Help for Setting Up an Approval Ballot on NENA Workspace

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Document Approval Ballot

A NENA "Consensus Body" is made up of the voting members of the Working Group that creates and modifies NENA documents. Consensus Bodies use the NENA Workspace (NWS) Approval Ballot to approve documents. This page describes how Working Group leaders can configure an Approval Ballot in NWS.

Roster Management

Successful Approval Ballots require a well-managed roster. Working Group leaders should review their roster on a regular basis and always before an Approval Ballot is opened. The primary concerns in Roster Management are active participation and Interest Category balance, especially if the document is a Standard due to American National Standards Institute (ANSI) requirements. More information on Interest Category can be found in the NENA Development Guide, in the How to Add Member in NENA Workspace to a Working Group section. Additional information on Openness and Balance is available in the NENA Development Group Organizational Structure and Operational Procedures, in the Openness and Balance section of NENA-ADM-001.

Active Participation

Persons who have not been participating in the group’s activities, such as attending calls, responding to ballots, contributing material, and engaging in email discussions, should be contacted about their lack of participation, and may be removed in NENA Workspace or changed to an Authorized Observer.

To remove a Working Group member, simply:

  1. Go to Settings (gear icon).
  2. Select Members under Administration.
  3. Select the drop-down arrow next to Edit Roles to the far right of the person’s name you are removing and select Remove.
  4. Send an email to the CRM at crm@nena.org so the individual may be deactivated in NENA Workspace if they are not a member of any other Working Group.

See How to Remove a Member From a Working Group or Change their Status to an Authorized Observer for details and Working Group Member Attendance Notice for a suggested email to send.

Interest Category Balance

Interest Category Balance should be managed throughout the Working Group existence as members are added or removed by a Group Leader. A Working Group member's Interest Category is typically classified in accordance with the business or other interests of their employers they represent in connection with the standards development activity.

Interest Category Balance applies primarily to Primary Voters although any Alternate Voter associated with the same organization needs to reflect the same Interest Category as the Primary Voter. An Alternate Voter with the same Interest Category as their Primary Voter counterpart ensures that a vote placed by an Alternate Voter on behalf of the organization retains the same Interest Category, and therefore, the same balance. An Alternate Voter can place a vote on behalf of an organization when the Primary Voter is unable to vote. Non-voting members of the Working Group, such as Authorized Observers and DSC Leadership, are not assigned an Interest Category.

There are two ways to determine Interest Category Balance.

One way to determine if there is a balance of interest categories in the Working Group on NENA Workspace is to go to Workspace  1 , Roster  2 , perform a search of All Roles  3 , and download the Spreadsheet  4 :

Screen print to download the roster spreadsheet.

This will download a CSV file that can be opened in Excel.

Review the spreadsheet for the following:

  • All Authorized Observers and DSC Leadership should reflect the 3 dashes as their Interest Category.
  • (Sort spreadsheet by Organization) If an Organization has a Primary Voter and one or more alternates, make sure they all reflect the same Interest Category.
  • (Sort by voting level) Move all Authorized Observers, DSC Leadership, and Alternate Voters further down in the spreadsheet and make a header called NON-VOTERS.
  • Those remaining at the top of the spreadsheet should reflect one (1) Primary Voter per Organization --- this is your Consensus Body.
  • Take this group and sort by Interest Category --- with a goal that each group should be no more than 1/3 of the total (with one Interest Category not being 50% or more).

Another method to determine WG Balance is using the TEMPLATE_WG_Attendance_20230122 spreadsheet, WG Balance tab. The WG Balance tab is pre-configured to provide the percentage of each Interest Category based on the Interest Category assigned to the WG member in NWS and the roster. Interest Categories can then be changed in the spreadsheet to balance the WG.

Pro Tip: If you change an Interest Category in either spreadsheet (roster or WG Balance), color code it as a reminder of the Interest Categories to be changed in NWS.

If there is not a balance of Interest Categories, the Working Group co-chairs will need to revisit the roster to make sure the Primary Voters are appropriately categorized and have been actively participating. If a balance still does not exist, the Working Group leaders will need to work with the CRM to issue a call for volunteers specific to any category that does not have enough participants.

Choose the Document

Almost any document in NWS may be the subject of an Approval Ballot. Documents intended to progress through The Document Development Process must use an Approval Ballot.

Documents to be approved are uploaded to the Documents section of a Working Group's Workspace tab. Documents for approval are placed in the folder (e.g., Draft WG Documents, Public Review) at the current state (e.g., WG Draft, Public Review) of the document in the development process. The states of a document are defined as the following:

  • Draft WG Document – a document that is in draft, or has been drafted, by the Working Group. A Draft WG Document will migrate to the next step of the approval process upon approval by the Working Group through the WG Approval Ballot process.
  • All Committee Review – a draft document that has received approval from the Development Steering Council (DSC) and is distributed for review by the NENA Development Group membership.
  • Public Review – a draft document that has received approval from the DSC and is distributed for review by the NENA Development Group, NENA membership, and the public. Depending on whether comments are received, and the types of changes made as a result, the document may experience iterative Public Reviews.
  • NENA Board Approval – a draft document that has received approval by the NENA Board of Directors to publish as a NENA document.
  • ANSI Approval – a draft document that has received an ANSI approval to publish as an American National Standard (ANS). Note: This state is restricted to STA documents that have received an approved Project Initiation Notification System (PINS).
  • Published – a final document that has been approved for publication by the NENA Board of Directors and as applicable, ANSI.

Please see the Process Flow Chart for STA, REQ, INF Documents for more information on the steps associated to the document development process. It is important to note that the process requirements, and the document state(s), may be different based on the type of document that is being developed. Additional guidance can be obtained by contacting the CRM at crm@nena.org.

Document File Name for Approval Ballot(s)

It is important to uniquely identify the document that is to be used for the Approval Ballot since the document will be advanced for review and publication. Distinct file naming helps to ensure the correct document is chosen for the ballot and provides clarity on the type of vote for the voting member. The document to be presented for approval should have a file name in the following format:

<Document Number>_<Abbreviated Document Name>_<Type of Approval Ballot>_<Document Date YYYYMMDD>_<Descriptor>, where:

  • Document Number – The number assigned to the document by the CRM <NENA-AAA-XXX.Y.Zr-yyyy>. More information can be found in NENA-ADM-001.
  • Abbreviated Document Name – Shortened name of the document, otherwise, the actual document name may be used.
  • Type of Approval Ballot – The type of Approval Ballot that is being created [i.e., All Committee Review (AllCR), Public Review (PubRvw), Publication Requested (PubReq)].
  • Document Date YYYYMMDD – The date depicting when the document is ready for ballot.
  • Descriptor – Identifies the type of ballot that is being issued, as in “forBallot”.

Example: NENA-INF-050.1-202Y_References_PubRvw_20230327_forBallot

Example: NENA-STA-050.1-202Y_References_PubRvw_20230327_forBallot

To choose the document for an Approval Ballot:

Log in to NENA Workspace.

Select the Community Working Group. A quick method to do that is to click on Communities  1 , then My Communities (or All Communities)  2 . Then click on Community Navigator  3  and filter the list by typing any keywords into the Start typing to filter the list  4 . You may also click on Expand All (or click the + next to the Committee Name) and look for your Working Group  5 .

Screen print for selecting community and working group.

Click on the Workspace tab:

Select Workspace Tab

Click on Documents  1 , the Folder Navigator  2 , and then the folder where the document is  3 .

Select folder with review document.

Select "Create Approval Ballot"

On the file to be balloted, click the drop-down arrow in the Download button  1  and in the menu, click Create Approval Ballot  2 :

Screen print: Select "Create Approval Ballot"

An additional way to create the approval ballot is at the document level. Click on the document name to be balloted, click the drop-down arrow in the Edit button  1  and in the menu, click Create Approval Ballot  2 :

Screen print: Create Approval Ballot from Edit button.

Configure Approval Ballot

When Create Approval Ballot is selected, several fields within the ballot are presented and need to be completed. An example of each completed ballot field follows the associated description(s).

Title

The Approval Ballot starts at the Title. The Title should be descriptive and representative of the type of ballot being cast.

The default language starts with Approval and includes the name of the document selected for the vote. (e.g., Approval NENA-INF-050.1-202Y_References_PubRvw_20230327_forBallot)

The ballot creator should modify the title to add “for advancement to <phase> Review” to the end of the title. The following is an example.

Example: Approval of NENA-INF-050.1-202Y_References_PubRvw_20230327_forBallot for advancement to Public Review

Question and Description

While the ballot indicates “Please fill out one or both of the following,” the creator completes both the Question and the Description to ensure the intent of the ballot is clear.

Question

The Question states the intent of the ballot. The question wording should be descriptive so that the voting member understands the reason for the vote. The ballot adds default language that can be expanded to provide better clarity.

The default language starts as a question and includes the name of the document selected for the vote. (e.g., Should NENA-INF-050.1-202Y_References_PubRvw_20230327_forBallot be approved?)

The ballot creator should modify the question to add “for advancement to <phase> Review” to the end of the question. The following is an example.

Example: Should the NENA-INF-050.1-202Y_References_PubRvw_20230327_forBallot be approved for advancing to Public Review?

Description

The Description clarifies the result of a Yes, No, or Abstain vote. As well, language is included to reinforce the requirement for Primary Voters to vote.

Recommended Text:

A Yes vote signifies you approve advancing the document for Public Review.

A No vote signifies you do NOT approve of advancing the document for Public Review. Note that a comment is REQUIRED that explains why you voted not to advance the document.

Eligible voters have the option to cast a vote of Abstain. 

It is a NENA requirement that eligible WG members MUST vote (Yes, No, or Abstain) in all ballots presented to them.

Example of these completed ballot fields:

Screen Print: Example of Description

Ballot Options

The Ballot Options must require Negative votes to provide a comment and Affirmative and Abstain votes are set with Optional to allow the ability to contribute a comment.

Screen Print: Ballot Options

Passing Percentage

The Passing Percentage should remain at the default values. The ballot creator should confirm that the default state is 66.67%.

Screen Print: Passing Percentage

Opening and Closing Dates and Timezone

An Approval Ballot is required to remain open for 10-business days. The ballot can be extended beyond the 10-business days; however, it cannot be shorter.

The first day of the ballot is the Opening Date, the last day of the ballot is the Closing Date. The time of the ballot is to be the same. The Timezone should remain at the default of US/Eastern Time. When setting the time for a ballot to open, note that it may take 10-15 minutes after the ballot is created for the system to send it out for distribution. It is recommended you set the time at least an hour out from when you set the Opening time.

Screen Print: Opening and Closing Dates

Voter Eligibility

NENA allows for everyone to vote regardless of attendance. As such, in order to assure the correct number of votes are received, the Roster must be managed prior to creating the ballot. More information on roster management can be found in a section above titled Roster Management and in the sections How to Use NENA Resources to Manage a Working Group and How to Remove a Member from a Working Group or Change their Status to an Authorized Observer.

Who Can Vote?

The parameters around who can vote have already been added to the ballot.

Meeting Attendance Rules

Do NOT complete this section. All fields are to remain blank. NENA allows for everyone to vote regardless of attendance.

Voter Management

It is recommended that the only voting members are those Working Group members who joined prior to the vote being placed. Should a WG member join while there is an active ballot, the WG Co-Chair should either hold off on adding them to the Working Group or, if added, add them as an Authorized Observer to not skew the vote.

Voter Management must be set to “Yes, automatically manage the voter list for this ballot.”

Screen Print: Voter Management

Optional Configuration

The Approval Ballot can be used for both official and non-official ballots. An official ballot is a ballot that is supporting the document management process. An unofficial ballot is a ballot that is more informative such as establishing a new working group meeting time and day.

Official Ballot

When “Create Approval Ballot” was selected to create the ballot, the default is a checkmark indicating that it is an official ballot. If it is an unofficial ballot, click to remove the checkmark.

Commenting Permissions on Approval Document

The commenting permissions selection determines who can add comments. As a Working Group Approval Ballot, both the Comments can be added by and the Comments can be viewed by should be set to Document Viewers.

Screen Print: Commenting Permissions

Revoting Support

Primary voters are allowed to change their vote while the ballot is open.

Screen Print: Revoting Support

Related Projects

If the document is an ANS candidate document, it will have a Related Project. Select the project name, and Add.

Screen Print: Related Projects

Referenced Items

The Referenced Items section is where any additional reference items important to the vote can be made available to the voters. To add a reference, select Add References, navigate to the reference, and Submit. The reference can be a document that already exists within NWS, or it can be uploaded from an external source. The document should be a known document to the working group members and should have been provided to them prior to the Approval Ballot. If the ballot is related to an ANS candidate, the document must exist in NWS and be related to the project as described in the previous section.

Screen Print: Add Reference Items

Ballot Results

The Ballot Results section allows the ballot creator the ability to allow others visibility to the voting process as votes are placed. The default is for the Members of the Group to have visibility, indicated by the checkmark. The defaults for Results Availability (“Available as soon as the ballot opens”) and Results Style (“Show a detailed list of voters and their votes”) allows the most visibility to the voting process. It is recommended to use the default settings.

Screen Print: Ballot Results

Email Notifications

Email notifications, and the setting of reminders, assist in getting votes placed by the voting members. The default for the Email eligible voters when the ballot is Opens,Closes. The field for Email non-voters when the ballot requires a selection and both Opens and Closes are to be selected.

It is strongly encouraged that reminders are set in the Send reminders to eligible voters (who have not yet voted) at these times fields. An example of reminder frequency is to set at one-week after the start of the vote, three-days prior to the close of the vote, and again one-day prior to the close of the vote. Select a time early to mid-day for the best chance of viewing by the voting member.

Click the Send reminders to eligible voters... check box  1 . Select reminder dates  2  and times for the reminders  3 , then click on Continue  4 .

Screen Print: Send Reminders

Review the Ballot and either Accept  1  or go Back  2 :

Accept or go Back

After following these steps, the Approval Ballot should be accepted and will be "pending" until the date and time indicated in the Opening Date field when it will be opened. As a reminder, it may take 10-15 minutes after the ballot is created for the system to send it out for distribution if the time was set for an immediate release.