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What is governance and to whom would it extend to in the GNU Project?

From: Carlos O'Donell
Subject: What is governance and to whom would it extend to in the GNU Project?
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2019 09:40:37 -0400

I wanted to kick off a conversation about what is a governance model,
and to whom it would apply.

A governance model would apply to all of the people who are part of
the GNU Project, and so discussing these two points makes sense to me.
I look forward to any feedback about this.

What is a governance model?

A governance model should provide:
* Organization and structure.
  * Includes establishing authority.
* Define roles and responsibilities.
* Help people answer questions like:
  * "Why are we doing this?"
  * "Who needs to know about this?"
  * "Who is responsible for this?"
* Create a feedback loop within the model to allow changes over time.

What benefits does a governance model provide?

* Clearly defined roles make it easier to get stuff done.
* Coordination is improved between various parts of the project.
* Effectiveness improved since responsibilities clearly spell out who
needs to know things.

Next, who is a part of the GNU Project?

It's fairly straight forward to say the following people are part of
the GNU Project:
* GNU Maintainers (as seen in the 'maintainers' file).

This is a narrow view though and leaves out a lot of really important people:
* People working on advocacy and policy.
* Developers working on GNU packages (bug submission, triage, wiki
gardening etc.)
* Anyone supporting the GNU Project directly with non-developer roles.
  * IT admins, project management, release managers, package review,
... basically anyone involved in the day-to-day running of the GNU Project.

Governance should extend to all of the people in the community via the
defined roles and responsibilities.

In summary:
- Governance provides clearly defined roles, makes it easier to
coordinate, and grow an organization.
- A governance model brings benefits to all the GNU Project.


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