Some years ago in the Rockbox project (2008 to be exact), we started the Rockbox Steering Board (RSB). A board with the intention of having a core group that would take final hard decision when consensus was not reached among developers, or when conflicts arise or whatever.
I was voted in as member of the board in the first RSB and I’ve been a member of it since. We have annual elections where we vote for 5 trusted persons to attend the board that potentially will make decisions for the project’s good.
But no real crises turned up. No discussion was so heated it wasn’t handled by the developers on the mailing list or over IRC. No decision was needed by the RSB. And time passed.
In February 2011, the first ever case for RSB was brought to us by a member of the project who felt there was potentially some wrong-doing going on or something that was done was against our established procedure.
The issue itself was not that easy to deal with, and it also quickly showed that all five of us RSB members are busy persons with lots of stuff going on in our own ends so each round of discussions and decision-makings took a really long time. In the end we really had to push ourselves to get a statement together and published before the pending release.
I think we did good in the end and I think we learned a little on how to do it better next time. But let’s hope it’ll take another few years until the RSB is brought out again… Thanks Jens, Marianne, Frank and Björn for a job well done!