Resolving LoCo Problems
Although the vast majority of LoCo teams run smoothly and resolve conflict and issues internally, occasionally problems can occur with a team. To resolve these issues, you should follow three core steps - first resolving it privately, then publicly, and then if all else fails, getting in touch with Jono Bacon, the Ubuntu Community Manager.
This document identifies the kind of things you should do to try to resolve a complaint about a team. Before you even think about filing a complaint, we really encourage that you try to resolve issues with the team internally. This helps reduce the number of complaints and also helps to get issues solved as quickly as possible.
Remember, always observe the Code of Conduct when dealing with problems. There is never an excuse for rude, impolite, offensive discussion - always keep discussion fair, honest and on-topic.
Step 1: Resolving issues directly
We always recommend that you try to resolve issues directly with the people who you believe to be problematic. Follow these steps:
- First identify if there is an issue in the first place. Try to be objective here - is your issue one of personal disagreement or is there a real problem in the group? Speak to a few objective people to see if your issue is really a serious complaint.
- Raise the issue privately with the people who you believe are the problem. Try to resolve is privately. Here you should be flexible and try to get an agreement of how to move forward - this is about negotiation so yourself and the people you believe are problematic can both get a suitable outcome.
If these steps fail, move on to Step 2.
Step 2: Resolving issues publicly
If the problem cannot be resolved privately, it needs to be discussed publicly. You should only ever discuss issues publicly if the issue is suitable for public discussion. Never discuss issues publicly about sensitive or private information.
Follow these steps:
Send a mail to the LoCo team's mailing list outlining in detail the issues in the problem. Where possible, provide evidence of these issues with links to pages, IRC discussions, mailing list archives etc. Try to build a detailed picture of the issues involved. Also outline the solution you would like to see to resolve the problem.
When you have posted the message, discuss the problem with your fellow LoCo members and try to ensure the conversation always remain polite, on-topic and adheres to the good practise of the Code of Conduct (be excellent to each other ).
If there is a widespread difference in opinion have a vote to gauge everyone's thoughts and try to come to a solution to the problem. If a decision is made, decide on some action steps to implement to resolve the issue and ensure people are assigned those action steps. These steps may include things like make some wiki pages, organise an IRC meeting etc. Always ensure that public discussions are archived on the web.
- You may also want to schedule an IRC meeting to discuss the issues. Do this at a time that is suitable for the majority of group members and certainly those involved in the issue - ensure that a good cross section of the group can attend. Mailing list discussions are typically preferred over IRC conversations as more people can access mailing lists than IRC due to work firewalls and suchlike. Ensure that all public IRC meetings are logged and the log is made available online.
Hopefully the issue should be resolved by now. Ensure you are diplomatic and try to solve the core issues, always attempting to make progress. Remember, solving problems is about negotiation and reasoning - both sides will need to make compromises.
If you get this far and still have not resolved the issue, follow to Step 3.
Step 3: Reporting the issue externally
If you are considering this step, you should have spent an exhaustive amount of time trying to resolve the issue with the steps above. This step is an absolute last resort and should be used very rarely.
You should add the following informations to the LoCo Council Agenda:
- Your name
The LoCo team
- Outline of the problems
- Proposed solution
- Links to public discussions of the problem
- Outline of steps made to try to resolve the issue