A Handbook for Individuals Acting as The Open Group Liaison to Another Organization
Prepared by Andrew Josey, VP, Standards & Certification
Copyright © 2012-2018, The Open Group
This document is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike 3.0 United States License; see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0. You are free to copy, modify, adapt, and distribute the contents of this document provided you prominently display the attribution “Provided under a Creative Commons license by The Open Group www.opengroup.org”.
The views expressed in this Guide are not necessarily those of any particular member of The Open Group.
The Open Group Confidential.
See www.opengroup.org/standardsprocess/confidentiality.html for usage restrictions.
The Open Group is a global consortium that enables the achievement of business objectives through technology standards. Our diverse membership of more than 750 organizations includes customers, systems and solutions suppliers, tools vendors, integrators, academics, and consultants across multiple industries.
The mission of The Open Group is to drive the creation of Boundaryless Information Flow™ achieved by:
•Working with customers to capture, understand, and address current and emerging requirements, establish policies, and share best practices
•Working with suppliers, consortia, and standards bodies to develop consensus and facilitate interoperability, to evolve and integrate specifications and open source technologies
•Offering a comprehensive set of services to enhance the operational efficiency of consortia
•Developing and operating the industry’s premier certification service and encouraging procurement of certified products
Further information on The Open Group is available at www.opengroup.org.
The Open Group publishes a wide range of technical documentation, most of which is focused on the development of standards and guides, but which also includes white papers, technical studies, certification and testing documentation, and business titles. Full details and a catalog are available at www.opengroup.org/library.
This document provides a Handbook for individuals who are elected to serve as The Open Group liaisons to other organizations. It defines the process for establishing liaisons, appointing Liaison Representatives, and approving liaison statements. It also includes descriptions of the mandate, expectations, tasks, and responsibilities placed on Liaison Representatives.
Andrew Josey, The Open Group
Andrew Josey is VP Standards and Certification, overseeing all certification and testing programs of The Open Group. He also manages the standards process for The Open Group. Since joining the company in 1996, Andrew has been closely involved with the standards development, certification, and testing activities of The Open Group. He has led many standards development projects including specification and certification development for the ArchiMate®, TOGAF®, POSIX®, and UNIX® programs. Most recently he has led the development of the TOGAF Business Architecture Level 1 certification credential and DPBoK™ Foundation certification. He has led the automation of The Open Group standards development using a GitLab-based automated build toolchain. He is the lead author of this document.
He is a member of the IEEE, USENIX, and the Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA). He holds an MSc in Computer Science from University College London.
ArchiMate®, DirecNet®, Making Standards Work®, Open O® logo, Open O and Check® Certification logo, OpenPegasus®, Platform 3.0®, The Open Group®, TOGAF®, UNIX®, UNIXWARE®, and the Open Brand X® logo are registered trademarks and Agile Architecture Framework™, Boundaryless Information Flow™,Build with Integrity Buy with Confidence™, Dependability Through Assuredness™, Digital Practitioner Body of Knowledge™, DPBoK™, EMMM™, FACE™, the FACE™ logo, FBP™, FHIM Profile Builder ™, the FHIM logo, IT4IT™, the IT4IT™ logo, O-AAF™, O-DEF™, O-HERA™, O-PAS™, Open FAIR™, Open Platform 3.0™, Open Process Automation™, Open Subsurface Data Universe™, Open Trusted Technology Provider™, O-SDU™, OSDU™, Sensor Integration Simplified™, SOSA™, and the SOSA™ logo are trademarks of The Open Group.
Object Management Group® and OMG® are registered trademarks of the Object Management Group.
All other brands, company, and product names are used for identification purposes only and may be trademarks that are the sole property of their respective owners.
The Open Group gratefully acknowledges the IETF. This document is based in large parts on:
• IETF RFC 4052: IAB Processes for Management of IETF Liaison Relationships (April 2005)
• IETF RFC 4691: Guidelines for Acting as an IETF Liaison to Another Organization (October 2006)
This document provides guidance for individuals appointed to be The Open Group liaisons to other organizations. In the course of developing standards, The Open Group needs to communicate extensively with various other peer organizations, including the following:
• Standards Development Organizations (SDOs), such as ISO/IEC JTC1 and its subcommittees
• Consortia, such as the Object Management Group® (OMG®)
• Industry/Professional bodies, such as the American Bar Association
These organizations are usually concerned with developing related standards and technical specifications, so that from time to time issues of coordination and mutual interest may arise. To facilitate communications, The Open Group establishes liaison relationships with appropriate parts of these organizations. Establishing a liaison closely ties in with the policy of The Open Group to avoid duplication of standards work elsewhere and to build upon existing standards.
Whenever The Open Group decides to enter into a liaison relationship, a Liaison Manager and one or more Liaison Representatives are appointed to act as a channel between The Open Group and the peer organization, typically in tandem with counterparts appointed by the peer organization. The Liaison Manager is appointed by The Open Group Executive
Management, and is usually a member of The Open Group staff, often the Forum Director, who manages the liaison relationship in cooperation with The Open Group Director, Standards. The Liaison Representatives are drawn from the members of The Open Group.
A person appointed to manage a liaison relationship between The Open Group and another organization. This is usually a member of staff of The Open Group.
A person appointed to manage a certain (sub-)aspect of a liaison relationship with another organization; for example, representing the consensus of a particular Forum or Work Group. This is usually an elected representative drawn from The Open Group membership.
Note that in some instances the Liaison Manager may also be appointed as the Liaison Representative.
A liaison relationship is set up when it is mutually agreeable and needed for some specific purpose, in the view of the other organization, The Open Group Executive Management, and The Open Group participants conducting the work.
There is no set process or form for this; The Open Group participants and the peer organization approach The Open Group Executive Management and, after discussion, come to an agreement to form the relationship. In some cases, the intended scope and guidelines for the collaboration are documented specifically.
In setting up the relationship, The Open Group expects that there will be a mutual exchange of views and discussion of the best approach for undertaking new standardization work items. Any work items resulting for The Open Group will be undertaken following The Open Group Standards Process. The peer organization often has different organizational structures and procedures than The Open Group, which will require some flexibility on the part of both organizations to accommodate. The Open Group expects that each organization will use the relationship carefully, allowing time for the processes it requests to occur in the other organization, and will not make unreasonable demands.
To ensure neutrality to the greatest extent possible, designation of a member representative shall occur through an open nomination and approval process within the applicable Forum or Work Group, subject to the following rules:
• The Open Group Executive Management must approve the decision to designate a member representative in advance to act as a Liaison Representative
• The Open Group Executive Management will assign a staff member to act as the Liaison Manager
• The Open Group Governing Board shall be given advance notice of the proposal to designate a representative from the membership to become a Liaison Representative, and given adequate time to raise objections and concerns
• The designation of the Liaison Representative shall be done through an open nomination and election process, with a minimum period for nominations of seven (7) days
• Eligible candidates for a Liaison Representative should reflect the target composition of the liaison organization to the greatest extent possible; for example, a liaison that is composed of a buy-side organization should have a customer representative
It is important that appropriate leadership review be made of proposed liaison statements from The Open Group, and that those writing such statements, who claim to be speaking on behalf of The Open Group, are truly representing the views of The Open Group.
All outgoing liaison statements will be copied to The Open Group Director, Standards, who has overall responsibility for liaisons and maintains central records.
For a liaison statement generated on behalf of a Forum or Work Group of The Open Group, the applicable Chair(s) must create a statement that reflects the consensus of the Forum or Work Group. The Chair(s) must have generated or must agree with the sending of the liaison statement, and must advise the Liaison Manager that the liaison statement is being sent by sending a draft to the appropriate Liaison Manager, who should then acknowledge receipt with an indication of approval.
Since liaison relationships are intended to be mutually beneficial, The Open Group liaison to another organization must act as a bi-directional communication link between The Open Group and the other organization.
Since the Liaison Representatives have been appointed by The Open Group, they need to be responsive to the needs and aims of The Open Group.
The mandate for The Open Group Liaison Representatives is strictly limited to conveying The Open Group consensus to the liaised organization. The Liaison Representatives must not on their own initiative send liaison statements to a liaised organization on behalf of The Open Group, or any of its Forums and Work Groups. Liaison statements are only sent following the process described earlier in this document.
The Open Group functions based on its consensus decisionmaking process; this means that the right to speak for The Open Group cannot be delegated. The Liaison Representatives speak on behalf of The Open Group on the subject matter of the liaison, but only after making sure that The Open Group consensus is understood.
The key competence needed in the liaison role is effective management of the liaison process according to the rules that have been agreed upon. The liaison acts as a representative of The Open Group and not an independent voice with respect to topics of discussion in the liaison relationship. The liaison must therefore be careful to distinguish his or her own views from documented consensus of The Open Group in dealings with the peer organization.
To this end, the liaison must be able to communicate effectively with members of the peer organization, especially in face-toface situations. This is important both to communicate The Open Group viewpoint and to gather information about the issues in the peer organization that The Open Group needs to understand.
Liaison relationships are designed for the mutual benefit of the organizations participating in the liaison. As such, swift information flow in both directions is a firm requirement. The role of a liaison is to promote the interests of The Open Group with respect to all topics within the scope of the liaison relationship. Since the liaison “wears an Open Group hat”, it is not the task of a liaison to promote the interests of the liaised organization within The Open Group.
A liaison may not be able to maintain the required perspective if he or she is closely involved in the outcome of the work in the peer organization. A conflict of interest might arise if the liaison is involved in the management of the relevant part of the peer organization, has a close technical involvement in the work that is the subject of the liaison, or has a close interest in the outcome of the work in the peer organization through his or her employment. When appointing an appropriate person to act as a liaison, The Open Group needs to take into account any conflicts of interest that the individual being considered might have. Before a person is appointed as a Liaison Representative, he or she will be asked to explicitly state any conflicts of interest. The Open Group will not appoint a person to a liaison position if there is a strong conflict of interest. For example, an individual with an industry or organizational leadership position in the liaised organization would typically not be suitable for appointment as The Open Group liaison to that organization.
A liaison needs to be committed to addressing the issues relevant to the liaison relationship. To handle the job properly, it is necessary that the liaison be able to allocate sufficient time to the task.
It is expected that a liaison will make The Open Group aware of new developments in the subject area in a timely fashion.
The Liaison Representatives provide information to The Open Group community in order to enable The Open Group to make decisions based on the best possible information regarding the work in the peer organization. In turn, information communicated by The Open Group liaison to the liaised organization must be based on the relevant consensus within The Open Group. The Liaison Representatives work with the liaised organization to ensure that communication is clear. As part of this, the liaison must clearly differentiate his or her own independent positions from those that represent consensus of The Open Group.
It is the responsibility of the liaison to ensure that the liaised organization communicates its requirements to The Open Group in a timely fashion and that The Open Group consensus is clearly understood. This is particularly important in situations where The Open Group and the liaised organization differ substantially in their positions. In this situation, the liaison needs to facilitate prompt communication so that The Open Group and the liaised organization can stay in close communication and avoid misunderstandings.
The Liaison Representatives are responsible for clearly and correctly communicating The Open Group consensus position to the liaised organization. This includes, when specifically instructed, carrying any messages from The Open Group to the Chapter 4. Responsibilities and Tasks 4.2. Tasks peer organization. Generally, these communications “represent The Open Group”, and therefore due care and consensus must be applied in their construction.
The Liaison Representatives are responsible for ensuring that relevant information originating from the liaised organization, or other information coming to the attention of the liaison, reaches the correct destination within The Open Group, in a timely and effective way.
The Liaison Representatives do not have any executive authority to make commitments on behalf of The Open Group nor to direct its staff.
Examples of tasks performed by the liaison are provided below. Depending on the nature of the liaised organization, the task may vary in frequency and relative importance.
• Attend relevant meetings and participate in teleconferences and mailing lists within the liaised organization to gather information relevant to the liaison relationship
Note developments of interest for onward communication to The Open Group. Communicate the point of view of The Open Group consensus to the peer organization.
• Communicate information relevant to the liaison relationship to the relevant part of The Open Group either by written reports or verbally
• Understand the concerns of both The Open Group and the peer organization, while ensuring that the interests of The Open Group are maintained; where there appear to be problems to solve or conflicts between approaches, work with both parties to encourage participants from both organizations to collaborate on solving the problem and facilitate the development of solutions in the appropriate organization
• Prepare reports giving updates on developments in the peer organization as requested by The Open Group Governing Board or other interested parties in The Open Group
• Oversee the delivery of liaison statements addressed to The Open Group
This includes ensuring that liaison statements are delivered to the appropriate destination within The Open Group, as well as shepherding the timely creation of responses by The Open Group.
• Work with the liaised organization to ensure that The Open Group liaison statements are appropriately directed and responded to in a timely fashion
To accomplish this, the liaison needs to build a contact network.
• Communicate and coordinate with other Liaison Managers within The Open Group where the activities of two or more liaised organizations overlap
• Assist with the preparation of The Open Group liaison statements based on The Open Group consensus
• From time to time, Liaison Managers and Liaison Representatives will have to report to The Open Group on the status of the liaison relationship
For this purpose, they will need to keep track of outstanding issues on behalf of The Open Group. The Open Group Governing Board or other parties within The Open Group may probe for liaison reports as needed or at regular intervals.
return to top of page