New HTNG Workgroup Process

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This document outlines the main sequence of events and timelines in the creation of a new Chartered HTNG Workgroup, or the adoption of a new charter by an existing workgroup. While these two process differ in important ways, most of the sequence of events is identical either way; exceptions are noted below.


Get Together the Interested People

Any group of individuals (at least one of whom must be an HTNG member), can develop a charter proposal. Most charter proposals are either developed by an existing workgroup (for example as a successor to their current project); by a subset of people within a workgroup (who want to tackle a new problem); or simply by a group of members who have a problem and want to apply HTNG's processes to develop a solution.

The key is to gather together enough interested people with a reasonable mix of interests. Often, several preliminary calls occur between the organizer(s) and some of the companies who might be expected to have interest in participating.

The Incubation Workgroup

Once you have a small initial group, HTNG can form an "Incubation Workgroup" and assign staff resources to assist. The objective of an incubation workgroup is to develop a charter to present to the HTNG board for approval. The charter states simply:

  • What the business problem is
  • What the proposed solution is, and how that solution will address the problem
  • What will be delivered, in 1 to 3 intervals of about six months each
  • What companies have committed to participating
  • What the project plan is
  • How the project will coordinate with other HTNG efforts

Incubation workgroups have no formal chair, but are typically led by one or more project champions.

The Incubation Workgroup will hold one or more meetings, typically by webconference, to develop a proposed charter. HTNG staff will assist in helping the group identify a plan that will meet the board's expectations. When the charter is complete, a review is scheduled with the responsible board subcommittee. The subcommittee may approve the charter, reject it, or send it back for additional work. The timing of board review depends on scheduling but can normally be expected within about a month.

If a proposed charter is intended as a continuation of an existing workgroup to take on a new project, then it may request (as circumstances warrant):

  • Continuation of leadership from the current workgroup
  • Continuation of the current workgroup's existing meeting schedule
  • Continuation of the current workgroup's participation and voting policies.

For other workgroups, or if not requested, the standard procedures noted below apply.

Charter Approval

The HTNG board reviews charters through subcommittees, generally consisting of about five board members or advisors. Key considerations include

  • Importance of the problem being addressed
  • Availability of resources (staff, volunteers, financial, other)
  • Clear and well-scoped project plan and milestones
  • Concrete deliverables, preferably in (or leading to) implementation of the solution in vendor products
  • Critical mass of participation

Post-Approval Activities

  1. HTNG executive leadership may appoint an interim chair or co-chairs (unless the charter request carries over existing leadership). In cases where there is no individual who would be viewed as sufficiently neutral, HTNG may provide an interim chair from its staff.
  2. HTNG announces the chartering of the workgroup, solicits participation and nominations for chairs or co-chairs, and sets the initial meeting dates in consultation with the interim chair and/or the informal leadership of the incubation workgroup.
  3. An open signup period is established, normally lasting for 30 days from the date of the announcement, or until two meetings have been held (whichever is longer). During the open signup period, any HTNG member in good standing may join the workgroup through a simple application process, with no approval required. Non-HTNG members may join provisionally if their application has been received, approved and invoiced; such provisional memberships in the workgroup carry no voting rights. Provisional members lose their workgroup rights if their membership is not paid 60 days after the date of the announcement (although they may then reapply subject to the workgroup's new member policy at that time).
  4. The first meeting is held. In addition to solidifying project plans, permanent chairs nominated to date are identified and additional nominations are requested.
  5. Meeting minutes are distributed along with a final call for chair nominations within 7 days. Nominees are requested to submit a brief bio and statement of interest, which will be posted as part of the vote. Failure to submit these will not disqualify a candidate.
  6. If after seven days only one chair has been nominated, or two co-chairs running together, then a Yes/No online vote is held immediately following the close of nominations. If an election is required, then a new meeting is scheduled at which the nominees are invited to make a statement and submit to questioning, and the election is conducted online after that meeting. Online votes will be open for at least 14 days.
  7. At the next meeting, the elected chairs preside, and the workgroup is asked to either accept default HTNG workgroup policies (or policies carried over from a predecessor workgroup, if specified in the charter request), or amend them. Default HTNG policies include:
    1. Quorum rules. A quorum for an online vote will be 40% if the number of participating companies, rounded to the next higher whole number
    2. Policy for accepting new members. By default, HTNG workgroups will accept all new members holding Hospitality or Industry Partner memberships, after the member has been represented at at least two meetings within a three-month period; a vote of current workgroup members is required for academic, media, student, and association partner membership types. The workgroup may change this policy in any way not inconsistent with antitrust law.
    3. Nonparticipation rules. Please see the Forum and Workgroup Policies page.
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