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Subject: RE: [emergency-if] EDXL-AT & Situational Awareness


Not a problem - thanks for the clarification. My intention was not to
cause grief - you have been instrumental, with a few others, in a lot of
work that has been accomplished by the committee and I just wanted to
make sure we were all on the same page and the SMEs do not read this
email in the wrong way, as I did.  

I agree in that we need to learn lessons and recognize that some of the
work may be more time consuming than what we, or others, expect. I guess
we should start with the assumption that a task will take a good amount
of work, whatever shape the requirements are in. 



-----Original Message-----
From: Rex Brooks [mailto:rexb@starbourne.com] 
Sent: Monday, March 19, 2007 3:38 PM
To: Sukumar Dwarkanath; Timothy Grapes; Rex Brooks;
tgrapes@evotechinc.com; emergency-msg@lists.oasis-open.org;
Subject: RE: [emergency-if] EDXL-AT & Situational Awareness

My apologies Sukumar,

I misspoke on that. My thinking was colored by the fact that, I 
believe the work had been described as having been developed over a 
fairly long period of time and was in a more advanced state of 
development that, if I recall correctly, was described as not needing 
as thorough-going, from-scratch an approach or effort on our part. 
However, that is not what I would characterize as a candidate 
specification, so I gladly stand corrected.

I also intended no disparagement of SMEs, per se, as long as they 
don't assume, or are not expected or required to assume that their 
expertise extends to areas where it is, in fact, not appropriate. I 
agree we absolutely MUST work with SMEs, and my comments may have 
gotten out of bounds. As I said, I stand corrected.

I have been reviewing some decidedly worrisome efforts by extremely 
well-intentioned and extremely well-qualified groups in areas where 
none of us can afford to allow processes and approaches that are not 
well founded to be carried forward into specifications, especially in 
the areas of health and emergency management, where poor reality 
testing, poor conceptual methodology and poor  follow-through can, in 
fact, harm us all. That definitely is coloring my thinking lately, 
and the fact that these efforts are two and three and five years 
along a path that is proving problematic is downright depressing.

My intent was to remind us that we need to make sure we learn our 
lessons well, and being persuaded that a completely necessary piece 
of work may in fact be submitted to us with an expectation that we 
can complete our task of building a workable specification with it in 
less time than we are usually able to do this because it has been 
heavily worked on by experts is not something I think is advisable.

The problem is in the "expectation of less time due to expert input." 

My secondary point is that we should also be keen to learn from our 
experience and devise ways in which we can reasonably expect to 
improve our work product and perhaps lessen the time needed to 
complete our tasks.


At 2:05 PM -0400 3/19/07, Sukumar Dwarkanath wrote:
>  >> EDXL-HAVE, in my opinion, proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that
>accepting >>candidate specifications by groups of SMEs is almost always
>a mistake. SMEs rarely >>fully understand how broad, yet rigorous, the
>specification-writing process needs to be.
>>>  We have now had to PAINFULLY deal with the consequences of being
>persuaded that >>the SMEs know their area best and that means they are
>the best group to write a >>specification for that area, instead of
>carefully working through a rigorous requirements-writing process.
>I am not sure how you characterize a candidate specification but
>EDXL-HAVE was submitted in the format that the EM TC requested - as a
>requirements specification - and not as a candidate specification.
>As I see it, the practitioners/SMEs do know their area best - I do not
>believe that will change - we should recognize this and work with the
>practitioners to leverage their domain expertise.

Rex Brooks
President, CEO
Starbourne Communications Design
GeoAddress: 1361-A Addison
Berkeley, CA 94702
Tel: 510-849-2309

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