What are LFX Committees, and why should we use them?

Let’s demystify LFX Committees!

We field a lot of questions regarding the differences between mailing lists and committees. Previously many open source projects have used mailing lists to define their committees. Still, as an example, your governing board may be associated with several essential mailing lists and using mailing lists to determine committees can become cumbersome, especially at scale.

Let’s take two use cases for example:

USE CASE #1:

If a governing board member moves on to a new role and is no longer a part of the board, how do project administrators ensure that the member is removed from the various private mailing lists?

USE CASE #2

When a new member is selected to join the governing board, a project administrator must ensure that this member is included in the various mailing lists.

Instead of managing multiple mailing lists to remove or include board members, using Committees in LFX Project Control Center provides project administrators a streamlined solution in a single location to ensure governing board members are included and removed from important mailing lists.

Committees are formally elected or sub formally defined groups of people.

Examples of committees:

  • Boards
  • Legal Committees
  • Marketing Committees
  • TSC (Technical Steering Committees)
  • TOC (Technical Oversight Committees)

Onboarding your mailing lists and setting up your committees will initially require some reconciliation tasks. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be set for streamlined committee meetings and mailing lists management.

LFX Project Control Center Committee Benefits :

By defining these committees as separate entities, we can better manage and streamline committee management.

  • A project administrator removes a member from a project’s Governing Board committee in LFX Project Control Center, rather than project administrators removing them from all board mailing lists and meetings. With LFX they will be automatically removed from all private mailing lists and meetings the committee is associated with.

  • Likewise, if you add a member to the Governing Board committee, they will be added to associated mailing lists and meetings.

Configuring your committees

You can find step-by-step instructions on configuring your committees here: Set up project committees to improve coordination, reporting, and meeting management - Content & Articles - LFX Community Forums.

Note:
We will be releasing an update where a project administrator can add multiple committee members via a CSV file upload. For now, if you want to upload numerous committee members at once, send a CSV file to our support team with the committee members’ names and email addresses.

Associating committees to mailing lists

Step 1.

To ensure your committee members are associated with important mailing lists, you will need to navigate to ‘Mailing Lists’; there are two ways to do this.

On the ‘COMMITTEES’ page, click ‘Configure’ or ‘Mailing List(s)’ under the committee’s ‘Mailing List’ section.

Or use the left-hand navigation under ‘IT Services’ select ‘Mailing Lists’.

Step 2. Create or locate the mailing list you want to associate your committee with

You will then be directed to the mailing list page, where you can create a new mailing list with further instructions here: Mailing List - Linux Foundation Documentation.

*Note: *
If you want to associate your committee with an existing mailing list, locate the list and skip to step 3.

Step 3. Associate your committee with the mailing list

Once you have created the mailing list, or if you want to associate your committee with an existing mailing list, locate the list and click on the pen icon under ‘Manage’.

A popup box will appear here, where you can associate a committee to the mailing list to ensure all committee members are included in the list under ‘Select Associated Committees’.

Note:
If you only want certain voting members to be added to the mailing list you can filter the added committee members by ‘Voting Status’.

Your committee should now be shown associated with your mailing list.

Note:
Associating a committee to a mailing list ensures that your members defined in that committee are added to the list, but it does not prohibit you from including other members on the list. By clicking on the list’s member count, you can see the committee members included on the list are displayed on top, whereas other members are displayed below the committee.

Step 4. Take action

Instead of managing multiple mailing lists to remove or include board members, begin utilizing Committees in LFX Project Control Center to organize your committees.

  • Adding a new member to a committee will automatically add this member to all mailing lists and meetings associated with the committee.

  • Removing a member from a committee will automatically remove that member from all private mailing lists and meetings.

It is vital to understand that committees are formally elected or sub defined officially as groups of people.

Putting someone on a committee is more than being included in mailing lists or meetings; it means they are an official part of the formally elected or sub-defined group and likely have voting or other official capacities.

These members will also be shown as part of the defined group in the LFX Organization Dashboard. In contrast, everyone associated with a mailing list or meetings isn’t a committee member and shouldn’t be regarded as such.

LFX Committees lets you scale your project while maintaining proper committee member management within your various mailing lists, committees, and meetings.

As a project administrator, start configuring your Governing Board as acommittee and associate your board with your essential mailing lists and meetings.

  • Yes, I have configured my project’s Governing Board as a committee and associated it with important mailing lists and meetings
  • Yes, I have configured my project’s Governing Board as a committee but still working on associating it.
  • No, I have not configured my project’s Governing Board as a committee

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Hit REPLY and let us know if you get stuck. If not, you are good to go to take on the next committee! :rocket:

Has using LFX Committees helped you with your project’s committee management? HIT REPLY and let us know!

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A truly important topic for folks to understand. Thanks Henry for posting this one!

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Very important! My pleasure @Derek_Weeks , hopefully this clears up any confusion on configuring committees in LFX :love_you_gesture:

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Can someone give me examples of multiple mailing lists that an incoming governing board member needs to be added or in the reverse way an outgoing governing board member need to be removed from? I myself have not encountered such use cases.

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Hello @Min_Yu - in this case, multiple lists might be better related to handling some known cases with technical committees rather than governing boards. @emsearcy would you add anything else to this?

Jen

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@Min_Yu One use case would be a legal committee; typically Governing Board members and their legal counsel are part of the legal committee. Most often I find that the legal resource can be variable and often chosen at the point at which the committee needs to come together ( a company might have a licensing legal resource and a different one for trademarks or the resources are a pool ). So having both a board email list AND legal committee mailing list probably makes a ton of sense here, and the correct legal resource can be added on an as-needed basis.

Outside of that, TACs are the other area where it’s more common to have a public list vs private ( though more often that that it’s just for voting purposes, and I’d like to explore a better way to manage that ).

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Thanks @John_Mertic and @Jen_Shelby !

Not sure if this is common, but for Hyperledger Foundation, the legal committee is made up of board member companies’ legal counsels, not board members themselves, so I wouldn’t subscribe a board member to both the board member mailing list and legal committee list. And if there is a legal committee meeting, the board members may attend such a meeting along with their legal counsels.

And for technical governance body such as TAC or TSC, even as you noted, some projects don’t even have a private technical governance list because we should strive to have all technical discussions in the open. There may be sensitive topics that are limited to the voting members, but those are more exceptions than norm.

That is why I am having trouble understanding the common use cases where a committee is made up of subscribers from multiple mailing lists.

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I think our projects work the same way from a governance standpoint, but this is where the practices of how to execute are likely different. It might be a good exercise to compare notes here and get some alignment.

Thank makes sense @Min_Yu; I think it’s fair to call it a “use case” at least, and depending upon who you talk to is how common it is or not ;-). What I do know is where before we often used mailing lists to define groups, the committees concept is a better approach and likely gives us the opportunity to look at how we used mailing lists before and adjust.

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