GO Leadership group summary

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22nd April 2006

This report outlines the plans for the GO directors Group, outlined in a presentation slide by Suzanna Lewis during a talk at the GO Consortium Meeting at St Croix in March 2006.


What is the group’s purpose?
Our purpose is to set priorities, establish milestones, and chart our direction. We are also responsible for obtaining and allocating funding. We provide direction the lead groups. This group has ultimate decision responsibility and must resolve any conflicts that occur. We are responsible for actively listening to the lead groups and either providing them with the resources that they need to accomplish our goals, or with reducing those goals if the leaders report that they cannot be carried through with existing resources. We will implement operational changes to make the project as efficient and effective as possible.
What makes this group necessary and unique?
This group defines the project’s aims and provides the executive and financial oversight that is required for the project to be successful in achieving those aims.
What is the lifespan?
The leadership group will endure for the length of the project.

Group Leader

All decisions are unanimous. When additional information is necessary to reach agreement we turn to Peter Good, our NIH program officer and our scientific advisory board by further opinions.


We provide guidelines and priorities to lead groups. We integrate the activities of the lead groups and manage communication channels. We oversee the GO calendar (meetings, funding, adherence to GO objectives) to ensure that productivity is maximal. We balance the workload to ensure that the most critical, high priority tasks are given the necessary resources. We monitor overall project progress. We keep our Scientifc Advisory Board and Peter Good apprised of our progress and work to incorporate their advice in the project’s plan.

What are the key deliverables of this group?
  • Prioritization of tasks provided by the lead groups
  • Funds
  • TBD
What criteria are used to set priorities?
Does it fit with the scope of the GOC? Does it help us achieve our specific aims? Are the resources available to carry the task out?


Michael Ashburner, Judy Blake, Mike Cherry, and Suzanna Lewis

Meeting calendar

The GO-top group uses the following means of communicating

  • Weekly phone calls
  • Organize yearly Scientific Advisory Meeting
  • Oversee Consortium meeting
  • Fortnightly Leader Calls
  • Group mailing list

Our milestones are succeeding in the four specific aims of the grant in the period we are funded for. These in turn will be measured by the individual milestones that each lead group establishes.

Metrics of success

  1. We succeed in providing funding sufficient to meet the goals of the project.
  2. Our lead groups are successfully carrying out their individual metrics.


  • Fortnightly leader’s call
  • Monthly Editorial Office report
  • Quarterly reference genomes
  • Quarterly OBO-Edit releases
  • Quarterly Production Systems report including AmiGO working group
  • Quarterly Ontology Development report
  • Quarterly Outreach report


The decisions that we must make bubble up from the lead groups. Essentially the lead groups have full autonomy and authority to make critical decisions. The lead groups do need to be transparent, so that this executive group can monitor their progress and assist in coordinating their work with external groups. The lead groups should bring issues to the top group whenever there is a question of either resources or priorities. The top group also welcomes all new ideas that will improve communications and the effectiveness of the GOC as a whole.

The tools we will use to facilitate communications include:

  • conference calls and net meetings
  • sourceforge trackers
  • wiki pages for minutes of phone calls, and pushing forward concerns from the lead groups
  • Anything else we can think of that helps us stay in touch and coordinate

GO leadership group main page