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Re: stds-802-16: Meeting schedules

[Notice: It is the policy of 802.16 to treat messages posted here as non-confidential.]

I agree that we ought to focus on getting work done outside meetings and
minimizing our meeting schedule. Let's look at this more carefully.

Meetings provide:

*a deadline factor that gets people to take action
*a chance to cooperatively examine and debate proposals in detail
*a chance to take votes; this is how we make decisions and make progress
*many intangible benefits

In addition, meeting along with other groups (e.g., 802 or 802.11) is a
great opportunity to learn from them.

[As 802.16, we've of course had zero meetings so far. As the Study Group,
we had two. Both were productive and essential for the standardization
process. And, by the way, they were also worthwhile for many participants,
according to what they told me.]

The way I see it, we need to do the following:

(1) Find an effective frequency of meetings.
(2) Maximize the productivity of the meetings we hold.
(3) Develop an effective on-line culture, with functional electronic
procedures, and thereby try to lighten the meeting schedule.

So, what do we do about this? Here are my ideas:

(1) Frequency
 [a] meet along with each 802 Plenary Meeting (March, July, November)
 [b] plan, for the moment, to hold Interim Meetings between Plenaries
 [c] aim to reduce or eliminate the need for Interim Meetings

(2) Productive Use of Meeting Time
 [a] have a specific agenda and stick to it
 [b] focus on airing debates and then making decisions
 [c] give speakers the floor to present a case for a position
 [d] allow to the floor only positions that were presented in writing in
 [e] encourage people to study the contributions in advance [how?]
 [f] avoid reopening previous decisions
 [g] co-locate meetings with related events

(3) Develop an Effective On-Line Culture
 [a] Create Web Site and archive contributions [I think we're there.]
 [b] Create archived email reflector [I think we're there.]
 [c] Encourage contributions
     -publish timely, clear, and specific "Calls for Contributions"
     -set up a clear contribution process [are we there yet?]
     -make it easy for contributions to have an impact [are we there yet?]
     -set contribution deadlines based around meetings
     -move toward contribution deadlines _not_ based around meetings
 [d] Use groupware to ease collaborative document development
     -Anyone care to evaluate some new software that IEEE is suggesting?
 [e] Institute electronic voting
     -Anyone care to propose a procedure?

Cutting across (2) and (3), it's essential that we and create and empower
Task Groups and hold them responsible for the procedural actions necessary
for progress.

Please tell us what I've missed.


>I agree with you, for the most part.  The Boulder meeting, however, is a
>"sanctioned" interim meeting.  Most of the 802 committee have these when they
>need to keep things moving.  The other meetings, I think, are informal and
>unsanctioned.  But we ought to let them have the unsanctioned meetings if they
>think they can be productive in submitting contributions.  The contributions
>they come up with should be treated just like any other, except that they
>to come from multiple people.  Personally, I do not think the unsanctioned
>interim meetings are necessary, and agree that they are burdensome in terms of
>time expended, interruption and travel costs.
>I much prefer the Internet/IETF model, where most of the work gets done
>with the
>email reflector.  It's cheaper; it forces us to get thoughts down on paper; it
>is automatically recorded; it can achieve wider industry participation; it's
>convenient for polite technical debate; it produces results faster; it is more
>democratic---discouraging off-line consortia.  The IEEE LMSC is much different
>than the IETF, though.  Membership is tracked and votes are tallied.
>But I must add that I am dissapointed so far with the lack of participation on
>the reflector.  We agreed at the Austin meeting to "get moving" on system
>requirements, post content on the reflector and that I would gather the
>contributions into a document.  We only have a handful of submissions so far,
>making me wonder if people are really interested in an interoperable standard.
>Best Regards,
>Brian Petry
>>Folks -
>>Let me see if I have this 802.16 schedule straight:
>>(1) We have a regular quarterly meeting scheduled in Montreal starting July
>>(2) We have an interim meeting scheduled in Boulder starting May 10.
>>(3) There was an "interim" interim meeting held in Dallas on April 12.
>>(4) There is yet another "interim" interim meeting desired to be held in
>>Dallas before May 12.
>>I understand that anything that is "decided" at these ad hoc meetings will
>>not become official until "voted on" at the main meeting.
>>I object.
>>This process is a charade that disenfranchises most of the 802.16 study
>>group.  It is expensive and disruptive for most of us to stop work on our
>>employer's assigned tasks and fly off to attend a series of hastily
>>contrived volunteer committee meetings.
>>I see that there are two possible choices for 802.16:
>>(1) A couple of you folks just go ahead and make the decisions, write the
>>documents, and then ask the rest of us to mail in our votes so that there is
>>an appearance of a consensus, or
>>(2) Limit the meetings to the quarterly gatherings at which times an open
>>discussion can be held on all topics with no preconceived outcome.
>>Jerry Woodard
>>Wytec, Inc.