[802SEC] FW: [802-11WG] Updated P&P Revision Ballots
I received these comments, and felt I should circulate them to the rest
of the EC.
Matthew Sherman, Ph.D.
Senior Member Technical Staff
BAE SYSTEMS, CNIR
Office: +1 973.633.6344
From: ***** IEEE stds-802-11 List ***** [mailto:STDSfirstname.lastname@example.org] On
Behalf Of Mike Moreton
Sent: Thursday, July 21, 2005 8:01 AM
Subject: Re: [802-11WG] Updated P&P Revision Ballots
--- This message came from the IEEE 802.11 Working Group Reflector ---
A bit of a long response I'm afraid...
There's a concept called "subsiduarity". This says that in any complex
organisation you should only do things centrally where there is a clear
benefit to doing it there. Uniformity for uniformity's sake is not an
end in itself - there has to be some obvious, concrete benefit as well.
The justification for subsiduarity is that every bit of applicable
research shows that groups are most motivated when allowed to set their
own rules and methods of working. So any rule imposed from outside has
to have clear benefits to outweigh the reduction in motivation it will
If we apply this to the 802 P&P, I fail to see any benefit from having
the same voting entitlement rules for all WGs. It's uniformity for
uniformity's sake, and if you believe in subsiduarity that's just plain
Yes, it makes it slightly easier for people moving from one group to
another, but in reality that is an unusual occurance, and it is arguable
that people moving to a new group should be forced into putting a little
bit of effort into learning how the new group works.
So the voting entitlement rules as they stand should be removed from the
802 P&P, and WGs should be allowed to set their own voting entitlement
Of course, the other alternative is to look at how voting entitlement
could be improved so that having a common set of rules brings real,
The first option would be to retain the rules, but say that they only
have any effect where the WG has not adopted its own entitlement rules.
This way they would be a fall back for new WGs. (Actually this probably
applies to pretty much all of the 802 P&P applying to WGs, but let's not
get into that...).
Another option would be to recognise that people who make technical
contributions to more than one group are immensely valuable in keeping
802 together (much more so than a 1 hour presentation on Mondays...) and
that the rules should reward such behaviour, rather than punishing it as
they currently do.
I would like to propose that attendance in any 802 WG count for
retaining voting rights in any other 802 WG, but that a member can only
have voting rights in one 802 WG at once. The only way to change the WG
you have rights in is to gain rights in the new WG (by the normal
attendance rules) at which point you lose rights in the old group.
This encourages cross-group working. While in principle someone could
still be a voting member of a WG they haven't attended for years, few
people would actually do this because it would mean they had no rights
in the group they actually do attend.
In order to further encourage cross-group working, a voter in any 802 WG
should have the right to speak in debate, make letter ballot comments,
and propose and second motions in any WG, not just the one in which they
have voting rights. The only thing they can't do is vote, and after a
few 802 meetings you learn that the right to vote itself is relatively
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