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Where in the constitution does it say meetings are time boxed?

In the standard way Holacracy is practiced, and how I was taught in the H1 training, the rules are: all Holacracy meetings are timeboxed. In Tactical we process *every agenda item* in Governance we process *the item on the floor until it’s finished (or we run out of time)* and repeat with as many agenda items as we can.

Where actually does this come from in the Constitution? 

Thanks, Andrew 

8 Replies
Chris Cowan
10/25/2017

Great question. Hadn't thought of it before. : ) 

For Governance, I think the timebox fits within my interpretation of what "reasonable notice" means. You stop processing when the meeting time ends because "notice" only covered the time specified. 

For Tacticals, 4.2.3(e) says, "The Facilitator must attempt to allow time for processing every agenda item within the meeting, and in order to do so may cut off the processing of any item that’s taking more than its due share of the remaining meeting time."

David Locke
10/25/2017

Andrew,

I think that meetings being time boxed is a matter of best practice that isn't clearly specified in the constitution.  However, it is fairly easy to back-fill a justification for interpreting the constitution to require time boxed meetings.  

For tactical meetings, paragraph 4.2.3.e says, "The Facilitator must attempt to allow time for processing every agenda item within the meeting, and [...] may cut off the processing of any item that’s taking more than its due share of the remaining meeting time." I think clearly implies that the meeting has a fixed end time.

For governance meetings, section 3.3.2 says, "A Circle may only conduct its Governance Process in a meeting if the Secretary has given all Core Circle Members reasonable advance notice that a Governance Meeting will be held, including its time and location." I think that extending a governance meeting past the end time that was included in the notice would run afoul of this section, therefore the meeting must be time boxed.


 

Making meetings time boxed aren't the only interpretations that pass the "reasonable judgement" requirement of section 3.4.  For example, a reasonable person could conclude that scheduling a meeting from "9 AM - 5 PM (or until there are no more tensions to process)" meets the requirements of the constitution.  Personally, I think that's a poor way to run an organization but it's still allowed.

Konrad Olesiewicz
10/26/2017

Hi all

My interpretation is that they are timeboxed but based on the arrangement by the secretary who schedules the meetings. So the timebox is known in advance and should not be crossed. When there is no time cap it's fairly easy to relax the process during tension processing.

We could always have a tension about having longer meetings in default but I we would do it starting from next meeting so to keep the discipline (similarly to the approach in SCRUM) and just call a special meeting in case something important is at hand.

So, Andrew why the question anyway? Did you experience any tensions during the meetings (too long or smthng.) or pure curiosity?

Thanks and best regards!

awo
10/26/2017

Thanks for the answers

My tension [@mention:564684143600201011] is more like: what is the source of this Holacracy "truth" that I have inherited?

Konrad Olesiewicz
10/31/2017

Oh, now I get it  [@mention:544274267239861666]

So out of curiosity how do you do in your org. ? Timeboxed up front? Flex time? What works and what doesn't for your team?

Best and thanks in advance!

KO

awo
10/31/2017

[@mention:564684143600201011] It varies from circle to circle, generally we try and stick to the time box - but some circles have a 'Tactical (and Governance follows if needed)' time box. Others schedule only Tactical meetings on a regular basis - most of our Governance is done asynchronously these days!

Benoit Pointet
09/12/2018

I share the curiosity of [@mention:544274267239861666], more specifically on a truth that seemingly hasn't been addressed in this thread so far:

 in Governance we process *the item on the floor until it’s finished (or we run out of time)* and repeat with as many agenda items as we can.

Is there a constitutional basis for the practice that processing a governance item "takes all needed time" (within meeting timebox)?

Chris Cowan
09/15/2018

Well, I'd interpret 3.3.3 as having that, (c): "Agenda Building & Processing: The Facilitator builds an agenda of Tensions to process, then processes each agenda item in turn."