Best Practices for Member Section Steering Committees

This document offers guidelines that OASIS Member Section (MS) Steering Committees (StCs) may use to provide and derive maximum value for their communities and themselves.

Realizing that each MS has its own unique mission, priorities, and challenges, these guidelines are offered for consideration only; not every StC will find every idea here useful. Realizing too that StCs have valuable advice to offer one another, we welcome suggestions for expanding and refining this document.

Common objectives

Generally speaking, StCs share three common goals:

  • Evangelize the work of the MS to the international community
  • Coordinate and expand the agenda of the MS and its affiliated TCs
  • Provide value to (and fully engage with) MS participants

Suggested activities

OASIS staff are available to assist in the planning and execution of any of the following activities:

Events:

  1. Identify appropriate conferences for potential co-sponsorship.
  2. Speak on behalf of the MS at conferences you attend.
  3. Host an annual event combining a public program with TC meetings.
  4. Host interoperability demonstrations, program tracks, panels, round table discussions, Birds-of-a-Feather gatherings, etc. at appropriate conferences throughout the year. Use these opportunities to evangelize current work, explore ideas for new work, and/or gauge interest in potential new TCs.
  5. Host quarterly or bi-annual TC Lightning Rounds, where a representative from each TC in the MS provides a 5-10 minute update on the group's progress and plans. These could be presented as face-to-face meetings or via webinar.
  6. Publish an events calendar on the MS web site, promoting events where MS participants will be speaking on MS-related topics.
  7. Encourage your TCs to host individual or joint webinars to promote adoption and attract new participation.

Collateral

  1. Publish white papers on current or potential work or other relevant topics. The white papers may be authored by members or the MS may hire a consultant or analyst to produce the content. Funding for the white paper may come from corporate sponsors or from the MS budget. Post white papers on the MS web site and encourage members to distribute and link to them.
  2. Work with staff to produce a data sheet summarizing the work of the MS and its TCs. Post online and encourage members to distribute and link to them.
  3. Encourage all related TCs to post FAQs and keep them current.

Marketing

  1. Create a marketing mailing list and encourage all MS members to have a representative subscribe. Use the list for refining events plans, promoting press announcements, planning analyst briefings and tours, and generally learning how the MS can best serve the marketing needs of its constituents.
  2. Work with staff to create a LinkedIn group; use it to promote MS work, activities, and plans to non-members.

Member Communications

  1. Host briefings from experts on topical issues related to the work of the MS. Invite representatives from academia, government, other standards bodies, associations, emerging markets, unrepresented geographic regions, etc. to present overviews of their work, ideas, and needs. These briefings may be informal presentations at StC meetings or they may be opened to the MS at-large. Consider committing to a regular schedule of briefings—in a quarterly or monthly webinar format. Use the briefings as opportunities to explore potential opportunities for collaboration and outreach.
  2. Publish brief quarterly reports outlining the MS's accomplishments and plans. Encourage MS members to circulate these reports within their own organizations in order to build support for the work, promote their contributions, and justify their participation.
  3. Organize F2F networking opportunities where members can connect with one another. These can be as simple as a Birds-of-a-Feather lunch table at a popular conference or as elaborate as a formal reception.
  4. Open StC meetings to MS participants on a regular basis (once a year, once a quarter, every meeting—whatever makes the most sense for your group). Include time on the agenda for MS participants to present issues on current work, ideas for new work, and other feedback. These open meetings can be held F2F or by teleconference, depending on the normal logistics of the StC meetings.
  5. Conduct a survey of MS participants to gauge their support for upcoming activities or potential technical directions.

Web site

  1. Publish one or more product directories on your MS web site to promote products that comply with your standards, e.g. http://www.oasis-emergency.org/products.

TC Coordination

  1. Identify vertical areas (e.g. financial, healthcare) or language-specific communities that are relevant but under-represented and encourage TCs to form Subcommittees to address the special needs of these constituents.
  2. Identify major stakeholders that are not in the MS (particularly those whose participation will attract others and ensure wide adoption of the work). Work with staff to engage the participation and support of these “bell cow” organizations.
  3. Appoint StC Advisors, people who may be unable to serve on the StC but who offer experience/skills that may be useful for a particular project or who may provide needed insight into a geographic region or marketplace.
  4. Invite new TC proposers to brief the StC (or the MS at-large) on their ideas for new work. Discuss how this new work might fit with MS agenda and identify areas where communication would be mutually beneficial.
  5. Invite an analyst to attend a MS gathering for briefings on TCs' work.

Staff support

For more information or assistance with any of the above activities, StCs should consult their MS Staff Support Contact, events@oasis-open.org, and/or communications@oasis-open.org.
Send suggestions on improving this document to communications@oasis-open.org.