Monday, January 14, 2013

CSM Winter Summit 2012: Minutes Update

Recently Xander from Crossing Zebras has been inquiring anxiously on Twitter about the status of the CSM summit minutes. I replied at length, but wanted to share this with a wider audience as well. One of the questions regarding the process was actually asked by Marc Scaurus, who wanted to know what the procedure was for producing the minutes.

Up until now, there hasn't ever really been a standard procedure. CSM6 outsourced the minutes to CCP, to painful result as they had to question almost everything CCP wrote about the summit sessions. Another criticism of CSM6's minutes was that there was no transparency in who said what within the sessions, the CSM was described as a single-minded entity in [most] of its public communications. CSM7 has taken major steps to correct this, not only writing our own minutes but attributing individual statements to individual members, as many in the community have requested. The first pass at this was time consuming, involved a lot of trial-and-error before the "right" balance of detail was achieved, and the minutes were released in what would normally be an unacceptable time frame.

In contrast, the minutes from the Winter summit session have been written in record time, completed just over two short weeks since the summit ended. Without the trial-and-error process used to come up with the new transparent form of summit minutes, it was much easier to expedite their creation. We also hope this methodology can be used for all future summit sessions. So to answer Marc Scaurus's question, here's the procedure we are settling into:

1.) We submit sessions to CCP Xhagen.
2.) Xhagen disseminates them to the CCP members participating.
3.) They make edits / approve them.
4.) They go back to Xhagen.
5.) While this happens, they also go to CCP Manifest for PR / NDA approval.
6.) Once We have approval from PR and from the participants, they are returned to the CSM.
7.) They than get reviewed one more time by the CSM, and than are labeled "locked" in our mutually shared GoogleDoc.

Currently, we have "locked" all but 5 sessions - two of which we have not received back from CCP (the Dust514 sessions) The other three are the FW session, and the two 0.0 related sessions. We are reviewing these three right now before locking. Of the three, the second 0.0 session appears to have some odd redactions that involved CSM member's opinions, not CCP's words. We will be challenging these redactions, which of course means another slight delay.

Delays in the 0.0 and Dust sessions aside, the goal is to get the rest of the minutes published this week as soon as a supporting dev blog from CCP Unifex is released.

...and that's all the CSM7 minutes news that's fit to print!


  1. When they are done they will be done

  2. CSM5 produced three sets of minutes during their term: two in two weeks, one in three. Do you think those days are over?

    1. That depends. Are you going to man up and run for CSM8, and oversee minutes creation that includes 4x the level of detail in the same time frame? :)

    2. I was asking more in terms of :NDA:. Say, theoretically, that a set of minutes were produced and ready to go the Sunday after the summit. How long would it take CCP to approve them in the current climate?

    3. You WOULD do that too, wouldn't you. :) That's fine. Every CSM -should- outstage the one behind it. That competition is perfectly healthy.

      Again, there's no "standard" where CCP's concerned because the minutes creation has changed so much between CSM6 and CSM7. But I'm not getting off that easy with you, I know, so here goes....

      Keeping in mind that we had a good number of sessions into them the first week following the summit and every week thereafter, with all the minutes into them by the 4th - the minutes were published, except for 2 hour-long sessions worth, by January 4. It's now the 16th. So 12 days following two-and-a-half of rolling submissions is the total amount of NDA time.

      Compute that however you like, but with that data I'm now expecting minutes in -three weeks- from summit to player hands in 2013. If you slack, I'm blogging about it. Mark my words :)

    4. The approval time for summit session minutes varies by the session -- and the people involved in it. Winter is particularly problematic because the holidays hit right after the summit, and if there are multiple people who need to review a session, and their holiday schedules interfere, it can get complicated.

      That is why we pushed hard to try and get key sessions drafted before Xmas, especially since we thought there was a good chance the Unifex/Seagull blogs would come out around the turn of the year. We wanted to be able to get something out right after those blogs to stimulate discussion, particularly because we knew that CCP was going to go into their new planning process quickly and we wanted community feedback to help guide our responses to that.

      As things turned out, the devblogs came out later than expected, so we were ready (except for the DUST stuff) to follow them up -- we just started the final format and proofread when the two blogs hit and delivered it to Xhagen the next morning.

      At about the same time the minutes went live, we also got the big packet of planning materials we had been promised. We are working through them in preparation for a Skype conference on Friday (delivering on our :48hours: Quality-of-Service guarantee).

      Realistically, 3 weeks is about the minimum time it takes to do minutes at the level of detail that *certain people* loudly asked for, even if we had 4 people each doing a session draft per day. And given that most CSM reps have jobs and lives, getting 2-3 sessions a week per drafter is optimistic, and another reason why increasing the % of worker-bees who can put in the hours is an important long-term goal for CSM.

    5. Fair enough, OK. I can live with 12 days. To be fair to y'all, the Minutes are much superior today to the CSM5 days, too. So a little more time to bake them is perfectly reasonable.

      But speed is still of the essence. The Minutes had me drawn into the moment right up until the point that Unifex said the summer expansion plan will be done by late January. That made me immediately look at my calendar. ;-)

      In practice, it means that even if Two step and the others pushing the POS issue manage to start a fight over it, "there might not be a lot of freedom to act on their feedback," as the saying goes...

    6. You'll find out soon enough that CCP is always notoriously behind schedule. :-) And if you had been following our forum postings, you'd know already that we hadn't begun the summer expansion planning literally until the day of the minutes release. There were lots of inquiries we've answered already about whether the delay in the minutes due to CCP approval would hamper the expansion planning process, and it hasn't.

      Andie and Jon have been quite adamant about making up for the mistakes made in the fall and involving the community in the summer planning from the beginning via the CSM, all of which would have been invalidated by beginning the expansion planning before the minutes had been released.

      Also to address your other concern, we've already had a meeting with Andie since the launch of the POS threadnaught, the conversation was quite civil, and we simply proceeded with the expansion planning process as normal. We were very clear with CCP at the winter summit that this kind of player reaction was inevitable if the POS issue wasn't messaged properly. It wasn't, and CCP realizes the threadnaught has as much to do with their handling of it in the first place as it was Two step's decision to post a thread and throttle the tone of the debate in a constructive fashion.

  3. Worker bees T? Is CSM7 looking to establish a civil service then? That'd be interesting.