The Six-Step Process

Step 1: Activity Approval

After formal and/or informal groups have discussed ideas and consensus has been reached within the group, a decision is made to apply for formal SISO approval to begin product work. This initiates the SISO Balloted Product process. The proposed SISO Product may be based on work begun by an external organization. The group proposing the product develops a SISO Product Nomination (PN) and presents it to the SAC. The Product Nomination shall include, as a minimum, the following information:
  1. Product Nomination title
  2. Name(s) of proponent(s) and contact information
  3. Type of product to be produced, or product to be modified
  4. Identification of the community to which product applies
  5. Problem(s) and/or issue(s) that the proposed product addresses
  6. Indication of the maturity of proposed product - to include alternatives discussed, prototypes, impacts of product, impact of lack of product
  7. Planned compliance testing for items built using the Product (applies only to Standards Products)
  8. Schedule of product development milestones including reviews, reports, and ballot
  9. Candidate volunteers for the effort
  10. Suggested periodic review cycle once the product is approved.

The role of the SAC with regard to the PN is to:

  1. Review the PN to determine if it includes required information and that it meets the SISO General Operating Principles, Technical Acceptance Principles, and Standards Principles as appropriate.
  2. Assess if there is adequate community support to produce a pool of volunteers to complete the product.
  3. Make suggestions to the proposing group to bring the PN into compliance with SISO Polices.
  4. Send to the EXCOM for approval once approved by SAC

The role of the EXCOM with regard to the PN is to:

  1. Review the PN to determine if the SAC properly reviewed the proposal.
  2. Review the PN to access its impact on SISO including 501 (c) 3 status, business model, and support resources.
  3. Approve or disapprove the PN and return to the SAC for action  

Step 2: Product Development

After the PN is approved by the EXCOM, the SAC creates or assigns a Product Development Group to produce the Product(s). The SAC will assign a SAC member, called the Technical Area Director (TAD), to be the primary interface between the SAC and the PDG. The SAC calls a kickoff meeting for the PDG and publishes the creation of the PDG to the overall SISO community via the SISO-ADMIN reflector to encourage broad participation in the activity.

If the proposed product is either a revision to an existing IEEE standard or recommended practice, or the proposed product is intended as a new IEEE project, the SAC and PDG will develop a Project Authorization Request (PAR) and submit the PAR to IEEE. Upon approval of the project by the IEEE New Standards Committee (NesCom) the PDG assumes a dual role of an IEEE Working Group and is subject to the requirements of section 10.1. All members of the PDG will be identified as members of the IEEE Working Group.

During this step the PDG seeks a consensus in meeting the terms of the PN. The PDG shall follow any procedures established by the SAC. The SAC reviews the PDG’s progress through
regular reports from the TAD.

Step 3: Forming Balloting Group and Product Balloting

Once the PDG has completed Step 2, the PDG presents the status of the Product to the SAC for approval to begin balloting. The SAC can accept the Product for balloting or send it back for more work. If the Product is approved for balloting, the SAC issues a call to the SISO community via the SISO-ADMIN reflector for members to join the balloting pool. The SAC conducts the balloting. The PDG resolves comments resulting from the ballot.

PDGs developing IEEE standards follow SISO procedures up to the point of actual balloting. All SISO-sponsored IEEE standards are balloted and approved using established IEEE procedures. Upon completion of balloting and product approval under IEEE procedures, the PDG completes the PDG requirements to develop a Terms of Reference and establishes a Product Support Group according to Step 4. 

Balloting Group Balance
The PDG creates a balloting group from the balloting pool based on the following guidelines. The balloting group shall be balanced using three different criteria -
representation, organization, and interest. Members of the balloting pool shall
specify their primary representation, organization, and interest.

  1. The representation criterion has three categories: commercial, government, and academic. No representation category shall exceed 75% of the balloting group, and each category shall be a minimum of 10% of the balloting group.
  2. No organization shall exceed 25% of a representation category.
  3. The interest criterion has three categories: user, developer, general interest. No interest category shall exceed 50% of the balloting group.

The SAC shall approve the composition of the ballot group. If the SAC determines the membership of the ballot group is unsatisfactory (based on the stated criteria), it shall direct the PDG to solicit new members and/or re-categorize existing balloters to make the group acceptable. Balloters may not be dropped from the group to bring it into balance.

Ballot Approval
The PDG shall review all comments received and publish a resolution. Product approval may require several rounds of balloting and comment review. Standards Products require a vote by 75% of the balloting group with a 75% approval. Guidance Products require a vote by 75% of the
balloting group with a 65% approval. When a Product meets the required approval rate it moves to step 4.

Step 4: Product Approval

After the Product has been successfully balloted, the SAC determines whether the product and its development adhere to SISO principles for inclusion as a SISO product. As products are developed, documentation is prepared to provide a history of the process employed. Documentation produced from steps one, two and three, as well as the final product must be submitted to the SAC for approval. To assist the SAC in this determination, the PDG must demonstrate that the product satisfies the PN and that the product development process employed satisfies the SISO P&Ps and Balloted Products Development and Support Process. After the SAC review the Product is submitted to the EXCOM for final approval. Upon completion of any product, the PDG and SAC will develop a Terms of Reference for a Product Support Group (PSG). 

Step 5 : Interpretation, Distribution and Configuration Management

The PSG takes responsibility of the product at Step 5. The overall responsibility for the support of SISO balloted products is assigned to the SAC with the support of PSGs established for each product. These PSGs will be responsible for interpretation of SISO balloted products. The SAC will serve as the IEEE Interpretations Committee required by the IEEE for those products balloted by the IEEE; however, the PSG for such standards will conduct the analysis and develop the interpretation for the SAC. The PSG offers continuity and a place for developers and users of the standards to 

  1. ask questions concerning the language used in the standard, the intention or result meant by a particular action
  2. request an explanation of the reasons behind what the standard says
  3. seek support
  4. register change requests for subsequent versions of the product.

The accomplishment of distribution is typically delegated to the SISO support staff. It consists of the efforts required to maintain the product and supply it to the SISO community.

Step 6: Periodic Review

Periodically, the PSG will review each product. Products are reviewed to ensure that they have not become obsolete, redundant, or in conflict with other products, and that they continue to meet SISO requirements in terms of usefulness, relevance, and quality. The PSG will be responsible to make a recommendation to the SAC to reaffirm, revise, or withdraw the product. Each product should be reviewed every five years as a minimum. (Note that the authoring PDG may recommend a shorter review cycle to the SAC.)