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Re: [802SEC] TELCOM AGENDA ITEM: New Model for the Maintenance of IEEE Standards

(The Stds Board was just going to vote this in at the December meeting without consultation with Sponsors. We got it put off til March with a Sponsor Comment period through February)

IEEE Staff and the leader of an Ad Hoc (Jim Hughes of Microsoft) are recommending changes to the SA operating rules to:
    - Eliminate the REAFFIRMATION process altogether
- Change the REVISION cycle from 3 or 5 years (with a possible 1 year extension)
      to an ABSOLUTE 10 year renewal requirement
In addition, they propose to eliminate any categorization of older non-active standards (e.g. Stabilized, Withdrawn, etc) or the recording of any rationale for its
    non-active status such as:
- Contains erroneous or obsolete information (i.e. reaffirmation failure)
        - Legal reasons (withdrawn as the result of a lawsuit)
- Superseded (by a newer IEEE Standard or maybe by an ISO, IEC or JTC-1 standard)
The only categories would be "Active" or "Inactive".
Other changes/impacts:
- Sponsor Ballot Pool members could be "disqualified" from future ballots for lack of response (no criteria provided, Ref SASB OM 5.4.1) - Trial Use standards which default to full standard status (2 yrs) would have full status for 10 years. - Unlimited amendments for 3 years or 3 max for 3+ years (one 2 year extension possible)
    - ANSI approved standards require revision on a 5 year cycle, not ten.

    Attached SA OM, 6.3.1
Attached SA By Laws, 2.2,, 5.1, 5.2.5, 5.3 (the big One), 6.2 (patent policy change)
    Attached SASB OM,  1.2,  4.1.2,  5.4.1,  5.7,  6.3.3, 9  Minor

*I think this is a bad idea. While reducing the complexity of our maintenance overhead is attractive, 10 years is an eternity in our industry. Further, the real reason the SA is proposing this seems to be because they couldn't cope with generating (and mechanizing) a reasonable mechanism for APPROVAL BALLOTING.

There has been problems and confusion for years with the Reaffirmation process. It only got worse when the SA tried to do Reaffirmation within the normal balloting process for the initial approval of standards (i.e. includes the ability to have comments that stand in the way of an approve ballot) within MyBallot. There were several attempts to fix this (I came up with what I thought was a quite reasonable alternative) but none of these were adopted.

During the effort to design a voting process for Reaffirmation, it became obvious that such a process would be generally useful for APPROVAL BALLOTING (i.e. a document that must simply be voted up or down without change). In particular, this is a useful process for standards from other SDOs that have to be adopted without change.

The current proposal by the SA is (in my opinion) just an effort to avoid dealing with these issues.

I truly look forward to discussing your views on this matter on the Tuesday call.

Best regards,


On 3/1/11 2:34 PM, Paul Nikolich wrote:
Dear EC Members,

Last month I received the below request for comment by the SA on a proposal for a "New Model for the Maintencance of IEEE Standards".  They are requesting feedback by 28FEB2011.

On the 16th of December Geoff requested I put this on the interim EC meeting agenda (remember we have a telecon scheduled for 01FEB2011 from 1-3PM ET). I will do so, at the moment, it is the only item on the agenda other than a status update from me regarding the DEC SA BoG meeting  If there are other items you would like to put on the agenda, please do so immediately.



----- Original Message -----
To: std-liaison-reps@IEEE.ORG
Cc: stds-board-comm@IEEE.ORG ; y.hoSang@IEEE.ORG ;
Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 5:50 PM
Subject: New Model for the Maintenance of IEEE Standards

To: IEEE-SA Standards Sponsors
RE: New Model for the Maintenance of IEEE Standards

For several years now, the IEEE Standards Association's Standards Board (SASB) has dealt with a number of issues/concerns related to maintenance activities, such as:
·   Reaffirmation ballots, which are supposed to lead to yes/no decisions, often have technical comments that cannot be resolved, as no changes to documents are allowed; this is a continuing concern in IEEE-SA Standards Board Standards Review Committee (RevCom) reviews of Reaffirmation ballots.
·   Revisions PARs are not always initiated to resolve issues raised during Reaffirmation, and this increases risk/exposure to IEEE when we do not adequately address concerns.
·   Reaffirmation ballots (and heavy workloads) have led to cursory voting as many voters cast default 'yes' votes without really reviewing the standard(s); this has led to questions on whether the approval percentage for a Reaffirmation should be raised, which would make our procedures more complex.
·   There are differing (and strongly held) views on what levels of technical errors/inconsistencies might be allowed in approving a Reaffirmation ballot.
·   The desire to gain ballot group input on issues (and Sponsor reaction) before a yes/no Reaffirmation vote has led to proposals for two-stage voting procedures, which would introduce more complexity into our procedures.
·   Stabilization (see the definition in SASB OpMan 1.2) is not allowed if: the standard is a 'health or safety standard'; if the technology is 'immature'; if it contains 'significant erroneous information'; etc. - items that require clear decisions from a risk perspective and that have led to much discussion/concern.

In the past year, the Standards Board's Reaffirmation Ad Hoc has considered these issues and is now proposing a resolution that is described in the attached flowcharts and three Bylaws/OpMan documents. We have discussed these revisions with ANSI, and pending their formal review of our final procedural documents, ANSI does not have concern with our path - and we will retain our ANSI accreditation. In addition, the revisions proposed will reduce Sponsor and staff effort, and put focus squarely on the need to actually revise maintained standards.

The key points of this proposal are:
1.   'Reaffirmation' and 'Stabilization' processes are eliminated. Standards are either 'Revised' or 'Withdrawn from active status'.
2.   Sponsors have to complete a Revision on a maintained standard every 10 years, as opposed to starting a Reaffirmation every 5 years; the Revision may be as simple as minor reference updates or even just changing the ':yyyy' designation in the title to indicate it has been examined.
3.   If Sponsors cannot form ballot groups or otherwise complete their work, staff can initiate an administrative action to make the standard inactive at the 10-year mark.
4.   Each year, Sponsors will receive a list of standards under maintenance, with special highlighting of standards that are at or past the 5-year mark to encourage them to start considering Revision PARs. Staff will file the necessary notifications to ANSI to insure that ANSI is aware that we are working to maintain the standard.
5.   Sponsors will decide (internally) how they process this list each year and consider whether to either start a Revision PAR or 'do nothing'. If nothing is done (and the 10-year point has not arrived), the standard will simply move forward for reconsideration by the Sponsor in the following year.
6.   Transition plans will be developed in early 2011, but it is expected that standards currently under maintenance plans will continue to follow those plans in 2011, and this new process would start in 2012. We expect little to no changes to myBallot and other systems, but education/training will be important. FAQs and similar material will be prepared to support the program.
7.   These changes are expected to reduce Sponsor formal workloads through the elimination of Reaffirmation/Stabilization ballots, and insure that when comments on technical flaws are raised it will be simple to update the standard without having to initiate a separate revision process.

Standards Sponsors are invited to review the attached documents. Please note that proposed Policy and Procedure changes are indicated in the Bylaws and OpMans in yellow highlight.

Please send any comments to me by 28 February 2011. Thanks.

David L. Ringle
Manager, IEEE-SA Governance
IEEE Standards Activities Department
445 Hoes Lane
Piscataway, NJ  08854-4141 USA
TEL: +1 732 562 3806
FAX: +1 732 875 0524

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