.

I think a big team meeting would be difficult due to our international and remote nature

Yes, I see. Fortunately this is an idea (and not a permanent solution already) which means I am in support of the idea to exchange schedules with each other. The frequency of moments where most members are available should be an important parameter.

but I do agree with maybe a regular Tech News being sent to all sysadmins + any community that want it with changes to technical infra, planned changes/deployments etc.

That's definitely something to think about!

Maybe even time to introduce deployment windows.

This is out of scope for this ticket and needs arguments, but feel free to join in a PM. I'm curious.

  • At the very least, I would allow said decision to be discussed and reconsidered after both parties have exchanged reasons. It doesn't benefit anybody to be in disasgreement on such a thing.

This is out of scope for this ticket and needs arguments, but feel free to join in a PM. I'm curious.

Going to sleep but just ping whenever you’re around.

Southparkfan lowered the priority of this task from Normal to Low.Mon, Jul 13, 18:17