Attached is a preview of the changes to the OASIS TC Process that I will announce next week at the Membership Meeting occurring in conjunction with the Borderless Cyber event in New York City. I wanted to give you all an advance look at this major reorganization.
The Board Process Committee has been hard at work on these modifications for over a year. We had several objectives:
- To simplify - to make the rules less verbose, imposing, and complicated while retaining essence of our rules & values;
- To weed out – to minimize "how" details in the rules and focus on the "what;"
- To re-organize – to extract content that can apply to all OASIS activities into their own documents so that the TC Process focuses on the rules that apply to specifically to the work of Technical Committees;
- To support – to set up our policies so that they also work smoothly for other initiatives such as our coming open source initiative.
In the attached zip file, you will find copies of the new policy documents. These are in Word for now but the official versions will be published in HTML on the OASIS web site prior to taking effect. There are three:
- The streamlined TC Process, trimmed down to focus on the content that applies specifically to running Technical Committees and to advancing work through the OASIS process. A red-lined copy is included so that you can review the changes in detail;
- The new OASIS Defined Terms document, collecting all the defined terms that apply to OASIS policies into one common source; and
- The new OASIS Committee Operations Process, documenting rules that apply to the work of any committee.
With one exception, we kept the rules as they stand. But we removed a lot of the language that made them hard to understand. Sections like Leaves of Absence, Allowed Changes and Designated Cross-Reference Changes for example have been reduced to focus and clarify the intent of the rules while letting common sense in their implementation prevail.
That one exception? It is a pretty big one. The way OASIS Standards are approved is about to change.
Why? Because the current balloting period is a fingernail-biting exercise for TCs. It motivates them to field 'get out the vote' efforts, increasing the volume of emails to other TCs and OASIS Primary Representatives, and, most importantly, it does little, as far as we could see from five years worth of ballot results, to improve the quality of final work.
Instead, OASIS is moving to a call for consent/objections model. We will start from the assumption that the experts know their stuff and that other Members respect that. A ballot will be posted but the assumption will be that the Candidate OASIS Standard will become an OASIS Standard *unless* organizational members have reason to object.
So if the Candidate OASIS Standard receives no votes at all or only affirmative votes, it will become an OASIS Standard. If, however, valid objections are entered by 15 or more organizational members, then the call will fail. If objections less than 15 are made, the TC will have options for proceeding with objection handling and the possibility of a second call for consent. Section 2.8.3 Call for consent for OASIS Standard has all the details.
We believe this shift will reduce both the stress and the email traffic associated with the current balloting process, while bringing forward meaningful feedback on the rare occasion where there may be reason to do so.
Please feel free to share this with your Technical Committees and, if you wish, share your reactions and feedback. If you do want to share comments, please send them to the firstname.lastname@example.org
mailing list and copy me.
Director of Standards Development and TC Administration
OASIS: Advancing open standards for the information societyhttp://www.oasis-open.org
Primary: +1 973-996-2298
Mobile: +1 201-341-1393