I just happened on this post on the Adobe Blog, The W3C Updates Process for More Agile Standards Development, posted a few hours ago by Steve Zilles, who gives an overview of the purpose of the W3C updates to its Process Document to make Standards Development more agile.
Here are a few selected bits, but I recommend reading the whole short piece:
[[ The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has undertaken updating its process to allow more agile standards development. Over the last five years, the W3C has opened up much of its standards work to public participation on a daily (if desired) basis. But, there are aspects of the current W3C Process that act as barriers to more agile standards development. One of these is the assumption that all parts of a potential standard will progress at the same rate; that is, all parts of a standard will be accepted and reach deployment at the same time. ]]
[[ So, the W3C is proposing that (where possible) standards be developed in smaller, more manageable units, “modules.” ]]
[[ With these changes, it becomes much easier to develop all the aspects of a standard – solid specification, wide review, implementation experience and interoperability demonstrations – in parallel. This will help shorten the time from conception to reliable deployment. ]]