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Re: [802SEC] Future meeting vision ad hoc

Andrew – I will be happy to volunteer, and have the opportunity to participate as an individual in the discussion.

I would put forward that one thing I have learned is that while there are times hybrid meetings are necessary for business (such as a situation where a substantial number of participants cannot travel for an extended period of time), they are problematic and generally not preferable to either fully-remote meetings or fully face-to-face meetings.  I have heard this opinion nearly unanimously from both within and without 802, including from individuals who have run and participated in hybrid meetings for years.  They are to be avoided if possible, because they cause the host of problems we are trying to deal with in the other ad hoc.


I would suggest one item for early consideration, and perhaps early consensus – a long term solution should only consider hybrid meetings when essential to the conduct of business.  And, I’d also offer, for the time being, let’s put on the table the act of codifying when they are necessary.  I suggest that when a time occurs that hybrid meetings are a necessary evil, we will know it, and the LMSC will take appropriate action – no need to speculate that now.


By doing this we can focus on the issues of what more ‘new normal’ meetings might evolve to, and not the vagaries of an abnormally stressed situation.  I offer some issues for your consideration in the agenda based on the various discussion and questions I have seen:

  • What should we strive for:
    • For what kinds of meetings, and at what stages of progress are face-to-face meetings most beneficial?  (and similarly for remote meetings)
    • What are the pitfalls of remote meetings, and can we avoid them by certain practices? (I can think of a few, but I suggest a discussion in the meeting may bring more out)
    • Similarly, are there practices in our face to face meetings that we might change, once integrated with a remote meeting process? (not so sure there are, but it’s the parallel to the above)
  • These should hopefully lead us to consideration of the number of meetings and processes for them, such as:
    • Should we consider changes in our meeting structure so that we have only occasional large, all 802 face-to-face meetings where multiple WGs meet and some level of interaction occurs?
      • With at least some of the separate WG and TF work offloaded into remote meetings, should we be doing adding something new or different to our face-to-face meeting mix to promote collaboration and innovation across the larger groups (e.g., cross WG and even cross TF in the larger WGs)?
    • Do we have a recommendation for voting rights / membership, or should we leave that the Working Groups? (e.g., do we want an ‘introductory class of members’)


I’m sure there are more sub-issues (especially on the meetings and processes), but I trust, based on previous experience with your groups, you will keep us out of the weeds and minutiae of trying to write rules (which is a second task, to be performed after we figure out what we want, IMHO), and I am looking forward to the discussion!




From: ***** IEEE 802 Executive Committee List ***** <> On Behalf Of Andrew Myles (amyles)
Sent: Thursday, August 19, 2021 10:41 PM
Subject: [802SEC] Future meeting vision ad hoc


G’day all,


There is significant effort being invested in the near-term mixed-mode meeting definitions ad hoc (ably led by George Zimmerman) to answer questions related to how IEEE 802 might operate effectively as we transition away from the current COVID driven reality of all remote-only meetings. The ad hoc has a challenging task, especially as the proposed hybrid transition mode is something in which very few organisations have been successful. However, we need to find ways to make hybrid operation at least a little bit successful to maintain our IEEE 802 standards momentum with all stakeholders, and to avoid the financial penalties of an immediate, permanent move to remote-only operation.


One of the few positives of the COVID crisis is that it has opened the eyes of many to the various benefits of remote-only meetings. Previously, most IEEE 802 participants would have been dismissive of the idea that IEEE 802 standardisation could operate effectively in a remote-only mode, or even in a mode with reduced F2F meetings (I actually proposed this in 2009, but the suggestion was rejected). They were probably correct, even up to the beginning of the COVID crisis, because the supporting tools were imperfect and because all IEEE 802’s processes, rules, philosophies and culture (and sometimes even holiday plans) revolved around the use of F2F meetings every two months, somewhere in the world. However, we have managed to operate reasonably well in most groups in remote-only mode for the last 18 months by adapting the way we operate and adopting new tools. Even better, we have done so without damaging the environment with long distance travel, and without damaging our waistlines with hotel/restaurant food.


The fact remote-only operation has been effective, at least some of the time, for at least some groups, should cause us to examine the way we operate in the longer term, looking for options that magnify all the benefits of remote-only operation and mitigate the risks. We could examine questions like:

  • Is remote-only operation a feasible long term option?
    • What has worked well in IEEE 802’s remote-only operation experience?
    • What has not worked well in IEEE 802’s remote-only operation experience?
    • How could we refine the processes, rules, philosophies and culture of IEEE 802 to make remote-only operation (nearly?) as effective as F2F operation?
    • What new tools could enhance remote-only operation?
  • If not, is a mode with less F2F sessions and more remote-only sessions a reasonable compromise?
    • eg 3x F2F and 3x remote-only sessions each year
    • eg 3x F2F and ad hoc remote-only sessions each year, getting away from the idea of a week-long session as the only way to operate


In the interest of examining these, and related questions, Paul Nikolich appointed me as the Chair of an IEEE 802 Future meeting vision ad hoc


Name: Future meeting vision ad hoc

Chair: Andrew Myles

Scope:  Establish a long term vision for how IEEE 802 meetings might operate effectively in the future, possibly challenging the historical assumption that IEEE 802 WGs meeting F2F six times per year is optimal. The immediate goal of the ad hoc will be to understand what has worked well and what has not worked well with remote meetings over the last 18 months, and what would be needed to allow remote meetings to operate better in the future. This understanding will then assist the ad hoc explore the longer term question of how often IEEE 802 WGs should meet F2F, remotely or in a hybrid mode in the future. 

Membership: Volunteers requested, with a  goal of at least one member from each IEEE 802 WG and at least one IEEE 802 EC member involved in meeting operation a


Now that the near-term mixed-mode meeting definitions ad hoc is making good progress on examining short term options, it is time to start thinking about long term options in parallel. This e-mail is a call to action:

  • Please volunteer to join the future meeting vision ad hoc, particularly if you:
    • Are passionate about the topic
    • Have experience as a leader/participant in both F2F & remote operations
    • Have an open mind, no “negative Neds” please!
  • Please develop submissions for discussion by the future meeting vision ad hoc
    • I suggest we start by imagining a world where F2F is not possible. What would we need to do to make remote-only operation as good as it could possibly be? Where are the gaps? What do we need to do to mitigate the effect of the gaps?
    • Of course, any submissions within the ad hoc’s scope are welcome


So far I have one volunteer. Thanks, Steve Shellhammer! WG Chairs, could you pass this invitation on to interested & knowledgeable members of your WGs?


I will call the first teleconference of the ad hoc once we have a sufficient number of volunteers. The first meeting of the ad hoc will be remote-only, held at a time friendly to the ad hoc Chair (somewhere between 3pm ET and 8am ET). I guess this highlights a key issue for remote-only meetings – the world is round! 😊


Andrew Myles

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