[Portfolio] Sakai Product Council Nominations

janice.smith janice.smith at threecanoes.com
Mon Apr 13 07:17:41 PDT 2009

Dear OSP Community Members

I believe it will be important for OSP to have representation on the Sakai Product Council (deadline for nominations is April 15). This representation could take the form of OSP community members nominating themselves and/or being nominated by our community. We could also seek to better educate members of other Sakai groups about the benefits of OSP-like functionality for all users of Sakai as well as about the specific needs that we represent. I have been talking with Noah Botimer and Nate Angell about their potential as nominees. Beth Kirchner and Lynn Ward would also be excellent nominees. I think it will be important for IU and UMich to consider nominating a member of their portfolio teams for the Product Council or make sure that whoever represents these institutions on the Product Council is well versed in portfolio functionality.

I would like to propose that we discuss OSP community strategies for representation on the Product Council at our OSP Community meeting this morning.


Janice A. Smith, Ph.D.
Three Canoes Consulting
1204 Laurel Avenue
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104, USA
207-841-6262 (cell)
janice.smith at threecanoes.com
jasmith at mm.com

============ Forwarded Mail ============
>From : Michael Korcuska <mkorcuska at sakaifoundation.org>
To : Sakai Announcements <announcements at collab.sakaiproject.org>
Date :Sun, 12 Apr 2009 22:50:41 -0700
Subject : [Announcements] Sakai Product Council Nomination Deadline
============ Forwarded Mail ============

As you may know, the Sakai Foundation is forming a Product Council as 
part of the proposed new development process. Nominations are due to 
me (mkorcuska at sakaifoundation.org) on or before April 15, 2009. The 
Sakai Board will be appointing the initial members soon thereafter 
(planned for April 30th). 
The white paper describing the development process and a screencast of 
a webinar on the topic can be found on my blog at: 
The following excerpt from the white paper describes the role of the 
council and the qualifications for the members: 
Role of the Product Council 
The ultimate role of the product council is to determine which 
projects are incorporated into the formal product release. That is 
their only formal authority. The product council will use a 
transparent process for decision-making. Where possible, decisions 
will be evaluated against defined and objective criteria. Certain 
decisions will require more subjective standards and, in these cases, 
the reasons for any decisions will be clearly and openly communicated. 
The product council will also seek expert review from persons not on 
the council. 
We anticipate that projects will want some indication from the product 
council that their project is a good candidate for the release. 
Therefore, even though its only formal authority is to evaluate a 
projects readiness for release, we believe it will need to advise 
incubation projects about their readiness to enter the product 
development phase. Note that while the Product Council may be 
consulted for advice during the project, the product council will not 
direct project resources or tell projects how to conduct their 
business. They will tell them if the work itself is ready for release. 
The Membership of the Product Council 
The council will be made up of a group that brings the different areas 
of expertise required to effectively fill the product council 
function. We expect our understanding of the skills required to evolve 
over time, but the initial view is that the following areas of 
expertise are required 
* User experience, including accessibility and usability 
* Teaching and learning, 
* Research, 
* Software design and architectures, 
* Software production management (deploying and/or maintaining a Sakai 
In addition to these areas of expertise, all product council members 
should also have the following: 
* A broad understanding of the Sakai product 
* The ability to advocate for the needs within his/her area of 
expertise and maintain a broad view of community and product needs 
* Demonstrated commitment to engage with and contribute to the community 
* Expertise in more than one aspect of the product 
The product council will also include the Executive Director of the 
Sakai Foundation and a Sakai Product Manager, who will facilitate the 
group's interactions. The product council and the Board will together 
identify a process to evolve council membership over time. 
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. 
Best regards, 
Michael Korcuska 
Executive Director, Sakai Foundation 
mkorcuska at sakaifoundation.org 
phone: +1 510-931-6559 
mobile (US): +1 510-599-2586 
skype: mkorcuska 
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