Loomio
Wed 4 Sep 2013

One proposal at a time?

DS
Dean Satchell Public Seen by 829

Should the software provide a better way to have multiple proposals and multiple discussions... such as having the ability to fork someones proposal and amend this into a new proposal? This discussion is not about having a multi-option proposal or polling feature, but whether having one decision at a time, or more than one, is appropriate once the "ideas" feature is implemented.

DS

Dean Satchell Wed 4 Sep 2013

Should the software provide a better way to have multiple proposals and multiple discussions… such as having the ability to fork someones proposal and amend this into a new proposal? Currently a participant can instead create a new discussion within the same group.

DS

Dean Satchell started a proposal Wed 4 Sep 2013

Proposal: One proposal at a time should remain when the “Ideas” feature is implemented. Closed Wed 4 Sep 2013

Results
Agree - 0
Abstain - 0
Disagree - 0
Block - 0
1 people have voted (0%)
CT

Chris Taklis Wed 4 Sep 2013

and the question is, what we do when we must take in the same discussion a decision with two different proposals?

for example:

Where do we want to go for holidays?

Mountain
Lake
Sea

In this question we will create 3 different discussions? or we must wait for one proposal finished to start another and another, and see then what is prefered by the most people?

Because that is sparing my time, because i have 3 times to vote instead of 1.

CT

Chris Taklis Wed 4 Sep 2013

i mean that also if ideas implemented, you must have multiple proposals, for the reason that i gave previously.

CT

Chris Taklis
Disagree
Wed 4 Sep 2013

DS

Danyl Strype Wed 4 Sep 2013

Chris, I find Loomio works best when a proposal is not put up until it seems like a consensus might be emerging. In the example you give, it sounds like people need to discuss what they want out of the holiday in the comments, and not make a proposal until the comments are leaning towards one option.

In this way of working, the Comments are used to find consensus, while Proposals are a way of checking that consensus has actually been found.

DS

Dean Satchell Wed 4 Sep 2013

Thanks for your comments @christaklis . I was assuming that in this case you would have a holiday discussion and the holiday options would be the ideas. The merits if ideas are discussed before a proposal is put to be voted on, or during discussion on a proposal. Maybe voting on multiple choices should be another discussion and proposal?

DS

Danyl Strype Wed 4 Sep 2013

I think we are starting to trip over our terms here. It seems to me that the Ideas feature, by its very nature, allows multiple proposals (thus fixing the bottle-neck I described in the 'Using a Block' discussion). If the proposal here was 'one decision in each discussion at a time', I totally agree with that.

CT

Chris Taklis Wed 4 Sep 2013

in a group with few members it is possible that you say @strypey. But how you can do it in a group that has 50, 100 , 200 or more members to have one proposal from the discussion, when all the members maybe won't participate in discussion and you want to have a multiproposal to see what all these members want actually?

DS

Dean Satchell started a proposal Wed 4 Sep 2013

One decision at a time should remain when the “Ideas” feature is implemented. Closed Sat 7 Sep 2013

Outcome
by Dean Satchell Mon 27 Feb 2017

If the number of decisions run concurrently becomes configurable, the option of having only one decision at a time should remain.

Results
Agree - 1
Abstain - 1
Disagree - 1
Block - 1
3 people have voted (0%)
DS

Dean Satchell Wed 4 Sep 2013

I don't think this discussion should be about multiple choice proposals, that should be another discussion

DS

Danyl Strype Wed 4 Sep 2013

Nice work @deansatchell

DS

Danyl Strype
Agree
Wed 4 Sep 2013

It's good to be only making one decision at a time in each discussion. 'Ideas' will allow us to compare multiple possibilities, and modify them in response to comments, before anyone makes a formal proposal.

CT

Chris Taklis
Abstain
Wed 4 Sep 2013

RJ

Raphaël Jadot
Abstain
Wed 4 Sep 2013

I don't know technically what is the best solutions, but I think the manager of a group should be able to choose the best workflow policy :)

Example given in comments.

RJ

Raphaël Jadot Wed 4 Sep 2013

Here is an example where we would have prefered the possibility to have several independant proposals at the same time.

Loomio almost totally replace our physical meetings as we live all over the world. We simply have regular quick IRC meeting that summarize and make official decisions taken.
The discussion context is regularly appended with discussions. But as we can't have several decisions in one page, we have to manage several discussion context, for the same context in fact.

So being able to have one discussion context (a meeting here) with several decisions would be good for us in this case. For this case, it would be far more useful for us to be able to open several decisions at the same time in a loomio discussion rather than opening a battery of new contexts just for some trivial discussions. But of course, it would not be the case for other group working with different workflow and constraint.

In fact, for summarizing, the needs are not the same when you sometimes open a new idea or when you organize discussions by events, and use it for day to day organization.

I abstain mainly because I don't know if it would bring some unsolvable complication to the software, but my abstain is more in favour of "admin should decide if we can have more than one decisions at a time" if it's technically doable.

DS

Dean Satchell Thu 5 Sep 2013

Hi @raphaeljadot One can indeed have several decisions on the same page, but they are consecutive. Wouldn't "Ideas" where multiple proposals could be run past the group serve your purposes? My thinking is that it is appropriate to have only one decision at a time, because you have only one place for discussion. With ideas several proposals could be put forward and their relationships discussed as multiple possibilities, but in my mind only one should be decided on at a time, otherwise confusion and conflicting decisions might arise. If the decision has to be made fast, the time frame is reduced so the group can get on with the next one. Conflicting decisions would be okay if consecutive, but surely not at the same time? I'd welcome anybody in the group to convince me otherwise.

RJ

Raphaël Jadot Thu 5 Sep 2013

@deansatchell I understand your concern, I know that it may be a problem. If it's a technical constraint, sure let's not add to much workload to developers :)

but if it's rather because of the risk of misuse or confusion, then I follow my main idea, that the users should not be limited by philosophy, if they express a need, just by technical feasibility :). Maybe by default there could be only one decision at a time possible, with an option for the context creator to let more than one decision (and a warning describing the risk that may appear)

Z

zack Fri 6 Sep 2013

Is necessary to be able to express in a quantifiable way more than agree/not agree and implementing MultiProposals is needed. If that happens one decision at a time would keep everybody aligned on the same idea.

@strypey I saw that you are against that idea and also opt for one decision at a time. I think is important to give Loomio more flexibility to quantify support for other ideas not just the one on hand. Keeping this way:
- gives a incomplete summarization of the options and might miss the best decision: in a group with 100 participants 8 out of 10 who voted say they agree to go to pool, but if the question would have been if they want to go to sea 90 out of 100 would say yes. Starting to compare manually number of likes or votes on decisions it's inefficient and improbable to happen.
- slows down the process of finding the best solution for everybody especially in medium and larger groups. If you have more than active 30 participants in a group who will do statistics manually?!

DS

Dean Satchell Sat 7 Sep 2013

@raphaeljadot I'm okay with having the option for more than one decision at once, provided the option of only having one decision at a time isn't taken away. This would be required for serious groups trying to achieve decisions without greivances. Happy to debate this point further if anyone disagrees.

I have changed the discussion context, I want to be clear that this discussion is not about multi-option proposals/polling feature which I'm fine with, what I want to be clear about is that the option of having one decision at a time must be retained once the ideas feature is implemented.

AI

Alanna Irving Sun 10 Nov 2013

I was thinking about this today and I had a vision for how alternatives could be proposed without taking away the focused deliberation of a single proposal at a time.

If there is an active proposal, you state your position, but there is also an option to suggest an alternative solution. This is visible to the rest of the group underneath the current proposal (could be multiple alternatives by multiple people) and other group members could 'like' these while still participating in the open proposal.

Benefits

  • still forces people to consider the open proposal and if they don't like it, thumbs down and state their position. This is important to keep clear and concise the information about why people don't think a proposal is the best solution.

  • still gives all group members a chance to participate - a downfall of moving off proposals too quickly is they can be discounted before much of the group has had their say, and prematurely cut off discussion before alternative viewpoints inspire evolved thinking (Loomio at its best).

  • when a proposal fails, the group has gotten a head start on where it might go next, with indications of which alternatives have support from participants (looking at the likes) without allowing those alternatives to become distractions while the first proposal is still going on.

Is this about the same as the ideas feature currently being designed @jonlemmon @richarddbartlett ? I guess the difference between this and how I imagined the ideas feature is this would specifically be at the stage of proposals, as opposed to Ideas which I thought was more at the discussion stage. Maybe ultimately it's the same idea...

JL

Jon Lemmon Sun 10 Nov 2013

@alannakrause yep, what you're describing is exactly the same as the ideas feature we've been talking about. Cool that you've emerged at the same solution independently. :)

AI

Alanna Irving Sun 10 Nov 2013

Awesome. I'm interested to see how it will be designed, especially in terms of where in the lifecycle of a discussion and decision Ideas will be emphasised.

MS

Marcos Siqueira Wed 27 Nov 2013

Reading what @alannakrause has described and looking at the mocks for the ideas feature it seems to me the difference between proposal and ideas may be too small for them to get separate names. It may add unnecessary complexity to call it something other than just proposals since its pretty much what they are. My two cents looking with a fresh pair of eyes at the previous discussions is that there seems to be a fundamental view that having a vote on only one proposal at a time is the only way to focus towards consensus, and I think it may be worth questioning that a bit. There may be other ways to focus the group, like for example by narrowing down options through a process of elimination. Perhaps worth testing something like that...

CL

Craig Lambie Wed 27 Nov 2013

I am quite interested to see the ideas feature too. Happy to be a beta tester if possible?

GG

Giles Gibson Thu 28 Nov 2013

My limited use of Loomio (only a few weeks now) has often come up against the problem of a proposal not being supported but the discussion lingers n and on. Being able to start an alternative proposal and run in parallel would really speed up the process of collaborating and inspiring quick new thinking without the long drawn out waiting game for a proposal to quietly die in the corner.

Maybe if the initiator of the discussion could decide if the discussion will be limited to single proposal or allow multiple proposals to be made, that way we have the best of both worlds.

AI

Alanna Irving Thu 28 Nov 2013

Hi @gilesgibson thanks for the real world feedback! Good to hear how this is playing out in various groups.

In groups I am part of, if a proposal is clearly failing and it's a waste of time to see it through, we usually just close it early. This leaves it open for putting up an improved proposal.

CT

Chris Taklis Fri 29 Nov 2013

@alanna in some way i agree BUT it is not going well to open another discussion just to put another proposal in the same time with the same subject....

what i mean is that in my group we had to open 4 same subject discussions and 4 proposals (for the same subject) because we had to finish these 4 proposals in 3 days and also had enough time so everyone can vote...

So if there wouldn't be that stupid limit to only one active proposal, sure the proposals would be more good and the discussion in one place...

GG

Giles Gibson Fri 29 Nov 2013

My experience to date is that the one offer on the table at a time is slowing down the decision process. Trying to juggle multiple discussion groups on the same subject but with different proposals is a pain.

I bow to better experience from others who want to keep the "focus" on one thing but giving the option to the originator as to how they want to run the "meeting" would solve the problem.

AI

Alanna Irving Mon 9 Dec 2013

I'm transitioning a comment from @davidjones1 on this topic over here...


I am considering using loomio for our Student Union, so that students can actively form policy.

While I see how often a discussion will lead to one proposal as the solution to the issue, I can imagine other discussions where multiple proposals could be usefully suggested and voted upon.

For example, if we had a debate about how we can improve the Student Union Constitution, there might be multiple policies that are viable. In this case, could there not be a method of allowing for multiple proposals to be voted upon? Or perhaps is there a workaround that allows one discussion to splinter off into multiple discussions about different policy options?

RT

rory tb Mon 16 Dec 2013

For what I've read this dilemma seems to be between voting on a proposal and amending/alternative proposals?

I can see how this could become a through duplicate threads over related subjects or it could lead to contradictions. Eg: one proposal that everyone must wear a blue hat on thursdays might contradict another proposal that people have a right to wear burkas. With a large enough group both could be passed because different people were active and voted in the two discussions, even though they're contradictory. At the same time, it could overly complex pretty quickly if everything becomes interlinked into a single forum.

Part of the solution to this would definitely be an archive system that somewhat could look like reddit, so that there are clear and easily findable topics with sub-topics with the previously passed proposals.

Another in part solution could be the option for people to put forward amendments, not just after the voting process for the proposal but during it too.

JG

John Graham Mon 16 Dec 2013

Just FYI, the word "fork" is complete jargon-ese to me, which makes this thread hard to engage with.

RDB

Richard D. Bartlett Mon 16 Dec 2013

@johngraham think of a fork in the road: the conversation splits at a certain point and carries on in two separate streams

JG

John Graham Mon 16 Dec 2013

Thanks @richarddbartlett ...

..and is this the most relevant link to help explain the "Ideas Feature?"

RDB

Richard D. Bartlett Mon 16 Dec 2013

@johngraham yep :)

JG

John Graham Tue 17 Dec 2013

Wow something actually makes sense around here :P

"PO!":
To avoid confusion between 'ideas' and 'proposals', you could, for 'ideas', deliberately use a jargon word not in common circulation. For example, you could use Edward de Bono's "PO!", which indicates a fresh (maybe bizarre) idea to take the conversation forward, rather than a concrete proposal.

Oooh, 'meta'!

LF

Luke Flegg Wed 11 Nov 2015

The wording of this proposal is destroying my brain.