Board of Directors Meeting Summary - July 2017


Hi All,

I’m excited to write my first summary for you all of the OpenMRS Board of Directors happenings. The Board of Directors met on Friday 14 July 2017. Attending the meeting was Bill Tierney, Mitchell Baker, Jan Flowers, Paul Biondich, and Terry Cullen. (About the Board of Directors)

The main topic of discussion was the Bahmni distribution, the formation of the coalition, and the opportunity to become a fiscal sponsor for the Bahmni coalition. The discussion was based upon this proposal I posted earlier for the community review.. The discussion was very rich and covered both the benefits and the risks of becoming the fiscal sponsor, the lessons learned and advice from other organizations that have gone through a similar transition in open source, and the next steps for the BoD. The outcome of the discussion was that all members agreed that the direction was beneficial to the OpenMRS mission and we would continue to pursue this role. @paul, @terry, @darius, and I will be working on that formal agreement with legal counsel for the Inc. The BoD’s responsibility is to review and decide upon that formal agreement between OpenMRS and the new Bahmni Coalition.

With the pursuit of this opportunity, there are some new questions that we as a community will need to work through. With Bahmni coalition and product becoming more integrated into the OpenMRS community, it will be up to us to decide how much we want to embrace the product as one of our core offerings for specific use cases (alongside Platform and the Reference App), how much we take on the responsibility for its success, and whether we began more formally including Bahmni into our community planning. I don’t have any of these answers, but I thought these were important questions from other members of the BoD.

In addition to the Bahmni discussion, we discussed the potential candidates for the currently open Board seat. @paul, @terry, and myself have been vetting those candidates for interest and fit. To find the right person, this can take a fair amount of time, so patience will pay off here. Expect more updates in the near future as we continue to work with these candidates. Once we get to the point that a candidate is being seriously considered, we will host a “get to know the candidate” session in some format TBD for everyone to meet and greet in the community to ensure that the person is a good fit for the position. Stay tuned!

Lastly, the BoD was asked to consider joining Town Halls and Implementer Meetings for the community to get to know them better and for the BoD members to understand the needs of the community better. The question for the community is are you interested in this? If we set up a BoD member at one of these events, would you be interested in hearing from them and having an open dialogue with them about the needs of the community?

Thanks everyone. Looking forward to your input! @janflowers, community BoD member


To answer your last question (which perhaps should be bolded or flagged in some way :slight_smile: ), YES.


In regards to “how much we take on the responsibility for its [Bahmni’s] success” and how much we include the Bahmni in community planning, my opinion would be to take a “wait-and-see” approach and see how the Bahmni Coalition develops, and the resources other organizations are able to bring to the table before we dive in too deeply. I think we’ve made some good progress with the Ref App of late, and we have multiple implementations using it, and I worry about us spreading our limited resources too thin.

Take care, Mark