Governance Guides and Their Purpose

In addition to the legal documents governing the activities of a community of interest (CoI), many CoIs create a simple, easily understood guide to help its members maneuver through and understand all the governing statements contained in the statutes, charter, bylaws, parliamentary authority, special rules, custom practices, and standing rules associated with that particular CoI. For example, the OMG publishes a “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the OMG Process”. Even though it is not a “normative” document (has no legal standing whatsoever, cannot be cited as a defense for not following process), it is much easier to read and understand than the OMG Policies and Procedures. It provides additional details and insights that, even though they do not belong in a P&P, are essential to know. Technical standards bodies such as the IETF publish a similar guide, which is even more informal and flippant. In any case, the goal of such a guide is to make it easier for the members of a CoI to follow their CoI’s process rules.

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