Minutes of Weekly Meeting, 2015-03-02

Meeting called to order: 11:08 AM EST

1. Roll Call

Ian McIntosh
Eric Cormack
Michele Portolan
Brad Van Treuren
Heiko Ehrenberg
Brian Erickson
Tim Pender
Bill Eklow (joined 11:20)

Adam Ley
Carl Walker

2. Review and approve previous minutes:


  • Updated draft circulated 02/26/2015.
  • One correction - near the end section 5 "oferring" should be "offering".
  • Brad moved to approve as amended, seconded by Michele. No objections or abstentions.

3. Review old action items

  • All: do we feel SJTAG is requiring a new test language to obtain the information needed for diagnostics or is STAPL/SVF sufficient? See also Gunnar's presentation, in particular the new information he'd be looking for in a test language (http://files.sjtag.org/Ericsson-Nov2006/STAPL-Ideas.pdf)
  • Ian: Add the previously discussed lists to the 'master' template. Ongoing.
    • Some sections need further expansion that may take time to develop.

4. Reminders

  • Consider Adam's three points (from the action from the first weekly meeting) and suggest what is preventing us from answering those questions:
    • Establish consensus on goals and constraints
    • What are we trying to achieve?
    • What restrictions are we faced with?
  • Forum thread for discussion: http://forums.sjtag.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=172

5. Discussion Topics

a. Further thoughts for ITC??

  • None.

b. Group officers - candidates for office and reaffirmation.

  • Ian felt that after seven years in the role he was not able to continue as Chair, largely due to time pressures, so he was not offering himself for reaffirmation.  Heiko was prepared to continue as Vice-chair, if there were no other candidates, but felt unable to take on the Chair.
  • No-one on the call was able to volunteer for the role of Chair.  Ian had considered the possibility of creating "co-chairs" in order to spread the workload, but that in itself would create an overhead in managing who was doing what each week.
  • Tim asked if Ian's position would be eased if some work could be offloaded such as preparing the minutes.  Ian agreed that the minutes were a major factor, and Tim wondered if perhaps some voice recognition software or other tooling could help.  Ian described that Monday evening was largely taken up with preparing the draft minutes, sometimes spilling into Tuesday, Wednesday evening was constructing the agenda for the next meeting and sending out the Calling Notice email and Sunday evening was spent checking the attendance records and website updates and preparing for the Monday call.
  • Bill noted that WebEx allows meetings to be recorded.  Brad replied that he had tried recording the meetings when he was Chair but found that while it allowed him to catch things his notes might have missed it probably took longer as you rolled the recording back several times during the preparation of the minutes.  Ian added that he had noted that the length of the minute files roughly trebled in size when prepared from recordings, so there was clearly a tendency to write more.
  • It was mentioned that our narrative format was probably an assistance to Adam who could not make many of our calls now.  Indeed, it was intended that the format should make the meeting business accessible to all observers, and this meant that the note taker probably needed to understand the discussions, which could limit who could do that job.
  • In the 1687 meetings, Jeff Rearick took the minutes but was unable to participate in the discussions, which was considered unfortunate.  It is generally the case that the note taker is not able to participate effectively in a meeting, although Ian remarked that Robert's Rules probably suggest that technically the Chair should moderate rather than participate.
  • Ian observed that in the early meetings there would sometimes be partial notes supplied by several participants.  This was helpful but at the same time sometimes made it hard to piece together the various comments in the right order.  Brad also had mixed feelings about having multiple notes although they could point out omissions in his own notes, which were really just "memory joggers".  Ian remarked that his notes were also memory joggers which was why he found it necessary to get the minutes prepared before the memories were lost.
  • Bill made the following suggestions:
    • Focus more on "key takeaway" topics.
    • Individuals who participated in key takeaway discussions should published their viewpoint in a brief email. Ian, you can assign action items to individuals to elaborate on key comments that they made during the meeting.
    • Let’s use the reflector to continue or clarify discussions that occurred during the meeting.
    • I would still suggest recording the meeting if the group is OK with it. It provides an opportunity for those that could not attend the meeting to hear the meeting in its entirety.  Perhaps those that listen to the recording can add comments to the reflector, which can then be added to the meeting minutes.
    • It is difficult for the chair to be notetaker as well.  In most cases, it inhibits the chairs ability to lead the discussion.  Having a notetaker that can focus on taking notes will provide better notes and enable more robust conversations.
    • Identify topic areas for the following week. Volunteers can prepare a few slides or a statement on the topic.  Key points can be added after the meeting and used as editorial input to the notes. 
  • Brad acknowledged that in recent weeks we have been able to recognise key points as we discussed them, so could identify who is "responsible".
  • It was also suggested that we may be trying to cover too many topics in each meeting. Addressing one topic only may mean that some meetings might be relatively short, although the one hour allocation is really only an upper bound on the duration. Tim remarked that sometimes the discussions may lead off at a tangent.  Ian agreed and suggested that it might be better if we could recognise when that happens and table the new topic for a later meeting.
  • In the 1149.6 WG a lot of discussion took place in email and that meant that the meetings could be more effective and the note taker had an easier job gathering things together.  Ian noted that the SJTAG reflectors do get used for discussions but the format doesn't lend itself to retention of the discussion or ease of publication, and that was why the forums were created, although they have received little use.
  • Brad noted that he really only had a time budget for SJTAG for the one hour of the meeting and could only occasionally find additional time.
  • Ian summarised the main points (could be considered Key Takeaways) as:
    1. Note takers will generally be unable to participate in discussions.
    2. Multiple notes takers can be a mixed blessing.
    3. Notes should focus on the Key Takeway topics.
    4. Reduce the number of topics discussed each week.
    5. Identify digression topics and table for a later date.
    6. Make use of email (or forum) threads for discussion between meetings.
    7. Select topics for the following week with someone assigned to lead that topic.
  • With regard to 6, Brad  commented that email was a lot easier to respond to quickly, but when it came to reading the topic over or searching the thread, then the forum format was preferred. However, without frequent use the tools could seem uncomfortable to use. 
  • Michele wondered if posting the notes to the forums and then simply emailing a pointer to the forums would help keep discussion and feedback together.   Brad noted that other than proxies, the emailed notes were really just circulated for correction and only the approved minutes were published.

6. Key Takeaway for today's meeting

  • See numbered items in 5b.

7. Glossary terms from this meeting

  • None.

8. Schedule next meeting

  • Next meeting March 9.
  • March schedule: 16, 23, 30.

9. Any other business

  • The newsletter is due. Brad is still finding limited time to work on the Green Paper.

10. Review new action items

  • None.

11. Adjourn

Eric moved to adjourn at 12:00 Midday EST, seconded by Tim.

Thanks to Bill for the additional summary of his points for these notes.

Respectfully submitted,
Ian McIntosh