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Re: [802SEC] LMSC Rules Change Distribution and Ballot

Bill -

Thank you for your thoughts. I agree with your point 5, and I don't have a problem with your observation that there are two distinct styles of operation in 802.

Speaking for 802.1, we have developed a style of operation over the years which works for us, and I believe the proposed change will be unhelpful to that style of operation, and will cause additional problems as discussed below. Clearly, for groups that operate differently, their view may differ.

You mention asymmetry in the existing rule with regard to acquiring and retaining working group membership. I would observe that, while the proposed change tackles one form of asymmetry, making it possible to lose membership roughly as fast as you can gain it, it also creates a different asymmetry, due to the fact that "joining" credit can still date back 4 meetings, which will lead to some curious results that will likely confuse/annoy people. A simple example: Ignoring interim meetings altogether for the moment, consider someone that shows up for two plenaries, misses the third, shows up at the fourth. By the rule for acquiring membership, they are a voting member for the duration of that fourth plenary meeting; however, the rule for losing membership kicks in at the end of that meeting, and they lose their vote for a plenary meeting cycle. I don't think that makes any kind of sense - and I'm sure it would not make any more sense to the person affected.

Although it meets its stated goal of ageing out voters more rapidly (modulo the curious effect above), the proposed rule is significantly more "trigger happy" than the current rule. I've played around with a simple spreadsheet to model how it behaves - even at the level where an attendee misses just 1 in 10 meetings on average, if those misses are randomly spaced, the proposed rule will occasionally deny membership for a meeting cycle, on occasions when two adjacent meetings or consecutive plenaries are missed. With an average attendance rate of 2 out of 3 meetings on a continuous basis, the attendee can look forward to losing voting rights for a meeting cycle or two fairly frequently, despite, on the face of it being a regular attendee.

Conclusion: Whatever merits we might or might not see in making it easier to gain a quorum at an interim meeting, this particular solution will likely trade one problem (difficulty in gaining a quorum) for another (much confusion and argument about why active, upstanding, regularly attending WG members keep getting disenfranchised for no terribly good reason). The likely fallout will be that Chairs will continually have to exercise their discretion over voting rights in order to placate aggrieved members.

A couple of further thoughts:

- Given different styles of operation, why the assumption that there should be a "one size fits all" membership rule? It seems to me that the best interests of all concerned might well be met by defining two alternative rules & leaving it to the membership of each WG to decide which rule they wish to apply.

- One of my WG members made the following observations which seem pertinent: "It seems to me that this is a rather drastic approach to aging out voting rights.  Given the current economic conditions some companies may not be able to afford to send the same representative to each meeting.  A rule like this would make retaining voting rights substantially more of a burden on participating companies and individuals.  I would propose a compromise of "...two of the last three..." Plenary meetings.  That would help alleviate some of the financial burden and allow for "personal" reasons that a member may not be able to attend while still speeding up the age out process.  It seems reasonable to me that a person could have a three month window in which they would be unable to attend a plenary or interim meeting in that time frame (maternity leave comes to mind)."  The alternative 2 out of 3 rule that he proposes isn't nearly as trigger happy as the 2 out of 2 rule, and offers some improvement in the speed of ageing out.


At 11:50 16/09/2002 -0700, Bill Quackenbush wrote:


The issue that the proposed change to section of the 802
Operating Rules attempts to at least partially address is that of
achieving quorum at interim WG/TAG meetings.  I offer the following
facts and thoughts.

1) 802 WGs/TAGs have two distinct styles of operation.

        * Some hold WG/TAG meetings only during 802 Plenary weeks and (with
rare exception) hold only interim task force meetings which have no
quorum requirement to conduct business (approve motions).

        * Others prefer to hold more frequent WG/TAG meetings.  They hold
plenary WG/TAG meetings during 802 Plenary weeks and hold interim WG/TAG
meetings  which have a quorum requirement to conduct business.

(I personally believe that both styles can work, that neither is
inherently superior to the other and that a WG/TAG should be free to
select the operation style that best fits their style and personality.)

2) The current 802 rules are significantly asymmetric with respect to
acquiring and retaining working group membership.

        * Membership may be acquired in four months by attending two successive
plenary meetings plus an intervening interim meeting.

        * Membership may be retained for as long as 16 or 18 months after the
last meeting attended, depending upon whether the last meeting attended
was respectively a plenary or interim meeting, and membership may be
retained without any interim meeting attendance.

3) It is not uncommon for individuals to become members of a WG/TAG when
certain issues are before the group and then disappear for the rest of a
project or the next project.  This behavior in combination with the
significant asymmetry of the membership acquisition and retention rules
unnecessarily burdens the ability of those who continue to attend the
meetings of that WG/TAG to conduct business by raising the quorum requirement.

4) The current membership retention requirements make it very difficult
to ensure a quorum at an interim WG/TAG meetings.

5) There are a number of individuals (I being one) that believe that
allowing interim WG/TAG meeting to conduct business without a quorum is
poor policy and an invitation to potential abuse.

The purpose of the proposed 802 rule change is to minimize the
asymmetery between membership acquisition and retention rules.


aka Bill Quackenbush
Treasurer, P802 LMSC

Geoff Thompson wrote:
> Colleages-
> This is a distribution of proposed changes to the 802 (LMSC) Operating
> Rules to participants in IEEE Project 802.
> This also constitutes initiation of an 30 day ballot of the Exec (SEC)
> on the same material
> Working Group Chairs and other members of the Exec need to cast their
> vote by close of ballot which is midnight (Pacific Time) October 13.
> Sufficient time should be allowed before casting your ballot so that
> your constituency can provide you feedback to consider in formulating
> your position. [WG Chairs, please redistribute this to your WG lists
> and invite your WG members to comment through you.]
> [Also, please note that the closing date that Vice-Chair Mat Sherman
> set on the procedure for electronic balloting was incorrectly set at
> 60 days (10/28/02) after mailing. It is hereby reset to October 13 as
> above.]
> If comments are received, a comment resolution meeting will be held on
> Sunday evening immediately preceding the Plenary Week in Kauai.
> A brief description of the changes are listed below:
>      1)      A modification to  rules regarding membership
>      retention requirements to more accurately reflect the profile of
>      our active membership. (ref: Prop5-1-3-2.pdf)
>      2)      A set of changes to support the addition of the Radio
>      Regulatory TAG to our organization. (ref: 18-02-011r0.pdf)
> The text of each of the proposed changes are attached to this mailing.
> As a member of IEEE Project 802 you are encouraged to carefully review
> the proposed rule changes and ask questions of, or forward any
> comments to, a representative on the LMSC SEC well before the closure
> of the SEC ballot.  SEC members will carefully consider your comments
> and suggestions as part of the balloting process.
> Geoff Thompson
> 1st Vice Chair, IEEE 802 LMSC
>                       Name: Prop5-1-3-2.pdf
>    Prop5-1-3-2.pdf    Type: Adobe Portable Document Format
>                             (application/pdf)
>                   Encoding: base64
>                       Name: 18-02-011r0.pdf
>    18-02-011r0.pdf    Type: Adobe Portable Document Format
>                             (application/pdf)
>                   Encoding: base64
>     ---------------------------------------------------------------
> |=========================================|
> | Geoffrey O. Thompson                    |
> | Vice Chair,  IEEE 802                   |
> | Nortel Networks, Inc.  M/S: P79/06/B04  |
> | 4655 Great America Parkway              |
> | P. O. Box 58185                         |
> | Santa Clara, CA 95052-8185  USA         |
> | Phone: +1 408 495 1339                  |
> | Fax:   +1 408 495 5615                  |
> | E-Mail:               |
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