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Re: [802SEC] Balloting Comments from IEEE 802

Hello Jim:

Thank you for collecting the comments; I will forward them to the
respective people here at the standards department.


Angela O.

Angela Ortiz
Program Manager - Technical Program Development
IEEE Standards, 445 Hoes Lane,
Piscataway, NJ  08855-1331 USA
Telephone: 1732-562-3809  ><  Fax: 1732-562-1571
E-m:   ><


                    "Jim Carlo"                                                                          
                    <>        To:     "Angela Ortiz" <>          
                    Sent by:                          cc:     "IEEE802" <>          
                    owner-stds-802-sec@majordom       Subject:     [802SEC] Balloting Comments from IEEE 
                    10/16/01 09:51 PM                                                                    
                    Please respond to j.carlo                                                            

Angela, thanks for the opportunity to comment on the Ballot Center Process.
I have collected below IEEE 802 comments from:

Roger Marks
Vic Hayes
Geoff Thompson
Jim Carlo

From Roger Marks (IEEE 802.16 WG Chair)

I'm really pleased to hear that the Balloting Center is seeking 802's
opinion on its operation. Here are my comments for incorporation into
our response.

The Balloting Center has done a good job of running my electronic
Invitations to Ballot. However, I have had many frustrations with
them in running my first two Sponsor Ballots. I have observed:

*an general unwillingness to commit to a schedule and an occasional
retraction once a commitment has been made

*a distribution of a recirculation to the wrong ballot group

*the distribution of a ballot announcement, without review by me,
that included many serious errors (e.g., the URLs were wrong) and
that released a password without my approval (it wasn't an important
password, but the Balloting Center had no way to know this)

I have tried to work constructively with the Balloting Center. For
example, following discussions and a meeting, I revised my comment
submission database program to create output in the Balloting
Center's XML format. {It turns out that this was not very useful.}

Here is what I would like to see:

(1) The option to run my own ballot using the ballot group created by
the Balloting Center. This would take less of my own time and energy
and could be done on a tighter and more predictable schedule. The
hardest part would be to ensure that I understood the RevCom

(2) The following changes in the Balloting Center's operations:

(a) A procedure for committing to a ballot launch date one week
before the actual launch. At this date, the Working Group Chair
should submit the ballot announcement for review. The announcement
should include the URL to the ballot package on a server to be
arranged by the Chair. The ballot package need not actually be posted
to that server until the day of the launch. Alternatively, if the
Balloting Center is asked to post the ballot package, then they
should be willing to promise 48-hour service.

(b) A commitment to offer the Working Group Chair the opportunity to
review the announcement before the launch.

(c) A process to return comment data to the Working Group in a
structured format that can be readily imported into a database. Right
now, all we get is an email record of each comment.
From Vic Hayes (Former WG Chair of IEEE 802.11 and now Regulatory

Although I am no longer involved, I would like to propose that the groups
can assign multiple addressees for the courtesy copy of the comments and
votes, so that the tasks can be done by one and checked by another, for

I did it by making a small distribution list and then asking the courtesy
copy to be sent to the list. But that is more work to do for our precious
From Geoff Thompson: (IEEE 802.3 WG Chair)

I have some more comments to add.

First, I support the comments that have gone before, wholeheartedly.

Additionally, I have found over the years that improvement in the process
has not been monotonic. That changes that I have managed to have happen
once do not become part of the system and often the fight to have them
included in the system is starting from ground zero all over again.

In particular, I have repeatedly been told that the existing (Plus4 ??)
database is a major problem that gets in the way of improvement. Balloting
services needs to be on a database that is integrated with the other
systems that run in the SA Office AND whose modifications and applications
support is adequately funded and run from inside the Standards Department.

Comment handling is a recently arrived concept for balloting services. It
is only in the last very few years that they have risen above the concept
of just copying them and mailing them to the WG Chair. They operate under
the impression that counting votes is what is important. That is, in fact,
not the case in quality standards development. Quality standards
development is about review and effective revision based on the review.
Approval is a fall-out of this process rather than the primary activity.

The result of this is that there is a wildly diverse set of mechanisms for
comment handling across IEEE WGs

To support this balloting services needs to understand and be able to
service the needs of WGs in terms of feeding comments (votes to but they
are less of a problem) to WG Chairs on a real time basis in a format that
is suitable for direct absorption by whatever comment resolution database
is used by the WG.

Further, balloting reports should be available on an ongoing basis during
the balloting period without human intervention by balloting center staff.
Web or ftp query strongly preferred with a reasonable download format
(Excel or  pullable into Excel would be a good baseline) so that
hound-dogging by WG chairs is encouraged and supported.

It comes down to a very few things:
         Low and predictable delay at the front end
         Minimized processing required by BC staff
         Results that can easily be handled mechanically
         No human processing required of the results by BC staff

All of this seems to me to be within reasonable reach.
From Jim Carlo (Chair IEEE 802)

My goal would be: Automate the balloting center process to be completely
driven by Sponsor and Working Group chair inputs, with appropriate
instructions, training, checks and balances driven by IEEE-SA Balloting
Service. I want to see the ballot center out of the critical path for
ballots, especially for IEEE 802 projects. No more delays in balloting
because of staff shortages. Delays, if any, are responsibility of the WG

1) Schedules of ballot process controlled by volunteers.
2) Maintain integrity of process.
3) Allow for increased efficiency in IEEE-SA Balloting Service to handle
more projects.

++++Request for Balloting Feedback+++++++++
>Dear Jim:
>As I mentioned on my previous E-mail, we at the IEEE Standards Department,
>are committed to enhance the environment for developing standards,  With
>that in mind, we would like to give the 802 participation (voice)
>balloting services' issues.  Therefore, we would like to ask you in your
>capacity of working group chair, if you were to change the system at the
>balloting center, what would do?. What things do you think can be done
>We would appreciate your comments and especially , being as specific and
>objective as possible.
>Please bear in mind that your comments (802 group) may be an important
>to help us improve our services.
>Angela O.
>:- > :-> :-> :-> :-> :-> :-> :-> :-> :-> :-> :-> :-> :-> :-> :-> :->
>Angela Ortiz
>Program Manager - Technical Program Development
>IEEE Standards, 445 Hoes Lane
>Piscataway, NJ  08855-1331  USA
>Telephone:  +1 732 562-3809
>Fax:              +1 732 562-1571
>E-m:  ><