Topic: Self Assessment

The OGC should underake periodic self assessment reviews of its work towards its mission, integrating a mix of textual analysis by OGC Officers and numeric metrics, to produce reports describing the health of the organization and the effectiveness of its work in serving its goals.

Most effective organizations undertake, as part of their work cycle, periodic reviews of themselves. This often leads to a report detailing the ongoing successes and difficulties of the organization, including summaries of the financial health of the organization, of the composition of the organization, and the effectiveness of its efforts. Such self-evaluations and annual reports are part of the yearly cycle of all publically traded companies, and most serious non-profits. The goal is as much to identify weaknesses and past failures as to identify successes since the former can be addressed and the latter expanded.

The OGC, periodically, should produce an honest, self-critical report following a review of its work towards its updated mission. Part of the work cycle of any modern organization usually involves periodic self reviews and the creation of an annual report; the OGC should be no different. If the work to define the mission of the OGC has been well done, this would involve comparing the ongoing work to the mission statement. Automated metrics could be used to identify problem areas.

Perhaps this self-evaluation work already has been happening as part of the planning committee work, in which case this apparent oversight is actually a problem of communication. However, the issues with the lack of a coherent, updated mission suggest that pieces are missing for an effective self-evaluation.

Periodic Review

A Periodic review of the work of the OGC would attempt to evaluate the functioning of the organizations to identify problem areas and opportunities.

Several aspects of the organization could be considered:
  • health of participation including membership levels, diversity and turnover,
  • work production, including meetings organized, communication levels, standards revised, retired or adopted,
  • staff work, including issues and improvements to help them complete their work,

Review Metrics

Several aspects of self-evaluation can be partially captured with measurements, possibly automatically generated. The number of participants in OGC Meetings (and year to year changes in that number) could reveal issues with the misison to provide a forum for discussion, as might the level of use of OGC web tools and mailing lists. Changes in the length of time it takes to write a new specification could reveal increased workload or difficulty or process obstacles.

The automation of these metrics involves the tradeoff between the time it takes to automate the system and the time it would take to develop the metric manually.

Relations to other topics

  • Related to TopicUpdateVision since the review can only be done by evaluating the effectiveness of the work done against the explicit mission of the organization.
  • Related to TopicOAB which proposes that the OAB might itself undertake a periodic reviews of its own work.
  • Related to TopicImproveCommunication since the annual report would give the OGC Board of Directors and the OGC Offiers a chance to present the health of the organization, its finances, and its activities.


On behalf of Paula McLeod:

Statistics about the use/implementation of current OGC specs would give an idea about the usefulness and success of the various OGC specs.

-- TrevorTaylor - 15 Aug 2013
Topic revision: r4 - 20 Aug 2013, TrevorTaylor

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