Meta Project Navigation, 2022-07-20

Agenda / Topics

people in attendance

  • Wendy Elford on computer
  • Peter Kaminski on computer
  • Jordan Sukut
  • Michael Grossman
  • Wendy McClean
  • Bill Larson
  • Phil Stien
  • Jonathan Sand

Lessons Learned, Weak Signals, Observations, etc.

  • Vincent tuned in from Ireland!
    • timezones
    • Internet access or not
    • different kinds of interaction from a different place
  • Remember preflight checklist
    • turn on recording
    • turn on transcription
    • hackmd link
    • hackmd link
  • Kevin linked to Wendy Elford's website
  • What tools are compatible with the wiki, and how do we see that the wiki populates locally?
    • see further down in this doc for some good notes #WikiGardening #TODO (copy the tools info out to another page in How We Wiki or similar page)
    • Define core hashtags for meetings for conventions.
  • Current practice - use HackMD, then transfer to wiki immediately after meeting.
    • Question: Does HackMD carry this set of meeting notes over to the next meetings? Especially where the issues are ongoing...
  • Is issue tracker the same as the one we started setting up in AirTable with the Map Weavers group?
    • aka Open Loop tracker
    • Over time each Sovereign will likely need their own issue tracker..
    • #TODO (Turn the issue tracker map weavers made into a template)
    • may be stories as the metadata will show intersections between projects
  • would we want to combine the issues and commitments trackers?
    • #TODO (set up a PM-interested meeting) the PM-interested folks need to talk more about issues and commitments (and other things like "tasks"), and what they mean, and how to track them.
    • We want to be careful to honor the Checklist prior to making or securing commitments.
    • How to work with deep uncertainty and remain functional.
    • How we create (or think about) a single source of truth
  • #TODO (Create a process to harvest and track TODOs)
  • Glossary / Lexicon of words / tags / etc.

Thoughts during our retro

  • Thinking about UX / UI - experiences on different devices... iPhone vs. computers vs. tablets, audio only vs video etc.
    • allows insights on usability of say HackMD is difficult on your phone
    • tension between seeing people and typing
  • Idea of creating a lexicon of words which we are using to represent particular concept as work in progress
  • Some meetings will have a different form of conversation to work through ambiguous or contested words so the patterns of usage become clear through use of meta data - would need more data ie more words
  • jonathan suggests we make a strong effort to use words according to modern dictionary definitions, and focus our glossary on specific existing meanings

Unprocessed Chat

we didn't get to these comments

David Korton, has been telling and defining clear distinctions between the current story and the thriving "meta story" for a while. He is available to connect with. See this book. It will informat the MetaStory" a lot -

from Wikipedia: "The core concept of cybernetics is circular causality or feedback—where the observed outcomes of actions are taken as inputs for further action in ways that support the pursuit and maintenance of particular conditions, or their disruption."

i wonder if those of us who feel called, can offer their summary of the meeting?

Or someone who is usually on cam is participating invisibly because they’re in transit!

…and therefore can’t type well enough to HackMD

(On phone in my case)

I need to head out. Excellent meeting Jordan and Pete. Super great value to me and to see the plans and structured thought. I've gone though most of the wiki areas. Excited to see this continued emergence. ❤️

Issues and Commitments

Tools and Dashboards

could possibly use this

I think we are re talking about multiple levels of team practices re issues pacing, training results etc. Clear approaches (perhaps multiple) would afford optimization.

thanks, zeek! Spirit and I (Pete) had a "tools" discussion about issue trackers and the like here:

one of the net-net conclusions is that different teams might use different tools for tracking issues, and the critical thing is that we can aggregate dashboard data

Why They Need to be Separate

but note, you want Single Source of Truth

you actually don't want to accept commitments on something that has issues on it, as that means the commitment can't be executed.

And so there's a very technical reason why process people wouldn't want those combined, because there's a set of there's like a preflight checklist for making a commitment and you wanna make sure it's clean and can be easily acted on

And so the issue solving process needs to scrub it and get it to the point where a teams decided that it can be acted on.

And then, then, when the team says okay, i'll do that by this date they have a clean line to do that.

Intro To Wiki, Collective Notetaking and HackMD

  • Introduction To Collective Notetaking and Wiki
  • Open Source collective note taking capability.
  • The ability to capture all relevant information from many people all at once.
  • Millions of people are using this tech for software development. We are leveraging that, while attempting to make it as technically shallow as we can while gaining a lot of capability.
  • Reason we are not using Google Docs and Google Sites - get more done faster... scales much much bigger
  • Failure modes of large platforms
    • Google decides what is allowable
    • Government decides
    • Acquisition...
    • Solar storms take out electronics...
    • This tech does not require a functioning cloud.
    • Does not require internet...
    • falls down... everyone has a copy of the whole wiki on their computer...
    • If many computers broken due to solar storm or war - everyone has a copy of the entire thing...
    • can rebuild in local community even without reaching the rest of the world.
    • we are building security from collapse or attack type scenariors.
  • The markdown file can be easily downloaded for a local copy and is accessible in the wiki
  • There is a pattern of moving between HackMD and the faces as suits the pattern of the meeting and the need of the group and the issues.
  • HackMD and markdown allows the cooperative, collaborative thinking in real-time.
  • Another mode for writing a document is asynchronous typing directly on the wiki (Obsidian) and this will allow links and more.
  • Why not Google Docs?
    • More decentralized
    • different tools can collaborate
    • More cancel / war / solar flare resistant
    • We already have simple tools like word etc yet these don't help with connection
    • another level is to use notepad or text editor
    • Obsidian is another option which uses markdown and connects to Wiki
  • Same tech can be used for personal writing, knowledge management
  • Two parts of wiki
    • One - cohesive and fairly architected content
    • Two - free form, group knowledge individual perspectives on Lionsberg / Meta Project etc.,
    • Also - a PROCESS for moving from individual blogs up into the group brain part of the wiki.
    • Think of the more fluid section to be a scaffold to develop material to bring to more formal architected section
    • There is a social process for accepting content to transfer
  • How do we comment on the core material - TRANSFERED TO ISSUE TRACKER
    • This will likely be branching and issues...
    • longer comments can be put in your own wiki and then addressed as there is a link
  • What is compatible?
    • The simplest things like notepad... important because it heops in dire situations
    • Obsidian gives you a lot more power

Hack MD / Wiki Training

  • Marianne
  • Jonathan
  • Bill
  • Jordan
  • Pete
  • Phil
  • Wendy McLean
  • Wendy Elford
  • Forrist


  • Pete has agreed for now to help us set up the HackMD and then upload to the meeting section of the Lionsberg Wiki.

Kinds of Meetings

  • PM Navigation (Reference Everything Is A Project framework)
  • Community Navigation (Discernment / Being / What is alive focus)
  • Brainstorming
  • Social Get-togethers (relationships, being heard)
  • others?
  • Most of the meeting is negotiating stuck points


  • David Korton, has been telling and defining clear distinctions between the current story and the thriving "meta story" for a while. He is available to connect with. See this book - Change the Story, Change the Future. It may inform the MetaStory" a lot
    • Yes Magazine, started by David and his wife a couple decades ago. Rich resource of connections, stories, perspectives, real world actions occuring.

This Is Our First Meeting To Get A Little Better At The PM Side


  • Planned Start and End Time:
  • Actual Start and End Time:

Opening Remarks - 5 Min

Purpose: To greet, and set the energy and context for the meeting.

Rapid Orienting Headlines - 3 to 10 Min

Purpose: To draw out top headlines and orient the group to any significant developments (30 to 60 seconds).

Pressing Issues To Add To Issue Tracker? - 2 to 5 Min

Purpose: To assure anyone with bursting with an issue that they can rest and listen because the issue has been placed on the Issue Tracker. We don't have yet

Navigation Dashboard Reviews - 5 Min

Purpose: To review Navigation Dashboards for any potential issues that need to be added to the Issue Tracker.

  • Green, Yellow, Orange or Red
  • No dashboards exist yet

Quarterly Goal Reviews - 5 Min

Purpose: To review self-reported % complete and Green Yellow Orange Red indicator, and add potential any issues to Issue Tracker.

Commitment Tracker - 5 Min

Purpose: To capture and track Commitments (action items) as they arise, and add any potential issues to Issue Tracker.

Short Term Issue Tracker - Bulk of Meeting

Purpose: Main focus of the meeting - to Identity, Dialogue, and Resolve issues. Fields: Issue, Who, Date Raised, Date Due, Notes.

  • How to comment on sections of the core content?

    • deeper than branching and suggested edits
    • maybe personal blog posts?
  • We don't have an issue tracker

    • jonathan has offered to help and has some design ideas
  • We don't have a Retrospective Tracker

  • We don't have navigation dashboards

    • Need to viewable at a glance...
    • Good PMs often have internal and external dashboards - messy with weak signal - translated into set of tasks and roll up to help others understand. acting like a spokesperson able to "talk to the public"
    • Also need occasional check-ins - showing how they link, and asking for permission to see internal once the trust is established.
    • Combination of data and narrative - qualitative and quantitive...
      • and a way to assign meta data to the narrative structure
  • Weak signals get lost in issue trackers - need to use stories and other less formal methods as well. Discovering issues before they are languaged. Tool set question.

  • We don't (yet) have a way to bring in clear connection to the social / culture group

    • Perhaps comments will aid this?
    • Some issues might be too sensitive to discuss or mention formally / publically
    • May involve formal use of stories as data for a sense check
  • Don't have quarterly Goals

  • Don't have a Commitment Tracker

  • Process for dealing with personal issues, way to establish trust at fine level of granularity, across teams, that can cause unseen ripple effects.

  • A way of elevating issues to various levels - A way of integrating vision of the issues

    • across the levels
    • up and down the levels
    • multiple levels of team practices re issues pacing, training results etc.
    • clear approaches (perhaps multiple) would afford optimization
    • different teams might use different tools for tracking issues, and the critical thing is that we can aggregate dashboard data
  • Time limits as guidelines..

Long Term Issue Tracker - 2 Min

Purpose: To track long term issues that will not be resolved this month / quarter, and see if any need to be transfered up to the Short Term Issue Tracker. Fields: Issue, Who, Date Raised, Date Due, Notes.

Retrospective - 10 Minutes

  • What worked?
  • What can we do better next time?
  • Add feedback to the Retrospective Tracker


  • PM Meetings require a "PM Backbone".
  • We are developing a hybrid that retains the best of:
    • Lean Integrated Program Delivery from AEC Industry
    • Product Management / Agile from Tech Industry
  • While offering significant new benefits
    • Total integrated System, Structure, Culture, DNA, Process across a global federation.
    • Stacking individual, organizational, and community development.
    • Within a single integrated system designed to produce Throughput of The Goal.
  • What constitutes a basic PM Backbone?
    • Project Vision / Intention / Goal
    • Project Plan
      • Including Milestone Based Roadmap
    • Issue Tracker
    • Request for Guidance / Request for Information
    • Commitment Tracker
    • Submittals / Deliveries
  • Weaving Stories
    • Drawing on the wisdom of story telling, and its proven adaptation to lean, we are proposing that we learn to talk about our projects in narrative terms.
    • These narrative terms carve out 5 different levels of analysis / abstraction / complexity.

The Meta Story

  • There is only ONE Meta Story and ONE Meta Goal. This is the highest overarching and uniting level of abstraction and complexity that by definition in the System contains within itself and orders all other Stories and Goals.
  • The Meta Story is Absolute and can never be concretized, but contains our Current Best Understanding of Where We Are, How We Got Here, Where We Are Going, Why It Matters, and how we advance through various milestones that approximately mark the way towards The Meta Goal.
  • The Meta Story is told in the Mythical Context of a Meta Quest towards the Meta Goal.
  • The Way towards the Goal is marked by Milestones.

Contained in the Meta Story is a total nested hierachy of stories that play out at various levels of complexity and abstraction.

The various levels of abstraction and complexity help orient the distributed network of team to what is happening at various short and long term levels of analysis.


  • The permanent and persistent ideas that are steady throughout the Meta Story are called Themes. They are things like Health and Wellness, Learning, Human, Organizational, and Community Development, Energy, Technology, Society, Culture, Art, Infrastructure, Governance, etc.


Stories are told from the standpoint of individual human experiences.

They are structured to inform the team about the human issue and experience driving the entire narrative.

They may be expressed as metaphor where ambiguity is needed to support different perspectives.

They are structured as:

  1. As a (Persona),
  2. I want (Some Goal),
  3. so that (Something is Resolved / Reason).
  4. This makes possible (X), and avoids the risk / suffering of (Y).

This framing follows the basic Hero's Journey...

  1. A Persona
  2. In pursuit of a Goal
  3. Is facing an Issue / Obstacle they can't resolve
  4. Meets a Guide
  5. Who gives them a plan / solution / tool
  6. To achieve success (what is possible), and avoid failue / risk / suffering.

By expressing a human need, people respond better and are empowered to take greater agency to creatively address the true Need. It forces the Actor to not merely blindly build to a specification, but to model in their mind how to actually meet the need or solve the problem inherent in the Sttory.

The Story allows flexibility in the specification that requires doing the Wise Right Thing to meet the need, rather than blindly doing what you are told.

What is bigger than a story?

An Epic.


An epic is a longer "Story of Stories" narrating the epic adventures of multiple heroic or legendary Actors

What is bigger than an Epic?

A Saga


A Saga is an even longer "Epic of Epics" narrating the heroic achievements across an even larger span of Actors.

What is bigger than a Saga?

The Meta Story

The Meta Story

The total highest order Saga of Sagas / epic of epics / story of stories is the Meta Story that contains within itself and orders all other things.

How Actors Relate To The Meta Story

Individuals Forge or Join a Team Teams Organize and Federate Teams and Organizations Make and Secure Commitments that create Throughput of The Goal

  • Epics, Stories, Sagas, Themes, and Initiatives

Agile Story: As a graphic designer, I want to be able to save my files to a new file format, XYZ, so I can share them with colleagues using the new XYZ Graphic Tool.

See Mountain Goat Software, User Stories and User Story Examples by Mike Cohn.

The Meta Story

A Theme

  • A theme is an System Wide thing that persist over time, etc.

Saga - an Epic of Epics

Epic - a Story of Stories


  • help feed the Issue Tracker in a meaningful way based on real human needs.

Initiatives, Goals, and Commitments


  • Where the rubber meets the roads is in Actors making and securing Commitments from one another.
  • In the Lionsberg System, commitments are made as a TEAM.
  • Inside of the Team, rich internal human dynamics determine how things get done or not.
  • Teams self select, and teams have a duty to elevate and transform towards thier potential, including changing the team as required.
  • The System relies on strong Teams to autonomously govern themselves.
  • This couples with a Zero Blame Environment to ensure that the weight of the project doesn't rest on any one individual or team, but on the entire Team of Teams.


Blocked Time


  • Suboptimal things happens because there isn't enough leverage for something.
  • Flag system for things that someone sees are off, but don't necessarily have the time to notify, explain, collaborate on the fix.
  • Similar to Abilene Paradox - Different but similar - someone makes a suggestion, no on speaks up, and you end up in the wrong place.
  • Possible solution - throw the flag on the field and slow down.
    • If it needs resources, sit with that pain
    • Its better to go slow and do it right time...
    • And if you want to go faster, resource the critical path...
  • Understanding sociologically grounding and understanding of what we are trying to build and do.
    • And then ensuring that it meets the need expressed in the story.


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