AB/How the AB reaches consensus

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Topics discussed by the AB are often large, with many different parts and dependencies. The AB recommends these general guidelines for making progress:

  • Get agreement on the broad principles before getting into the details of an issue.
  • Break issues down into smaller parts that can be addressed independently.
  • Document the current state of an issue so we do not repeat ourselves.

When a topic has reached a point where a proposal is ready for consideration, members of the AB can iteratively develop consensus by following these steps:

  1. Put a proposal to the AB. The person leading the discussion puts the proposal to the AB (others may make suggestions, but having one person present the official proposal avoids multiple versions being presented at the same time. Make the proposal simple. It is harder to reach consensus if the proposal is large or complicated.
  2. Test support for the proposal and document the results. This is done before the proposal has been discussed in detail. It is not a Call for Consensus (CFC), it is a test to find out how far the AB is from consensus.
  3. Participate. If more discussion or clarification is needed, vote 0; otherwise vote +1 or -1 to indicate support.
  4. Refine the proposal. Provide clarification or additional information, and try to resolve objections (as would happen in a Working Group or Advisory Committee vote).
  5. Repeat steps 1 to 5 until consensus is reached or a decision is made.