Making good use of our Advisory Council

Bringing an email discussion onto Talk about today’s poorly attended call, specifically this question:

I think having an advisory council is a great thing, but it feels like the cart leading the horse if we start with scheduled advisory council meetings and then work backwards to prepare for them. The advisory council is a valuable resource of talented & experienced people available for guidance to help work through tough questions/decisions. To that end, it seems like the most useful path would be to start with the questions & decisions and use scheduled calls when/if they are needed.

I’m thinking something like:

  • Marketing: Remind the community at regular intervals that we have the advisory committee as a resource. Who are they? What are their areas of expertise?

    For example, replace the introductory post to describe the Council and/or link to more info about who they are, expertise available, how to seek advice, what to do when the Council doesn’t have needed expertise, etc.

  • Culture of seeking advice: When questions or decisions come up within the community, have an easy way of directing these to the advisory committee (e.g., post to the Advisory Council category or post somewhere else addressing or cc’ing @AdvisoryCouncil).

  • Calls when needed: When we have a topic (or a bunch of smaller topics) too big or cumbersome for online discourse, schedule an Advisory Council meeting with an agenda to discuss it (or each of them), making sure the right people are on the call both to give & receive the advice.

    For example, if a discussion gets really long on Talk, a call might be more productive… or someone in the community might post in the Advisory Council category something like “We have a bunch of ideas around service providers and would like to get input from the council. Here’s some background, could we schedule a call to discuss?”

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I also added this to the LT agenda for tomorrow if people want to attend or provide verbal input during that call. The LT meetings are open to everyone, and they are on the OMRS Calendar. Thanks for those ideas, Burke.

I tend not to join these calls as I don’t really like the 7AM start time (no sympathy from you early risers, I realize, and I know we have to accommodate a global audience). But, I always feel guilty about not joining.

And, on my calendar - when I dutifully checked last night - I saw both the Advisory call and a (Cancelled) Advisory call appointment. Apple Calendar tells me the first those invites is owned by Michelle Cox, and the second is owned by Jonathan Teich, though I don’t know if he also sent the cancel notice.

The whole Apple <-> Google <-> Microsoft calendar thing is pretty screwed up, but since its screwed up for me, it might be for others. One labor intensive, but more reliable, strategy seems to be to send a single calendar invite to each event (no repeating events, not schedule exceptions, etc.). Takes more work, but translates better between calendaring systems. That can be helpful for busy people without someone to do their calendaring (which I think is most of us!).


Another trick which works for me in regards to the meetings that i have to attend is an intentional reminder on talk with a message like, “The xxxx meeting is happening in the next 10 or so minutes”.

The only thing I am unsure of is how much those on the advisory council use/check Talk. Do not think it can be the only level of communication.

Dear all,

There might be OMRS advisory members in Colombo for AeHIN GM?

Let me know…and we can have a side meeting…there is also an OpenSpaces portion Oct 9…OpenMRS can propose a session…

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