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Defining Deviancy Down
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 03 2008 @ 01:39 PM CST
I can sympathize with Alex, having been the chair of JEDEC's JC-16 committee for eight years.  JEDEC, please note, is one of the "industry consortia" that generally claim less rigorous standards than ISO does.  I can, therefore, offer some comparisons that may or may not be germane.

Quite a few of our processes are recognizably related, such as the four-way ballot options of "yes,yes with comments, no with comments, abstain."  In particular, I will focus on our post-ballot meeting protocol.  Rather than the ISO process where a passing letter ballot is automatically adopted, we always hold a post-ballot meeting to finalize the process and pass successful ballots to the Board of Directors for process review.  In that meeting, our rules require that all comments must be addressed.  Upon review of the voting and comments, the Committee votes on resolution of the ballot.  Simple editorial corrections (e.g. duplicate right bracket) may be adopted only by unanimous agreement that they are, in fact, only editorial.  The corrected ballot is then voted on to be passed to the BOD -- or not.  To be clear, a letter ballot that fails by the numbers is dead, but even one which passes may still fail in open committee based on the comments made during balloting.

Again, all comments made during balloting must be addressed.  Unanimity is, of course, not always possible; in fact, in my experience it is very rare.  However, even a "losing" position deserves a fair hearing.  Beyond fairness, sometimes the minority is just plain right and we are, after all, professionals.  I have seen, on more than one occasion, a ballot accepted by a ballot of 40:1 or more killed dead by one comment which the Committee agreed outweighed the rest.  In the end, our rules require that every comment requires a hearing and until it has its fair hearing and consideration the balloted material cannot proceed without consensus that the comment has been addressed.  For what it's worth, our usual committee vote asks if any are opposed and only if there is opposition is a count taken.

My understanding is that ISO rules have similar "must be considered" requirements.  If so,  we interpret them differently because although I have seen attempts to short-circuit the process in JEDEC committees they never succeeded.  The fact that ISO requires so much less of itself does not, in my opinion, speak at all well of it as an organization.

D. C. Sessions
lumbercartel.com is my domain; dcs is my account

Reference: JEDEC Manual of Procedure, JM-21: http://www.jedec.org/Home/manuals/JM21M.pdf
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