AHM 2014: Session 1 "Governance and Chartering EarthCube"


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Lee Allison, PI of the EarthCube Test Enterprise Governance Project, provides an introduction to the Draft Governance Charter, which was developed by the EarthCube community, and further refined with more community feedback. The presentation covers all aspects of the Draft Charter and how we will be 'tackling the tough issues' throughout the meeting and coming year to continue to develop EarthCube governance.

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  • Action, change, conversation
  • Joel’s intro to why a charter
  • Majority of respondents (63%) felt that “formalized activities” required no definition
    Provides room for interpretation and change over time
    Recommendations for further definition
    Role of funded projects (do they need endorsement by EC Gov?)
    From analysis of directives and EC priorities to refinement of roles and responsibilities to crafting MOUs
    Pull from the Preamble Entirely
    May be “too restrictive in the future” (contrary to above feedback)
    Change “formalized activities” to providing leadership and strategic decision making for EarthCube.
    Additional Recommendations
    Glossary of Terms – not included in the original Charter intentionally
    Discuss distributed system of systems
    Confusion over “contributing members” and “membership”
    Overall support for the defined VMG
    Recommendation that the goals require additional tangible/time-specific outcomes, so remove the “goals” section as they are restated from V & M
    Goals should be measurable, measurable, measureable
    The Structure is TOO Large!
    Too much overhead
    Potential for groups to stray from the EarthCube mission
    Too much too soon
    Forming so much structure before tangible EarthCube results are shown
    EarthCube may need to show something more mundane before it can “transform” geoscience research. E.g. Discoverability of datasets
    Good Start; “we’ll adjust when the rubber hits the road.”
    Balance of Power is unclear
    Need to provide additional structure for the Standing Committees and Teams – people will want to know the workload before they commit
    Clarification of the Teams and Working Groups; Teams seem linked at the hip with no indication as to why/how; WG seem too disparate
    Unclear where the work of Cyberinfrastructure development really occurs
    Current Structure has counter points: Smoothing Paths Forward versus Setting Hard Operational Goals

  • Metrics Need Definition
    How do we know when a function is working?
    How do we prioritize functions?
    How do we ensure community feedback on the metrics for the functions?
    Additional Functions Proposed by the Community
    International Engagement – “it is essential to meeting the EarthCube goals”
    Customer Support/End-User Support
    “to ensure projects meet end user requirements” – does this mean Governance can step in?
  • It depends on how much funding is needed for sustainability. If EC is to be self-sustaining, there could be multiple tiers of membership levels, with some members (institutions, depts.) paying higher dues than others. Individuals could pay a minimal fee like $5.00/yr. [note- this said $500 – typo, right??]

  • Perception of drawing from basic science
  • Perception of drawing from basic science
  • What else do you expect from your participation?
  • EarthCube as a whole is a great example of something that is complex. It has a high degree of dependence on how people engage, which is somewhat predictable, but many outside factors will influence it. These are diverse elements and interactions among them will create unpredictable, emergent results. Experience, of course, will help – the seventh assembly will go better than the first. But still, there is no guarantee of success or predictable outcomes.

    Pieces within EarthCube may not be complex – many may be complicated, such as some of the technology solutions that will be generated. There might even be some that are simple. But because EC as a whole is complex…
  • We are engaged in a complex environment. It takes more than rocket science to map the road ahead and engage all the stakeholders in going down it together
  • AHM 2014: Session 1 "Governance and Chartering EarthCube"

    1. 1. 7/25/2014 1 Chartering EarthCube
    2. 2. 7/25/2014 2 Why all this thinking, planning, exploring, collaborating, prototyping….? A federated system of systems EarthCube’s success looks something like…
    3. 3. Critical Functions of Governance 37/25/2014 Leadership & Vision • Setting the strategic direction • Coordinating, communicating, developing policies, etc. • Coordination with NSF Guiding Technical Implementation • Explicit connection between scientific process and technical functions • Alignment of funded projects • Stewardship of reference architecture Advocacy & Engagement • Disseminate, engage, connect, partner • Other organizations and initiatives, end-users, educators, professional societies, publishers, and more
    4. 4. 7/25/2014 4 The Charter
    5. 5. Standing Committees Steering Committee Office Council of Data Facilities Partner- ship ProgramTechnology/ Architecture Committee Engagement & Advocacy Committee Science Committee Participants Technical Funding Team Working Groups Science Funding Team Special Interest Groups Special Interest Groups Working Groups Working Groups
    6. 6. Comprehensive Survey Review: General Comprehensive document with room to grow & adjust once implemented Consensus that the Charter must lead to defined metrics and measurable outcomes Current balance of power is unclear – Where does the action happen? Learn from past experiences
    7. 7. Comprehensive Survey Review: Functions Functions generally represented the communities’ needs Metrics need definition: what’s working, priorities, who defines? Additional functions proposed
    8. 8. 7/25/2014 8 Vision and Mission Vision: EarthCube enables transformative geoscience by fostering a community committed to providing unprecedented discovery, access, and analysis of geoscience data. Mission: EarthCube streamlines the path to scientific discovery by overcoming social, institutional, and technical barriers to data sharing and access through a network of interoperable, computational resources. This will be developed and supported by a community of practice consisting of data and software providers, end-user geoscientists, computer and information scientists, and related communities.
    9. 9. 7/25/2014 9 Goals • Facilitating new opportunities for transformative geoscience • Maintaining a knowledgebase • Making it easier to share, identify, access, use and evaluation quality data • Enable data-driven hypothesis and answering questions otherwise not possible • Enabling trust in data and software • Developing/implementing interoperable software and hardware resources • Building tech and social interfaces with other efforts • Facilitating cyberinfrastructure projects
    10. 10. 7/25/2014 10 Steering Committee Strategic direction Oversight of all the moving parts of EC Policies, procedures, communication Coordination with NSF
    11. 11. Comprehensive Survey Review: Steering Committee  Should aim for rough consensus; 2/3 vote, if necessary  Term limits for the Chair are generally positive; incoming/acting/outgoing situation provides continuity; but ripe for oligarchy?  Chair should be compensated, particularly travel support Mixed feelings on salary support  Legal issues may require attorney assistance outside Steering Committee
    12. 12. 7/25/2014 12 Office Implements partnership program Supports all parts of governance Manages online collaboration platform Coordinates the All Hands Meeting
    13. 13. 7/25/2014 13 Partnership Program Proactive engagement of related efforts May include formalized MOUs or informal Reaches out to/identifies new potential partners
    14. 14. Comprehensive Survey Review: Structures  Headquarters/Support Office/Secretariat/National Coordination Office: 71%: office should be self-supporting and self- managed with the Manager as a non-voting member of the Steering Committee AND funded at 5-year increments  Partnership Program is a positive, but should be part of the Office (nuance – “Alliance” or “Liaisons”)  92%: working group model as outlined is reasonable and encourages participation
    15. 15. 7/25/2014 15 Standing Committees Open-membership Self-selected leadership Engages with working groups Fulfills critical functions to support the value and content of EC
    16. 16. 7/25/2014 16 Standing Committee List Technology/Architecture Engagement & Advocacy Science Council of Data Facilities
    17. 17. Comprehensive Charter Review: Standing Committees & Teams Standing Committees need clearer lines of communications and further definition of overlapping functions, particularly on the Science Committee Concern that the Architecture and Technology Committee functions are more top-down than system of systems or requirements driven development rather than agile, evolutionary development
    18. 18. Comprehensive Charter Review: Standing Committees & Teams 77% of respondents believe Council of Data Facilities should be an independent Standing Committee 62% of respondents felt that Teams should NOT be part of the Standing Committees and should remain autonomous. HOWEVER, collaboration should occur and be mandated in new NSF awards
    19. 19. 7/25/2014 19 Funded Project Teams Coordinating mechanism Technical Awardee Team Science Awardee Team Maintain alignment of funded projects
    20. 20. 7/25/2014 20 Nimble, Adaptive Engagement Working Groups (can seek funding) Special Interest Group (no funding) Contributing Members Partner Organizations
    21. 21. Comprehensive Survey Review: Membership Institutional and Individual (80%) Dislike tiered membership – EarthCube should be wide open Conflicting responses on how to mitigate favoritism
    22. 22. Strategic Questions: Issues That May Emerge What is EarthCube going to be when it grows up? Inclusion/Retention/Support of End-User Scientists, including Public Affairs and Community Engagement Past cyberinfrastructure failures may overshadow current progress
    23. 23. Strategic Questions: Issues That May Emerge Sustainability of small projects (including lessons learned) Operational issues on interoperability, architecture flexibility, data archiving Too much legislative branch, not enough judiciary or executive NSF resources
    24. 24. Standing Committees Steering Committee Office Council of Data Facilities Partner- ship ProgramTechnology/ Architecture Committee Engagement & Advocacy Committee Science Committee Participants Technical Funding Team Working Groups Science Funding Team Special Interest Groups Special Interest Groups Working Groups Working Groups
    25. 25. 7/25/2014 25 Tackling the Tough Issues Facing EC EC Architecture Forum Kick-off & Introducing the Charter Opening Remarks Day 1 Outcome: Exploration and learning about systems architecture, governance and other EC issues. Day 3 Overall Outcome: Slingshot EC forward into 2014 – 2015 funding cycle, with well defined governance, direction on systems architecture, and greater understanding of what’s in development and what’s still needed. Breakout Groups Reception/Poster Session Day 2 Outcome: Driving EC forward – setting the agenda for 2014 – 2015 and making key decisions. First Steps on EC Priorities Welcome & Selecting EC Priorities EC Architecture Guiding the Future Workshops & Technology Demonstrations Breakout Groups Business Meetings Presenting the Revised Charter Working Groups Breakout Groups
    26. 26. 7/25/2014 26 Not your typical conference…
    27. 27. Source: Adapted from “Getting to Maybe” by Frances Westley, Barbara Zimmerman and Michael Quinn Patton Simple The right “recipe” is essential but once you’ve discovered it, replication will get you almost the same result every time Example: Baking a Cake We solve these kinds of problems with ADAPTIVE STRATEGIES Complex There are no “right” recipes or protocols that work in every situation. There are many outside factors that influence the situation, and every situation is unique. Experience helps, but in no way guarantees success Example: Raising a Child Complicated The right “protocols and formulas” are needed, as are high levels of expertise and training – experience is built over time to get to the right result, which can be repeated over time with the expectation of success Example: Sending a Rocket to the Moon
    28. 28. 7/25/2014 28 It takes more than rocket science to map the road ahead and engage all the stakeholders in going down it together
    29. 29. 7/25/2014 29 Taking Action in 2014-2015 Sign up to participate on Standing Committees Self- nominate for the Steering Committee Sign-up to help develop the Partnership Program 1 2 3 Sign-up sheets are posted on the walls by the registration table (large poster board)
    30. 30. 7/25/2014 30 Tackling the Tough Issues Facing EarthCube in 2014-2015 Exploring and mapping the road ahead on two critical issues while testing whether we developed a robust structure
    31. 31. 7/25/2014 31 Choose Your Own Adventure Pick a Table to Pick Your Role Steering Committee Office Technology Standing Committee Council of Data Facilities Engagement Standing Committee Science Standing Committee I don’t care - assign me!