Re: Interim meetings - changing the way we work

Joel Halpern Direct <> Thu, 26 February 2015 15:57 UTC

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Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2015 10:57:30 -0500
From: Joel Halpern Direct <>
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To: Ted Lemon <>
Subject: Re: Interim meetings - changing the way we work
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One of the working groups where I have observed this is one where I am a 
document author and was an active contributor.  I am still trying to 
contribute.  Minutes don't cut it.  (I looked at the minutes from the 
one session I participated in.  While they were formally correct, I 
doubt that they would have helped anyone not on the call actually engage 
in the discussion.  As evidence I point out that the discussions do not 
get followed up on the list.

One of the other groups I follow, and no I don't expect the work to be 
optimized for a follower.  But judging from what I see, even an active 
participant and author would have trouble if they could not make the 
phone calls.

We claim that we do our work on the email list.  I do understand that 
phone calls and face to face meetings are useful for resolving hard 
issues.  I am not saying "don't have interims".  But if one is having a 
phone call every two to three weeks, then the working group is NOT 
conducting its work on the mailing list.  If we want to throw in the 
towel and say that you need a higher engagement level to participate, 
then we should own up to that.  It will severely harm 
cross-fertilization and participation in multiple working groups.  But 
maybe that is what we need to give up.

But pretending that frequent working group (not design team, working 
group) conference calls are a good way to work and consistent with our 
ethos does not match what I have seen.


On 2/26/15 10:15 AM, Ted Lemon wrote:
> On Feb 26, 2015, at 10:05 AM, Joel M. Halpern <>
> wrote:
>> I need to agree with John here.  There are several WGs I try to
>> monitor that started having frequent interim conference calls.
>> There is no way I can reliably make time for that.  The advantage
>> of email is that I can fit it in around the work I need to do
>> (including reading it during corporate conference calls.)  In one
>> case I have had to dramatically reduce my effective participation
>> in the WG because most of the work moved to the conference calls.
> If you "try to monitor" these working groups, it sounds like you
> aren't an active participant.   The meetings are supposed to be
> minuted, so you ought to be able to monitor them by reading the
> minutes.
> Do you think we should optimize working groups for getting work done,
> or for being monitored?   Or have I misunderstood what you mean when
> you say "try to monitor"?