Talk:Policy Development

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So, what policies are big enough to work on/store here? Our policy to (for example) destroy MS software when it appears? Our "bad dogs" policy? A policy can be finally approved by council (or staff? or a working group?) - i doubt there'd be a good way to conclusively reach consensus in this (or other digital) venue. So the only thing that would move items off this page and onto the Policies page would be a meeting of some sort; updating the wiki would have to be a commitment of one person at that meeting.
And about a Policies page - would it be useful to distinguish between policies and guidelines? Policy and custom? --Ideath 12:22, 18 Nov 2004 (PST)

do we need a taxonomy of policy vs. procedure, process, norm, guideline? (some of the policies as approved by council or staff have veered into implementation and procedure. is it the duty of the documentors here to abstract from that the policy?) many of our most cherished rules are norms (like "if you're violent, you get kicked out") - do we need to legislate them? --Ideath 11:38, 3 October 2006 (PDT)

titles of proposed policies

Perhaps the proposed policy could be titled something like Policy on something-or-other PROPOSED and then when it is accepted the page could be moved to Policy on something-or-other. The talk pages would then be the place for discussion of further revisions.

For me, this goes back to (lengthy) editorial discussions on e2 about proper naming. I don't think the "Policy" part of the title is necessary, especially here, where the page can (and should) be categorized as policy. It's awkward, especially if it's in capital letters. Titling proposed policies with PROPOSED is ok because these are in a state of active development and 'should' be annoyingly awkward until they are resolved. I figure it's best to title a page what it's about, define the topic on that page, and include the relevant policy. --Ideath 16:46, 18 Dec 2004 (PST)
Checking in, two years later: still against unnecessary namespacing. In looking at the policies yesterday, it seems like there are subjects where the matter of the page will be the policy (Limits on Vacation Accrual, Eligibility for Council), and that it would be awkward for linking, searching, and writing to add "Policy" to all of those titles. For other subjects, where perhaps there's procedure or other important exegesis of FG culture to detail, the Subject Name page would be usefully different from the Subject Name Policy page (see Group volunteering and the Group Volunteering Policy). The way i'm thinking, Asking for Vacation Policy should just be Asking for vacation. Make sense? --Ideath 11:38, 3 October 2006 (PDT)

It's kinda hard to tell. I think there should be more than add the "category:policy" to a page to denote that it is a policy page. Matteo 20:50, 15 Feb 2006 (PST)

I think your header is swell. --Ideath 11:38, 3 October 2006 (PDT)

Policy (re)development

As we mine the archives for documentation of our policies, we will learn more about how our memories have evolved our policies to fit our current situation - and we'll also unconver decisions made by the people we were in the distant past, which fit the distant past situation of free geek, yet do not fit the current situation. We may want a category for policies that need updating, a way for people to mark policies that may be out of date, so we don't end up with a bunch of useless documentation of policies that make no sense for our current situation. These policies could be brought to council with proposals for updates or retooling. --Ideath 11:38, 3 October 2006 (PDT)

I totaly agree, would this Process work?:
  • Gather the as mutch historical and current implementation if the policy (and document)
  • Tag the document [[Category:Policy Review]]
  • On the Talk page suggest a more current wording
  • Email your Findings to the group(s) this would effect.
For council we could bundle a couple related ones. Email the list 2 weeks befor a meeting (puting it on the ajenda). Just to be safe when the ajenda comes out, attach a link to last email to it.
Matteo 12:39, 3 October 2006 (PDT)

structure of policy pages

Regarding this:

  • Please clearly separate your proposal into sections:
    • the policy you propose
    • reason this policy is needed (would this be a change to a current policy)
    • anything you came up with during your research

Other sections that may be useful or maybe should be mandatory for a well formed policy:

Policy section
The actual policy wording that was consented to should contain
Links to minutes where the policy was agreed to, or when it was last updated.
States who this policy pertains to, (See example Staff Contracting Policy.)
As needed to clarify. For instance there's a lot of misunderstanding about the word "staff". (Does it mean collective members only (as some people use it)? Or does it mean all people paid by Free Geek to work at Free Geek (the more formal definition)." (See example Staff Contracting Policy.)
The description or purpose of the policy
What will go in the header if the policy is adopted that explains what it is for. Often times months after a policy is adopted there is confusion about what we were trying to do. A short statement of intent helps us interpret the intended effects of the policy.
Lists called for by the policy
Related procedures
Not an official part of the policy, but rather a series of steps that implement it.



Maybe "statement of intent" and "description of policy" are the same. Maybe they're different?

RfS 12:39, 28 October 2007 (PDT)

Samples from the history of Bag Check Policy
Sample 1
Volunteers are required to check their bags at the front desk. This policy has been adopted to increase security of volunteers' belongings and the security of Free Geek's shiny gizmos that go to non-profits, our volunteers or help bring in revenue through thrift store sales.
"Volunteers are required to check their bags at the front desk." is a good example of the basic policy itself (without the exceptions, which could come right after it.
"This policy has been adopted to increase security of...." Is a good example of a statement of intent.
Samples 2 & 3
Bags need to be checked at front desk. This policy explains who is exempt from that.
What is a Bag Check, and where is it located? Who has to check there bags?
These are pretty good examples of a description of the policy.
"Bags need to be checked at front desk." does a better job of explaining what has to happen (but "the front desk" is too specific as we could change where the bag check location is). "What is a bag check?." doesn't explain much. It just points to a need for a definition.
I'd suggest a more accurate summary, perhaps "Volunteers' and visitors' bags need to be checked. Exceptions must be listed here."
RfS 10:40, 29 October 2007 (PDT)

controversial decisions

I think it's the council's job to resolve controversial issues and that the staff has a more limited scope.

We could just say:

Policies that affect multiple groups, and policies that are controversial in nature are decided by the Community Council. Policies that govern the day to operations are decided by the Staff Collective. Policies that concern the fiscal and legal responsibilities of the organization are decided by the Board of Directors. Other policies are decided by the appropriate group or committee.

or even:

Policies are decided by the appropriate group or committee.

RfS 12:53, 28 October 2007 (PDT)