Assemblany: Towards Democratic Corporations

Monday, March 20, 2006

Definition - consensism

consensism (n.): An organisation committed to making all significant decisions by consensus.

See the Wikipedia article on consensus decision making for examples of such.

EDIT: see also this Seeds for Change article.

EDIT (19 May 02006): Please note that this is a potential future definition and is not (as far as I know) actually being used by anyone ... Apparently there is another definition: "a new style of art recently introduced to Bali by artist Lony Wing", which I was not previously aware of.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Fribitzberry - proposals update, week 53

Well, here's the latest on the proposals that got in and the new proposals for this week. Thank God for the rule that any proposals (not concerned solely with Workers) need to be seconded by at least 5 Voters - that's cut down on the volume a lot over the past month, so we only see (relatively) serious proposals now.

Of the proposals that did get in, I'm particularly happy with the proposal to clarify the language on our "what we do" web page. The previous version was way too tech-heavy, with all its talk about "Web2.1", "AJAZ", "REIFY", "written in Lobar", and "using the NEPHRITIS engine"; that's all been moved to the "technology" index page. Instead it's just focussing on fribitzing of rogenthumps, including splendiferric rogenthumps, which after all is what the customers care about, not what code is sitting on the server (or "behind the curtain" as someone said in the discussion of this proposal). They just want it to work.

Someone's made a new proposal that security and robustness should be prioritised ahead of new features; as a tester, I have to agree. We've got way too many defects at the moment, and need to focus on fixing them now. Looks like the customers recognise this as well :/ - well, I guess if that's what they want (and we'll see next week), that's what they get - the customer is always right, particularly at Fribitzberry.

Also, looks like it's time for elections to official positions again. I'm not standing for Social Events Co-ordinator again after the debacle with the canoeing afternoon ... Actually, it'd be great to get some volunteer support for that from a non-Worker Voter. I guess I should probably volunteer for Rule Engine Maintainer ... Tom needs a break, and the Rule Engine isn't that different from our product, really, so it's not too much to learn. I should nominate Tom for the Selfless Hero(ine) award, though - after 5 months of maintaining the rules through our growth spurt, he deserves to be recognised.

And that's all the rules-related comments I have for this week; tune in next week for more. (And/or some comments on my tests, which are more frustrating than ever.)

Introducing Fribitzberry

To further illustrate how an assemblany could work, there'll be a series of posts about a hypothetical Web assemblany called "Fribitzberry" (the name has no particular meaning).

Fribitzberry has been operating for about twelve months, and is just starting to become profitable (yeah, yeah, it's a hypothetical example). It has 10 Workers and about 200 other Voters (these are customers who have cared enough about its products to sign up and try to influence improvements that are made to it).

It is "focussed on enabling the better fribitzing of rogenthumps" (at least, that's its mission statement).

EDIT: the entries will be written from the point of view of a Worker, specifically a tester for the company's product(s).