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T3F - Transitional Technical Task Force

Tuesday Feb 20, 2007 12:00 PM (US Eastern Time, GMT -5)


Beeler, Buitendijk, McCay, Lorenzi, Parker, Quinn, Walker

Prior Homework

Prepare to continue advancing two documents in parallel:

  1. The draft TD structure charts.
  2. The list of TD responsibilities and relationships.


  1. (05 min) Roll Call & Accept agenda
  2. (02 min) Progress Report to Transition Oversight Team
  3. (50 min) Technical Directorate Discussions
    (20 min) Technical Directorate composition
  4. (05 min) Next Steps

Progress Report

Beeler reported that a monthly progress report to the Transition Oversight Team and Board is due February 28. We missed the last report because Beeler missed the e-mail requesting it. Beeler will draft the report, circulate it to the committee for comment and seek an "ok" at next week's T3F call.

Technical Directorate Composition

The meeting was devoted to a discussion of the make-up (composition) of the TD, using the chart from the Strategic Initiative report as a starting point. (Slide #3 of the draft TD structure charts) Virginia Lorenzi had provided a framework for the discussion by posing a list of questions based upon that chart plus prior T3F discussions. Here questions form the "outline topics" of these minutes, with points made during the committee discussion as regular text.

How should the TD make decisions?

Can members vote?

The T3F is clearly agreed that the TD is a consensus body and that decisions are taken by vote of that group.

Do some members NOT have voting privileges?

There will probably be some non-voting positions for participation by HL7 staff.

Alternatively, is the TD more of an advisory committee for the CTO or a volunteer chair in which the CTO or chair makes all final decisions but goes to the TD for advice?

Again,. the T3F believes the majority of decisions should be by vote of the TD. There may remain certain tactical decisions that the Chair and or CTO is authorized to make. (Current example is what is referred to as the "John Quinn Rule". This is a by-law stipulation that the TSC Chair may approve the advancement of standards to membership vote either by-passing committee vote, or with remaining negatives.)

Assuming the proposal that the chair of the TD is a volunteer and there is a paid TCO who works hand in hand to support and coordinate TC activities.

NOTE: Previous discussions in the T3f had raised the idea that perhaps the TD chair should be drawn from the volunteers and that the CTO position should act as an "administrator" to the TD, responsible for much of the communication, planning and coordination that the TD needs to function. (This might be similar to the relationship between the CEO and the Board.) In that discussion it was also suggested that a title of "Technical Coordination Officer", or TCO, might be appropriate. As of this date, the T3f has not adopted this idea. It is, however, still under discussion. The following sub-questions were posed to get better understanding of how such a relationship would work if it were adopted.

Who chairs the TD (one of the existing TD members, someone else)?

Initial response was that the Chair would be elected from within the TD, but we did not explore the idea of a nominating committee and an election from with one vote for each TCs and SIG.

How is that decided (appointed, elected, by whom)?

(See above)

Does the CTO/TCO have a vote?

General feeling was yes, otherwise the individual has little influence with which to carry out his/her mission.

What are the qualifications for the CTO?

The following were cited as principles for selection:

  1. A proven consensus builder
  2. Someone who knows and is known to the HL7 Working Group
  3. Likely to have been a Co-Chair or “facilitator”, but not necessarily required

Does a volunteer chair have a vote?

As with all Chair positiosn, they have a "tie breaking" vote only.

Related point The T3F agreed that the TD members should have defined terms, but not “term limits”.

The diagram says “up to 3 CTO-recommended members (in conjunction with CEO and COO)” I believe the rationale is to suggest candidates to fill perceived gaps.

Should there be 3 appointed positions like this?

Note: this item was addressed last during the meeting. Thus, the rationale for this recommendation lies, in part, with the responses to the remaining composition questions.

T3F agreed:

  • There should be one Board-appointed position, who also serves as a Board liaison
  • That the TD have the option of "co-opting" a member who would serve with a vriable (but defined) term. This would allow the TD to achieve better balance, to fill a gap in knowledge, or accomplish other goals.
  • T3F should consider adding a position to represent the “other” volunteer-driven Board-appointed Committees (Electronic Services, Publishing, Legal Affairs, etc.)

Who should recommend them?

The TD should have a recommendation/nominating process for these.

Should a representative from ARB have a seat and a vote on the TD?

The group discussed whether they thought there will continue to be an ARB. It was agreed that a number of the TD tasks will require appointment of responsible groups and that it is likely some of the ARB functions will remain to be undertaken by an established group. The T3F believes that the ARB should be appointed by and report to the TD.

In that case, then the ARB Chair should be a voting member of the TD if the Chair is not already a TD member. Note that T3F still needs to parse the tasks of the current ARB and assign them to itself, to a future ARB or to its sub-groups.

Do people agree with the 3 affiliate positions (one US)?

After a good deal of discussion, the T3F agreed that it would prefer to see two "affiliate positions" with no slot designated for a particular affiliate. The objective is to gain broader technical and requirements input for architecture and product positioning.

These members should be elected by an "affiliate council" that represents all affiliates, including the US, however the actions of these representatives within the TD should not be "directed" or "vetted" by either the Affiliate Council or the Affiliates of which they are members.

Note: This discussion also led to the observation that there needs to be a "staging" of TD membership selection, at least initially. That is, we should delay election of affiliate slots until after the three "TC/SIG" positions are filled, and should delay the "appointed" positions (with the exception of the Board appointment) until after the affiliate representatives are known.

Do people agree one rep each from FT, DE, and SS? (I think this one we’ve discussed the most).

In general, the T3F is comfortable with this, assuming, as we agreed earlier, that each sub-group will have both a delegate and an alternate. Wel also noted that recommendations from Sub-groups will have weight simply because they originate from within the Working Group.

Next Steps

Next week (February 27) Beeler and Quinn will be absent at HIMSS. Craig Parker agreed to chair the meeting.

Action items:

  1. Craig agreed to refine the "committee chart" he had started as Slide #1 of the draft TD structure charts
  2. Requested Virginia to take a stab at creating a revised version of the TD Composition chart based on the minutes and discussions from today's call.

During next week's meeting the T3F will focus on the composition of the sub-groups, their "designation" (what are they called generically), their names, a brief summary of what each sub-groups represent, and whether the current aggregation of TCs and SIGs are appropriate to those groups. It was noted several times that there is no hard and fast "rule" that there must be exactly three sub-groups. There could be more.

Agenda item list (our sand box for future meetings)

Click for T3F Action Item List