. Art of Consensus Guide
Role of the Team Contact
Note: W3C designates a Team Contact to monitor the progress of
every Submission request
and to write a Team Comment which is published as part of the Submission.
This document, however, discusses the Team Contact of a Working Group, rather than the Team Contact for a Submission.
W3C designates a Team Contact ("Contact") for every W3C Working
Group and Interest Group ("Group"). The Contact helps set the strategic
direction of the Group in the chartering phase. Many
of the Contact's tasks involve helping the Chair
complete his or her roles,
such as ensuring that the group runs smoothly, actively aiding consensus building, ensuring wide review of specifications, tracking feedback from implementors, and so forth. The Team Contact reports to the Project Lead.
Coordination and communication is a primary role for the Team Contact,
who acts as the
interface between the Group Chair ("Chair"), Group Members, other Working Groups,
and the W3C Team:
The team contact role is largely one of communication. This
involves becoming as aware as possible of the technical
requirements and issues in the group, and simultaneously being
aware of the general architecture of the Web
as evolving in the
other work of W3C. This is of course a general responsibility of
the group - and the chair and group members have this duty too. The
staff contact has the benefit of being employed full time in W3C,
and having access to other team members. The team contact's
existence does not dilute in any way the group's obligation to
ensure the technology interoperates with that of other groups.
The Team Contact is also charged with representing the views of the Team to the Working group. Just as all Members do not have the same views, neither does all the Team. The Team Contact collects the various viewpoints and summarizes them so that the Working Group benefits from the widest range of inputs. Where the Team does not have a single position, it is inappropriate to merely abstain. Instead, the various points of view should be summarized.
For a good example of Team input where the Team did not have consensus,
Team response on the 'canvas' element.
Assist Group organizers in creating charter and convening
Ensure that Chair is marked as such (checkbox) in the group's DBWG Group.
Ensure that Chair is a member of the Chairs Group in DBWG (which
subscribes him/her to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ensure that Group Members are oriented to W3C process
and their roles when Group convenes or new Group Members join.
Ensure that Group sets milestones for document
development, charter renewals, etc.
Ensure that Chair understands the different stages of
document development (Editor's Drafts, Working Drafts,
Candidate Recommendation, Proposed Recommendations, Recommendations), and
confidentiality and status issues for each stage.
Assist Chair in assessing need for charter renewal
and/or closing of the Group.
Ensure that Chair is removed from the Chairs Group in DBWG.
- Assist in creating the group charter. When rechartering, discuss the proposed charter with the existing Working group and with the Team.
See the Process Document for information about
what must appear in a charter. See also examples of charters.
- Submit the charter to the Strategy or Project lead, or W3M for review. If approved, the Director will
announce the creation of the group and issue a call for
- Assist the organizers in understanding dependencies on
other groups, and act as coordinator when necessary.
- Ensure that the Chair is familiar with key documents,
Monitor group participation and operations
- [Active Role] Monitor levels of active participation and
address as needed.
- Ensure that attendance and minutes are kept.
- Ensure that Chair is aware of any problems and report
these problems to W3M when they persist.
- Assist Chair in moderating disputes between
- Ensure that Group page is up-to-date
- Assist in reservations for phone bridge as needed
- Ensure sufficient advance notice of meetings by proper
- Ensure agendas posted in timely fashion
- Ensure minutes posted in timely fashion
Serve as Contact with W3C Team
- [Active Role] Keep the Communications Team and Project
lead informed of group events, face-to-face meetings, anticipated
publication dates, etc.
- [Active Role] Identify host and coordinate with host to
organize logistics for face-to-face meetings, events, etc.
- Assist the Communications Team and Chair in soliciting
testimonials for press releases.
- [Active Role] Work with Communications Team to draft
press releases and/or review for accuracy.
- [Active Role] Coordinate the act of publishing documents
with the Communications and Sys/Web Teams.
- [Active Role] Follow communications with other W3C groups and
functions to identify areas where coordination is needed.
- Assist Chair in coordinating with other W3C groups as
- Ensure liaisons between Group and other W3C groups are
assigned as needed.
- [Active Role] Coordinate with the Systems Team to ensure
that Chair and group Editors have appropriate access to the W3C
site, and that their access works, they can use CVS,
- Ensure that Group editors understand dataspaces at W3C,
notably CVS and secure access.
- Ensure, before publishing any Group document in W3C/TR
space, that it is:
- Being published properly (see Pubrules).
- HTML validated (see, for example, the HTML validator service).
- CSS validated (see, for example, the CSS validator).
- Accessible (see Accessibility evaluation resources)
- Published in the appropriate places, using Team conventions for
document status information, naming schemes, etc.
Questions? Chris Lilley,