Agreement making process

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Agreements are the backbone of our formal relationships with each other. Clear written agreements are our second-highest-priority core value, and should be set aside only when our highest-priority value (sustainability) is in conflict.

Some agreements are simple, and can be crafted quickly. Others that involve controversial subjects may require considerable discussion, and may take weeks or even months to craft to everyone's satisfaction. The following procedure is primarily for routine agreements, with additional sections in italics that may apply to complex agreements.

To form an agreement,

  1. Make a new web page no later than one week before the meeting, clearly defining the agreement,
    For complex requests, create your web page at least two weeks in advance — more if it will require considerable discussion and refinement.
    • Put "{{request|20090901}}" at the top, substituting the meeting date when you hope the agreement will be reached in place of "20090901".
    • Try to find a suitable category for the requested agreement, and put it at the bottom in the form of (for example) "[[Category:Administration]]."
    • Announce the web page via email and seek feedback.
      • Alternatively, "pre-release" your request to a few individuals to get private feedback and "buy in" before announcing it to the entire group. This is especially important for any agreement of substance, in which varying opinions may be present in the group. It would be good to have those "varying opinions" in the initial review group!
  2. Incorporate feedback as needed, so that the page is announced and unchanging for a minimum of seven days before the meeting at which it is to be agreed.
    • Typographical errors and other minor changes that do not add to, subtract from, nor change the meaning of the page may be done within that week.
    • If this is a change to an existing agreement, put the complete text of the new agreement on the "discussion" tab of the existing agreement.
  3. Submit the request, along with an expected duration, to the agenda for a meeting, knowing the facilitator may have to shuffle it or even change it to another meeting.
    • If it's an important or difficult to understand agreement, be prepared for a "discussion-only" meeting the first time it comes up.
  4. When it comes up at a meeting, follow our consensus agreement-making process, with the help of that meeting's facilitator.

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