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Re: [802SEC] Share the pain

Ben/all - I had planned to focus the next ‘mixed mode’ adhoc on the logistics of meeting hours and length.  While this may be a bit different from the virtual meeting scenario, there are some similarities and some of the thoughts here are very much in line.  Key questions:

  1. How long would we recommend an individual meeting block?
  2. Is it better to have (a single topic/task force or study group meeting) as separate shorter blocks, with several hours or even a day in between or string them together with scheduled breaks?
  3. Do the hours of the meeting in the venue time zone dictate everything?  Should we seek to (not sure we can) expand the ‘schedulable window’ to better accommodate a global audience?


These are important things near term because they impact room scheduling – not just hours, but possibly the number of rooms.  They also could impact the logistics of breaks (possibly making them smaller and easier).


Just from my own experience and reading the below, I am sure we would have varied opinions.  I also suspect that best practices may vary based on the size and stage of the group meeting.  All of these require some diligence on the Chair’s part, and some training/mentoring might be needed.  To be fair, we all go to meetings with varying efficiency, and we can all learn from each other what seems to work and what doesn’t.



I wouldn’t limit to 1.5 hours as Ben suggests – in my experience, especially with the amount of required notices when the room begins a session, this is just too short. A quick reading of the ‘dos & don’ts’ requires 15min at least – and usually more like 20-25.  This brings to mind a question, and something we ought to have in our practices if our sessions get broken into smaller chunks – clear guidance as to when we need to read the required notices and when we can simply resume.


My personal observations on meeting length are below, and I’d recommend we keep control at our Chair level, but provide perhaps a menu of operating types that Chairs can indicate in order to facilitate planning.  In all they do end up with shorter sessions than we currently have, and I can’t really see sitting more than 3 hours continuously.  I’ve done that (in person and remote) and agree that at that point you lose people.


I have seen situations where long meetings broken up by short breaks (like our coffee/lunch breaks in the past) work well.  This is especially good when the meeting is procedural and the attendees can reasonably predict the order of topics.  Comment resolution, for example, does this well.  Work till you’re done, but have an ‘order of the day’.


When the whole session can be done in 2 to at most 2.5 hours, one sitting seems to work well.  This also sometimes helps to focus what might easily expand into a half-day session into a more compact session.  This works well for all types of meetings, but requires a relatively compact agenda.


I have also seen situations where short meetings (1.5-2 hours) broken up by longer breaks are the best mode.  Interestingly, I haven’t seen this in 802, but rather in other meetings.  This works well where there are several subtopics that need work (new results) or consensus built on.  As an example, the DSL PHY meetings in ITU (back in the late 90s) were run as a round-robin of topics revisiting the same topic for a couple hours over the course of a 4 to 5 day meeting.  Issues that needed work or consensus at the beginning of the meeting were successfully worked over the week as participants focusing on one aspect of the work would use the time spent on other topics to get together and refine their work.  This made meeting weeks much more productive than they might otherwise have been in advancing the work.  The closest I’ve seen to that in 802 is sometimes we leave something for a group to get to over lunch or at an ad hoc in the evening, and revisit in the afternoon or the next morning.  Doing topics on a schedule though would help all participants.  With remote participants, a schedule is likely more important because you’d want ad hocs to be able to use some form of breakout room and teleconference.


I think, though, that in all of this, flexibility is key.  Chairs know their work plan.  Work plans, and the personalities of groups, differ and will drive the right duration. 


See you all with your bright ideas on Tuesday.  Try to write them down and let me know – I’ll give you time to run through your version of best practices and ideas on how to document them.




From: ***** IEEE 802 Executive Committee List ***** <> On Behalf Of
Sent: Thursday, September 23, 2021 6:06 PM
Subject: Re: [802SEC] Share the pain


I think this discussion is for the future, based on Andrew's premise that we will be doing this for a while.  For the record I am hoping that premise is wrong, but hope doesn't make it so. IMO if we expect to be doing this for a while then we need to make rule changes to allow for it - continuously suspending rules is not right IMO.  But that is another discussion 🙂.  It stops being an exception at some point (probably past already 🙁 that point). 


To Steve's point, have looked at the short day idea. We discussed in in WG 15.  It has some appeal for sure.  The problem is that the "sweet spot" is 2 hours per day and it isn't sweet for everyone but that is the most popular slot.  Even with 2 slots the arithmetic doesn't work so well. For 802.15 during the Sept interim, we had 4 and 5 slot days (not all contiguous). 28 time slots (2 meetings per time slot) with meetings for 44 total meetings.  We could conceivably pack 44 meetings into 22 days which is a month not counting weekends.  Of course this is just one WG.  If we went to 2 blocks per day that's down to 11 days for just one WG. Assuming we all vie for time in the same 4 hour window, well...we're heading towards one continuous session (a different tangent).   Even before 2020 it was fiarly common for groups to have an hour a week of WebEx between sessions and if we shrink the time between sessions we probably need a few more meeting slots. 


In my experience, while face to face meetings often fill every minute and more of the 2 hour slot, virtual meetings have not.  Only once this session did we overflow, most times it was possible to recess with 10 to 15 minutes left, which gave people a break between meetings.  In discussion during the WG closing, several other folks mentioned the same thing.  I had found more than 1.5 hours of WebEx starts to be unproductive long before 2020. So considering a 1.5 hour base unit might make sense for virtual meetings.


Another tactic that has had some benefit for WG 15 is that we allocarte 6 slots per day because the last few times the evening (ET) slots were popular with folks from Asia though this time EV1 was popular (19:00 ET) but we had only 1 EV2 (21:00 ET).   It has made for some long days for some but so do face to face meetings so I take that as part of the deal.  Kind of the opposite of Steve's suggestion, we have talked about spreading it out further to have more slots that work for other parts of the world. 


The "pick a time zone and share the pain" is in some ways simpler. Like our current method, it guarantees that times are bad for some folks.  but unlike what we do now, it is bad for different folks at different sessions.


More to think about.



From: ***** IEEE 802 Executive Committee List ***** <> on behalf of Jon Rosdahl <jrosdahl@IEEE.ORG>
Sent: Thursday, September 23, 2021 2:33 PM
Subject: Re: [802SEC] Share the pain


I appreciate the discussion and the concept.

For November, we have already had a motion and announcement, so it is set.

If we have another Electronic Plenary, we should consider that as part of the Rule Waiver motion and Session announcement.




Jon Rosdahl                             Engineer, Senior Staff
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On Thu, Sep 23, 2021 at 3:30 PM Steve Shellhammer <> wrote:

Does it make sense to shorten each day, so we can fit into times which are not too terrible for people.  We would have less meetings during the Plenary, but most WGs are having lots of weekly calls, so if we focus the meeting time on motions and use the other calls for discussions, maybe we can get by with shorter days.


Something to consider.





From: ***** IEEE 802 Executive Committee List ***** <> On Behalf Of George Zimmerman
Sent: Thursday, September 23, 2021 2:18 PM
Subject: Re: [802SEC] Share the pain


WARNING: This email originated from outside of Qualcomm. Please be wary of any links or attachments, and do not enable macros.

Ben – thank you for the reminder, and Andrew – thank you for the suggestion.

In concept, I support the idea.  In implementation, Ben reminds me that we tried to settle on a time that worked for everyone, but was, of course marginal for some.

I wonder if we might try to find one alternate time slot that was more amenable to those on the western edge of the pacific ocean.



From: ***** IEEE 802 Executive Committee List ***** <> On Behalf Of
Sent: Thursday, September 23, 2021 1:59 PM
Subject: Re: [802SEC] Share the pain


I suggested this last year and still endorse the idea.  It was shot down at the time, but well worth reconsideration IMO.

Issues identified when we discussed it before (from my notes and memory, neither is complete) to fuel discussion:

  • When people attend meetings on-site, everyone else realizes they are "gone" but for virtual meetings not so much
    • Thus, the "day job" responsibilities often must also be maintained in the attendee's local time zone
    • Counter: for those not in ET, this is already an issue. All meeting slots are the middle of the night for some
    • Counter: this may increase opportunity to attend by using more of the 24 hour day (sleep is optional?) [I listed this as both pro and con]
  • IMAT has some issues that were brought up.  However we use IMAT in other time zones so I think the conclusion was so long as we pick one it works (correct me please if I remember this wrong)
  • The selection of physical venue does not always represent the location of a majority of attendees





From: ***** IEEE 802 Executive Committee List ***** <> on behalf of Andrew Myles (amyles) <>
Sent: Wednesday, September 22, 2021 9:15 PM
Subject: [802SEC] Share the pain


G’day all


It appears that we are going to be stuck with remote meetings for a while. Recently, this has meant that IEEE 802 week has been held in ET, which is great for the US but not so great for other parts of the world. I would like to suggest that we start sharing the time zone pain. Maybe one simple compromise in the short term is to schedule meeting hours to align with the location in which the meeting was originally planned. For example that, would mean the November IEEE 802 meeting times would be aligned with PT. Thoughts?


Andrew Myles

Manager, Cisco Standards

Andrew Myles
Manager, Enterprise Standards
Phone: +61 2 8446 1010
Mobile: +61 418 656587

Cisco Systems Limited
The Forum 201 Pacific Highway
St Leonards 2065



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