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chairs message

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Subject: Some details (was) Fwd ... Standards development and TC Administration staff services

>     I am forwarding this to the [chairs] list, as obviously SLA issues 
> are of strong interest to TC leaders.  Apologies for any duplicate 
> postings.  A few comments on the execution details follow ...

     Needless to say, as our TC leaders, you are our first line of defense 
and critique regarding how we are doing and what to improve.  We're already 
received a variety of very helpful ideas, and I hope that will continue.

     Please note the comment in today's announcement about transparency of 
service requests:   "We're also considering ... making our service queue 
publicly archived, with each request becoming a visible, time-stamped 
ticket..."   Doing this would make tracking one's own request a self-serve 
matter.  Is there any reason not to do that?  All of the types of requests 
listed in this morning's SLA table are public anyway, as they are all 
authorized or preceded by an open act or resolution by the TC.  (We also 
get a lot of unofficial traffic in advice, strategic plans and hypothetical 
questions.  I assume that will stay where it is, as point-to-point e-mail.)

     Second, as I hope is clear, we would appreciate receiving TC service 
requests to our official address, "tc-admin@oasis-open.org".  We are 
binding our SLA commitments, most of which are significantly tighter than 
the rules require, to use of that address.  Feel free to cc others;  but 
for this to work well, we are making the tracking of these incoming 
requests better automated.

     The SLA times we have set are a first approximation.  We don't plan to 
change them until we have a few months of experience with them, but that 
data may teach us something.  Once we see how well this works for TCs and 
executes by staff, we may have some ideas about changing 
deadlines.  Feedback on this is welcome.

     Another fundamental issue, but one that may take more thought and 
planning, is our heavy dependency on e-mail.  A host of little notices are 
generated when various events occur:  ballots, document uploads, TC member 
status changes, etc.  Now, if your personal management style is to process 
decisions and events by managing your e-mail stream -- and it is a 
manageable volume -- that may work well for you.  Less so, if you're not 
e-mail-centric.  Or if you are, but are plagued with spam.  Or if you 
receive notices from 20 committees in each of 5 standards groups.  We will 
need to think about the long-term scalability of this approach.

     Finally, please note that our Board Process subcommittee is going back 
through the OASIS TC Process this quarter, as it does annually, looking for 
possible improvements.  Perhaps there are rule changes that also would 
streamline or facilitate these transparency and speed goals.  I will come 
back to this list with specific questions about possible rule improvement 
issues.  For now, I simply note that our rules aren't untouchable.  If a 
rule itself is creating an obstacle to efficient open standards work, we'd 
like to hear about it.

     Regards  Jamie

~   James Bryce Clark
~   Director, Standards Development, OASIS
~   jamie.clark@oasis-open.org 

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