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IEEE SA deliverable development process

The process of developing an IEEE SA deliverable is best described in the official IEEE SA Quick Reference Guide: Standards Development Process, which summarizes the following two documents:

The following information is excerpted from the Reference Guide as a simple summary for editors. For official information, please refer to the official IEEE sources.

When initiating a new IEEE SA project (which produces an IEEE SA deliverable), the following steps are taken:

  1. PAR approval. The initiating group submits a Project Authorization Request (PAR) to the New Standards Committee (NesCom). NesCom reviews PARs then makes a recommendation to the IEEE SA Standards Board (SASB) as to whether or not the project should be approved. Once approved by the SASB, the PAR is the official document that authorizes work on a standards development project in IEEE.

    There are three types of deliverables produced by IEEE SA, including:

    • Standards: deliverables with mandatory requirements

    • Recommended practices: deliverables in which procedures and positions preferred by IEEE are presented.

    • Guides: deliverables in which alternative approaches to good practice are suggested but no clear-cut recommendations are made.

  2. WG formation. A Working Group (WG) is formed by interested parties for the purpose of creating the deliverable. A working group is commonly named according to some number, such as "2874".

    There are two types of working group participation methods allowed in IEEE SA, namely:

    • Entity-based: WG membership is comprised of entities that are IEEE SA Corporate Members. These are usually companies, universities, government agencies, or organizations. Each entity has one vote each and appoint designated representatives to the WG.

    • Individual-based: WG membership is comprised of individual technical experts, which do not need to be IEEE SA members. Each individual holds one vote.

  3. WG drafting. The WG creates an IEEE SA deliverable draft and iterates the following process until it is approved via ballot. At each drafting iteration, the draft identifier typically holds the pattern of "P{wg-number}/D{draft-number}", where the draft number is follows an increasing sequence of "D1", "D2", etc.

    1. WG drafting. The WG develops and refines the draft. At this stage IEEE SA provides the following resources:

      • IEEE SA Standards Style Manual. Drafts are required to adhere to the requirements stated here.

      • IEEE SA editorial support. IEEE SA has a professional staff of editors who offer guidance.

      • Mandatory editorial coordination (MEC). Before WG ballot, it is necessary to complete a MEC review and have the necessary changes incorporated.

    2. WG internal approval. Once the WG reached consensus that a draft "Dn" is sufficiently complete, the WG determines whether the draft has gained WG approval. Once the draft gains WG approval, it will proceed to SC approval.

  4. SC approval. Once the WG and Standards Committee (SC) reach consensus that the draft standard is complete, the consensus balloting process (Standards Association (SA) ballot) can begin. One or more recirculation ballots may be required to resolve the SA ballot comments received.

  5. RevCom recommendation. Upon approval at the SA ballot, the draft standard is submitted to the Standards Review Committee (RevCom). RevCom ensures that procedural requirements of the IEEE SA have been met and makes a recommendation to the IEEE SA Standards Board (SASB) whether or not the draft standard should be approved as an IEEE standard. See RevCom Conventions and Guidelines.

  6. SASB approval. After a standards project is approved by the SASB, the IEEE SA editor prepares the standard for publication, working in conjunction with the WG Chair and/or Technical Editor.

  7. Publication. When editing is deemed complete by the SA editor and WG Chair and/or Technical Editor, the deliverable is published.

  8. Maintenance. All IEEE standards have to undergo and complete a revision process within ten years from the approval year to retain active standard status. WGs may initiate a revision sooner than ten years.