Notes from Megameeting 15th September 2008


BarbaraSierman Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Netherlands
BruceAmbacher UM
CandidaFenton HATII, U Glasgow
DavidGiaretta STFC
JohnGarrett GSFC
KatiaThomaz INPE, Brazil
MarieWaltz Center for Research Libraries
MarkConrad NARA
RobertDowns CIESIN, Columbia University
SimonLambert STFC

Progress made: Discussion of the proposed glossary terms continued. The relationship between the terms "Strategic Plan", "Policy", "Implementation Plan", "Procedures" and "Practices" was discussed. It was agreed that this was the correct hierarchy (so Strategic Plan is the top level). Since these terms are used differently in different contexts and organisations, we have to be precise and adhere to our own definitions.

Open issues:

  • Is there a need for a separate term "policies"?
  • Where to specify the complex relationships: in the glossary or elsewhere?


  • RobertDowns to make agreed changes from thid discussion.

Mark Conrad >> (All): I can chair. Are we still on the discussion of Bob's candidate terms?
David Giaretta >> (All): Looks like it from the notes
BruceAmbacher >> (All): Last session we discussed the glossary terms and addressed the difference between user and consumer and decided to use consumer (preferred OAIS term) throughout.  This will require a careful editing when that is appropriate.
David Giaretta >> (All): The last thing on the notes says "next think about the relation between producer-provider and preservation policy-access policy"
Mark Conrad >> (All): Great. Just a quick check... is the preservation hierarchy Preservation Strategic Plan, Preservation Policy, Preservation Implementation Plan, Procedure, Practice?
KatiaThomaz >> (All): I complete to producer-provider-depositor...
David Giaretta >> (All): Looks right but need to check notes
BruceAmbacher >> (All): Yes, not everyone sees the difference between a producer and a provider from the perspective of a repository.  The other issue is whether a repository must have an access policy to be a longterm certified repository.
KatiaThomaz >> (All): and if preservation policy includes access policy...
BruceAmbacher >> (All): Can we agree provider and depositor are the same or can play the same role?  Is the difference whether title is transferred?
Mark Conrad >> (All): Robert, Did I get the preservation hierarchy correct from your perspective?
KatiaThomaz >> (All): we find all these words in the document...
David Giaretta >> (All): Mark - I think Preservation Policy was above Preservation Strategic Plan
RobertDowns >> (All): We might need to further refine the definitions to specify dependencies between these documents.
Mark Conrad >> (All): Robert, What was your intention that the hierarchy would be?
RobertDowns >> (All): Generally, I believe that long-term strategic plans should guide policy development.
RobertDowns >> (All): However, I am open to alternative interpretations.
Mark Conrad >> (All): I agree with you interpretation. I believe strategy should drive policy.
David Giaretta >> (All): OK - let's make it clear in the glossary so we don't forget
KatiaThomaz >> (All): take a look at the notes "Virtual meeting 28 July 2008"
Mark Conrad >> (All): Yes I think we need to make the relationship explicit. We then need to make sure the text of the document is consistent with these definintions.
BruceAmbacher >> (All): David, Is that appropriate for the glossary?  It should be in the document but where?
Mark Conrad >> (All): Katia, What in the notes are you wanting us to look at specifically?
RobertDowns >> (All): Should we consider adding "in accordance with the Preservation Strategic Plan" at the end of the definition of Preservation Policy?
KatiaThomaz >> (All): for example: Mark Conrad >> (All): Your proposal was that we would use a hierarchy of Preservation Policies ->Preservation Startegic Plans -> Preservation Implementation Plans.
David Giaretta >> (All): Katia refers to about 25 lines into the chat record
KatiaThomaz >> (All): yes.
Mark Conrad >> (All): Robert, I think that would be appropriate to make the linkages to the other documents in the definitions in the glossary.
David Giaretta >> (All): Looks like we could have it either way around but our original line was that Policies drive Plans
David Giaretta >> (All): Mark - whcih other documents do you mean?
Mark Conrad >> (All): Katia and David, I am not opposed to an alternate arrangement of the hierarchy per se. I just want it made clear what approach we are taking, make that explicit and consistent throughout the document. 
Mark Conrad >> (All): David,
Mark Conrad >> (All): I mean the other plans.
KatiaThomaz >> (All): ok. i understand you
RobertDowns >> (All): I also am open to alternative interpretations, but agree that they should be explicit in the definitions.
Mark Conrad >> (All): I don't think we have a shared consensus among the ten of us as to what these terms mean. That is not a good starting point for an international standard.
RobertDowns >> (All): Do we all agree with the relationship between Practice and Procedures as specified in the definition of Practice?
David Giaretta >> (All): Yes
Mark Conrad >> (All): I agree.
BruceAmbacher >> (All): ok
JohnGarrett >> (All): I agree
BarbaraSierman >> (All): ok
Marie Waltz >> (All): ok
KatiaThomaz >> (All): agreed
SimonLambert >> (All): Yes
David Giaretta >> (All): and, working backwards, Implementation Plan is above Procedure
BruceAmbacher >> (All): Do we agree on the place to spell out this hierarchy/relationship?  Is the Glossary the right place?
David Giaretta >> (All): The definitions should be made to make it clear
Marie Waltz >> (All): It is one place, there cold be more than one.
KatiaThomaz >> (All): the introduction could be other place
Mark Conrad >> (All): Bruce, I think it should be spelled out in the glossary, but this does not preclude a discussion of the hierarchy elsewhere in the document as long as the two places are consistent.
David Giaretta >> (All): Exactly so
JohnGarrett >> (All): I think we should include the relationship of Implementation Plan to Procedure in our glossary definiton.  It is not indeicated in definition of Implementation Plan or Procedure now.
RobertDowns >> (All): Perhaps we could consider adding a phrase at the end of Procedure, such as "in accordance with the Implementation Plan and relevant policies"?
KatiaThomaz >> (All): ok
David Giaretta >> (All): My very typing taken out of my fingers
Marie Waltz >> (All): ok
JohnGarrett >> (All): I think it should be more explicit than that.
RobertDowns >> (All): Suggestions?
Mark Conrad >> (All): I think Robert's suggested addition to the definintion is fine. I am more concerned about the definintion of the Implementation plan.
Mark Conrad >> (All): John, What do you think needs to be more explicit?
BruceAmbacher >> (All): Can it be a figure early in the text to show hierarchy/relationship?  If in the glossary, will we establish a use/use for, see also, etc. type relationship?
JohnGarrett >> (All): rather than "in accordance with the Implementation and relevant policies"   These all could be several layers up in our hierarchy with this wording.
JohnGarrett >> (All): I'm also a bit uneasy with the using services in defintion.  But I need to think more about what else I would say.
Mark Conrad >> (All): Bruce, I don't know why we couldn't have a figure showing the relationship. I'm not sure how the use/use for and see also relationaships would work in a hierarchy.
David Giaretta >> (All): John - yes but does it matter? We are not trying to be exhaustive with this , only to define what is useful
Marie Waltz >> (All): A figure would be good.
Mark Conrad >> (All): I would suggest, "in accordance with the relevant Preservation Implementation Plan."  Leave the reference to policies for next level up in the hierarchy.
JohnGarrett >> (All): You're right David.  It still correct, but if we have a strict hierarchy in mind, I thought we might be able to tie it down better in the glossary
David Giaretta >> (All): Yes, I see what you mean about removing "policies" there.
David Giaretta >> (All): John - I guess we can tighten things up as we see how the terms are constrained by our use.
David Giaretta >> (All): For example, moving up to Implementation Plan - presumably that  depends upon, say, the specific presevation systems and could change from one generation of system to the next, BUT the Strategic Plan could stay unchanged.
JohnGarrett >> (All): Perhaps something like adding at end "Procedures are defined to document how Implementation Plans are to be fulfilled.
David Giaretta >> (All): I guess there would be many procedures for one Implementation Plan
JohnGarrett >> (All): Yes, that would be my understanding
David Giaretta >> (All): So how about "Procedures  are defined to document how various aspects of the Implementation Plans are to be fulfilled."
JohnGarrett >> (All): Sounds good to me
RobertDowns >> (All): We might consider a slight modification" 'Procedures specify how various aspects of the Implementation Plans are to be fulfilled."
David Giaretta >> (All): OK
JohnGarrett >> (All): OK
BruceAmbacher >> (All): Do we want anything about "over time" in here related to change and multiple plans?
RobertDowns >> (All): We could insert the word "current" before "Implementation Plans".
Mark Conrad >> (All): Procedures should be tied to individual implementation plans. There may be many implementation plans in use simultaneously. There will defininitely be multiple implementation plans over time. These different implementation plans will require different sets of procedures to fulfill them.
JohnGarrett >> (All): I think we may get new plans and new procedures over time, but most would not themselves deal with problems over time.
BruceAmbacher >> (All): Is that suggested language for a definition?
Mark Conrad >> (All): That is why I was suggesting, "in accordance with the relevant Preservation Implementation Plan."
JohnGarrett >> (All): However since these are Preservation Implemtentation Plans, some aspects must be looking at over time issues.
JohnGarrett >> (All): My suggestion was that the wording be added as a second sentence at end of current definition
Mark Conrad >> (All): John and David, Are you suggesting that you are going to have a one-size-fits-all implementation plan in use at any one time? That is certainly not what we are planning at NARA for the ERA system.
David Giaretta >> (All): The glossary would benefit from having the extra text "Procedures should be tied to individual ..." after the bare definition
David Giaretta >> (All): Mark - I was about to suggest that in the same vein we say that there could be many Implementation Plans needed for one Strategic Plan
JohnGarrett >> (All): I would envision a single implement plan covering everything.  But with several different sections of the plan being conditional based on type of data.   Certainly alternate view could be a number of Implementation Plans with definition of conditions under which that Implementation Plan is used.
David Giaretta >> (All): In terms of word count I guess it increases by several orders of magnitude as we go down the hierarchy - Policies short, Strategic Plan longer, Implemantation PlanS even longer
RobertDowns >> (All): So, perhaps, in line with Mark's suggestion, we could insert the term "relevant" before "Implementation Plans" in the sentence that we add to the end of the definition of Procedures.
David Giaretta >> (All): Sure
Mark Conrad >> (All): David, I am still having problems with the relationship between Strategic Plan and Policies. In a Strategic Plan one lays out your vision for whare you are planning to take your organization. You develop policies to further that vision - not the opposite way around.
JohnGarrett >> (All): OK
David Giaretta >> (All): I'm fine with that - just a slightly different usage - but it's OK as long as we tie it down
David Giaretta >> (All): I guess I was thinking about Government ministers making policies which their Department then has to draw up plans for!
RobertDowns >> (All): I believe that the following sentence has been proposed to be added to the end of the definition of Procedures: "Procedures specify how various aspects of the relevant Implementation Plans are to be fulfilled." Are there any suggestions for further refinement?
BruceAmbacher >> (All): To avoid that confusion can we write something that keeps it inside the repository - "the repository strategic plan is implemented . . ."
Mark Conrad >> (All): John, In terms of one implementation plan vs multiple implementation plans...there are currently several thousand data formats in use across the U.S. Gov't. These formats are used to create records that are governed by different laws, regs, restrictions, etc. One implementation plan would have to have many sections.
David Giaretta >> (All): Bruce - OK with that.
Mark Conrad >> (All): Robert, I agree with your proposed sentence.
RobertDowns >> (All): Do any others agree?
KatiaThomaz >> (All): ok with me
Marie Waltz >> (All): OK
candida fenton >> (All): ok
SimonLambert >> (All): Yes
BruceAmbacher >> (All): ok
JohnGarrett >> (All): Hi sorry, I got disconnected.  Yes, one implementation with different sections or multiple implementation plans that together cover the total along with rules for choosing between the plans.  My view is the one implementation with sections holds it together better, but I wouldn't object to the other.
JohnGarrett >> (All): I agree with proposed sentence
RobertDowns >> (All): Ok. I will try to make the change in the wiki.
Mark Conrad >> (All): Thanks Robert!
KatiaThomaz >> (All): now, letīs see practice...
David Giaretta >> (All): Can we go up to Plans and Policies first sine we are on a roll
KatiaThomaz >> (All): ok, no problems with this...
Mark Conrad >> (All): David, I was just looking at a few websites containing strategic plans. It appears that thes plans are designed to drive policy - not the other way around.
David Giaretta >> (All): SO Implementation Plans "A written statement authorized by the management of the repository that describes the way in which various aspects of the repository Preservation Policies are to be implemented"
JohnGarrett >> (All): In my view a policy is what is or is not to be done, (i.e. a rule).   A Strategic Plan is then the plan for how a given objective (as defined in a policy) is accomplished.
BruceAmbacher >> (All): Davis, Should we replace the last implemented with executed?
Mark Conrad >> (All): John, Have you looked at the NASA Strategic Plan?
David Giaretta >> (All): Bruce - sure
David Giaretta >> (All): John - I was talking about Implementation Plans not Strategic Plans
David Giaretta >> (All): We agreed that Strategic Plans are above Policies
JohnGarrett >> (All): Right, I think we should work our way up.  Implementation Plans now.
RobertDowns >> (All): The 'Save' finally completed. Refreshing the browser displays the new sentence at the end of Procedures.
KatiaThomaz >> (All): i believe policies are above strategies...
RobertDowns >> (All): Strategic plans project to the future 3 to 10 years. Policies dictate current actions.
BruceAmbacher >> (All): Ok after 75 minutes we appear to be back at square one.  David, put out the full hierarchy and let us accept.rejec it for a final time.
KatiaThomaz >> (All): you also dictate policies to the future 3 to 10 and according to the policies you coose the strategies...
KatiaThomaz >> (All): sorry, choose
David Giaretta >> (All): I think what we agreed  now was Strategic Plan > Policy > Implementation Plan > Procedures > Practices
KatiaThomaz >> (All): sorry i didnīt understand this!
BruceAmbacher >> (All): Is mission statement above all of that?  I think so
Mark Conrad >> (All): Current policy should not drive future direction. Policies should be changed to accomodate new strategic directions. Otherwise, why do organizations bother putting together new strategic plans? They would just continue executing existing policies ad infinitum.
KatiaThomaz >> (All): ok i accept the position of the group.
BruceAmbacher >> (All): Mark, without a change in strategic direction, a current policy could drive future direction just by what is done, systems acquired, etc.
David Giaretta >> (All): The key question is what do we distinguish these different things - independently of what our own organisations do
JohnGarrett >> (All): OK, let's make it clear in the definitions so we understand their meaning in this document and so we don't have to revisit it.
Mark Conrad >> (All): Bruce, Mission and Vision Statements are usually part of strategic plans.
BruceAmbacher >> (All): Iam more accustomed to seeing mission statements and visions standing alone, more immutable to time and transition.
David Giaretta >> (All): In other words we should only define things that we need. I can see a need if we have to distinguish the way in which things change and the granularity with which details must be provided - which is probably why organisations have something at these various levels also
BruceAmbacher >> (All): Before we close can we agree where this complex relationship will be defined?  It seems too complex for the Glossary.  Is it also too complex for the Introduction??
JohnGarrett >> (All): I think mission and vision statements are often included in strategic plans to provide context about what the plan is trying to accomplish.  Mission Plans and Vision statements are often defined outside of and prior to the strategic plan.
Mark Conrad >> (All): Bruce, We can define it as many places as you want, they just have to be consistent.
David Giaretta >> (All): The Glossary would be fine - but again, we need to see where we need to make these distinctions and hence wehere we need the different terms
Mark Conrad >> (All): David, Are you suggesting that we don't need to distinquish between Strategic Plans and Policies? Do we need a different - more generic - term that covers both strategic plans and policies? 
David Giaretta >> (All): If you recall where this started it was looking at how we use the terms "plans" and "policies" in the current text. In fact at the moment we use things quite loosely.
BruceAmbacher >> (All): I must go now, another appointment.  FYI - I will not have web access next Monday.
David Giaretta >> (All): Mark - we seem toi use the phrase "plans and policies" quite a lot I seem to remember.
KatiaThomaz >> (All): i should explain that i understand policies as principles
KatiaThomaz >> (All): am i wrong?
David Giaretta >> (All): I suspect that after these discussions we can revisit the existing text and see if some necessary distinctions arise.
RobertDowns >> (All): For specificity, should we consider adding the phrase 'in accordance with the Preservation Policy" at the end of the definition of the Preservation Implementation Plan?
Mark Conrad >> (All): I do recall. Implementation plans, procedures and policies seems like a good foundation. We just need to decide what the upper layers should be and use them consistently.
Mark Conrad >> (All): Robert, I agree with your proposed addition. Given the discussion above, I am not sure that others do agree.
David Giaretta >> (All): Katia - I think the point is that we do use terms differently in different organisations so we have to come to some common agreement and stick to it. In some ways it would be better if we made up completely new words but that would annoy too many people!
David Giaretta >> (All): Robert - fine with me
JohnGarrett >> (All): OK with me as long as we are consistent.
Mark Conrad >> (All): I think this has been a useful - if long - discussion has been useful. 
Marie Waltz >> (All): Robert-ok
KatiaThomaz >> (All): ok. i must go now too. thanks and have a nice week. bye.
RobertDowns >> (All): Ok. I will make the change.
David Giaretta >> (All): Bye all
Marie Waltz >> (All): bye
Mark Conrad >> (All): Katia, Perhaps principle would be a good term to cover both strategic plans and policies.
Mark Conrad >> (All): Bye for now. Simon will you capture the chat?
SimonLambert >> (All): Yes, will do

-- SimonLambert - 15 Sep 2008

Topic revision: r1 - 2008-09-15 - SimonLambert
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