Guidelines for Trust and Identity Working Group Chairs and Flywheels

Time to spin up a new collaborative working group? First of all, thanks for stepping into this leadership role. The community relies on and appreciates your efforts.

Wondering how the email list, wiki, calendar, agendas and other details will work? Wondering how to get support if you hit some challenges in steering the working group? This page is designed to help.


Roles Overview

Working Group Chair(s): Provides input to the charter for the group, provides overall strategic leadership, guides group toward producing the charter deliverables, manages high level decisions on how the group engages with Internet2 and the community at large, acts as liaison between community and Internet2 leadership. There is the option to have working group co-chairs rather than a single working group chair.  

Working Group Flywheel: Provides administrative support to Chair, helps manage communication amongst Working Group membership, tracks and ensures follow-up of project deliverables and action items which come out of meetings. Note: not all Working Groups will be assigned a Flywheel. In these cases the duties of the Flywheel will fall to the Chair, with some duties being distributed to members of the Working Group. 

Reference on Working Group Categories (governance groups vs. advisory groups vs SIGs etc.) is here 

Start-up Steps for a Working Group 

Who does it?Step
Internet2/InCommon Leadership

Develop charge/scope document. Examples:

Internet2/InCommon Leadership, including members of Governance/Advisory groupsIdentify a chair and (optionally) co-chair for the working group
Internet2/InCommon LeadershipIn the case of a governance or advisory group, there may be an Internet2 flywheel assigned, that is, a designated Internet2 staff member to assist with the group.  See Table of Internet2 Support Levels to Trust and Identity Working Groups.
ChairPublicize call for membership. See Tools for Publicizing Working Groups, Recruiting New Members and Onboarding.
ChairConsider the stakeholders who should be represented on the working group and do targeted outreach as appropriate. 
  • International participation
  • large schools, small schools
  • research groups
  • verticals
  • corporate partners
Flywheel or Internet2 Trust and Identity Staff

Collaboration resources

For email list and wiki space, Internet2 flywheels (or other staff) use a form to spin up a collaboration.

Chair or flywheel (if available)

Determine the meeting schedule

  • May use a Doodle Poll to determine members’ availability
  • Once you determine the best meeting time, schedule regular meetings and simply cancel if they are not needed.
    It gets complicated to NOT have a regular meeting time and to try to schedule AD HOC meetings.
  • Pick a time that works for both the chair and flywheel to ensure effective communication and support. 
Flywheel or Internet2 Trust and Identity StaffSet up Zoom for video or phone conferencing
  • Note: Zoom is only available if an Internet2 staff member regularly attends.
Chair and Flywheel (if available)

Optional: Establish a calendar invite using Outlook (check here for process using shared calendar)

  • Note: you can put a SYMPA email group address in the "To" line of an Outlook invite

Flywheel or Internet2 Trust and Identity Staff

Be sure the new working group is listed in

Notes/Minutes and other Tools

Who does it?Step
Chair and Flywheel (if available)

Notes / minutes (if needed)

Collaborative scribing using a Google doc is recommended.

  • Set up one Scribing Doc to be reused for collaborative scribing. An example is here.
  • Include at top of scribing doc:
  •  Configure permissions so anyone with the link has edit access, unless you need to restrict access to the notes more tightly.
  • Link to the collaborative scribing doc from the top of the working group wiki. See examples here and here.
  • Successful Collaborative Scribing (for all working group calls that do not have a designated scribe)
    • At the start of the call, the chair(s) should solicit a volunteer to serve as the primary scribe for the call.
    • The chair(s) may want to note that collaborative scribing is an important way to help facilitate and contribute to the working group and all scribing help is greatly appreciated.
    • Once a primary scribe is identified, the chair(s) should stress that others, in addition to the designated scribe for the call, are welcomed and encouraged to help out and contribute to scribing as well.
      • In particular, a call participant who is making a technical or complex point, is encouraged to help the scribe to get it right.
    • Tracking of assigned action items is a key duty of the scribe. The chairs should be sure that action items get "scribed" by slowing down the call when an action item is assigned and ensuring the scribe has included the action item in the notes, usually with the format something like this:
      "[AI] (Peter) will reach out to Jane about the XYZ issue and report back to the group"
    • At the end of the call, the chair(s) should be sure that
        • 1) action items are reviewed and
        • 2) action items are copied to the TOP of the scribing notes for the call for easy future reference.
    • Also at the end of the call, the chair(s) should thank the scribe and those who helped.
  • To archive the collaboratively scribed notes, either
    •  keep adding to the scribing doc and that will become the historical record of notes and/or
    • On the working group wiki, create a page for the minutes after each call, and transfer the notes into that page. 
  • Other tools as needed, such as:

    • for document storage

    • Adobe Connect or other tool for slide sharing during calls

Feel free to Email to request help with the above tools

Note January 2017: The Per-Entity Metadata Working Group used EtherPad for collaborative scribing. Motivation to use Etherpad was around unpopular subscription requirements for Google (or Box). Read about the pros and cons of EtherPad here.

Chair and Flywheel (if available)

Logistics Requests


Ongoing Support

Who does it?Step
Chair and Flywheel (if available)

Ensure good practice is followed for working group calls, including:

Chair and Flywheel (if available)Make sure that Action Items are noted during the call, and reviewed at the end of the call.
Chair and Flywheel (if available)For software development groups, ensure that all contributors have signed the contrib agreement.
Chair and Flywheel (if available)Wiki / website should be updated with relevant information

Internet2 staff flywheels, please see these instructions to maintain info on group membership in Salesforce
This is very important for governance and advisory groups where the group membership changes as terms end and new members begin.

Chair and Flywheel (if available)Update the community on status / milestones /accomplishments. See Tools for Publicizing Working Groups, Recruiting New Members and Onboarding.
Chair and Flywheel (if available)Schedule Birds of a Feather (BOF) sessions or working group meetings at Internet2 Conferences
Chair and Flywheel (if available)

Schedule and coordinate additional Face-to-Face meetings as needed

Chair and Internet2For groups where the charter dictates membership terms (i.e. governance and advisory groups) ensure that the terms are adhered to, and new members are recruited and on-boarded accordingly.  Send letter of appreciation to outgoing members of governance and advisory groups (Jessica Coltrin will help with this)

Producing Work Items

Who does it?Step
Chair and Working Group Members

The chair and working group members are responsible for producing work items. Editing assistance is available upon request. For additional assistance, please contact the working group flywheel. Remember to follow the document stewardship process.

Tips/Good Practice for a Successful Working Group

  • Prior to calls, send out agenda  (see above in "Ongoing support" section) 

During Calls, the Chair(s) should:

  • Welcome group members
  • Be sure to announce that the Internet2 Intellectual Property Framework is in effect
  • Include an Agenda Bash at the top of the agenda, so participants can potentially add to the agenda
  • Follow agenda; if completely new items come up, consider adding them to the agenda for a future call
  • Provide a summary before launching into an agenda item,
    • remember that group members may be foggy about the goals or substance of an an issue that seems very clear to you, as the chair
  • Leave time for questions 
  • Review Action Items at end of call
  • Finish calls on time 
  • Draw out people who may be reticent or sh

 Working Group Chair(s) should also:

  • Serve as a bridge to Internet2 staff where needed  
  • Serve as a bridge/ambassador to related Internet2 and community efforts.

  • Stay in touch with the chair of the body that chartered your working group (e.g. Steering, TAC, CTAB, CACTI).
  • Gently but firmly move efforts forward/toward conclusion 
    • Remember that you don't need full agreement on points, you need to strive for consensus:  A solution people can accept.  
    • Can also allow minority opinions in a final report if there are significant differences.
    • Time-box comment periods and then move forward
  • Work to wrap up very long discussions/discussion threads on calls/email 
  • When reports/ recommendations are to be produced, 
    • it generally works best of there are a small number (one to three) of authors and the rest of the group provides feedback. The chair should probably set expectations accordingly.
    • Use the Consultation Process (details are below) to get community feedback on working group reports and proposals.
  • Acknowledge group membership contributions  
  • On working group calls, in emails, and in other forums, create a friendly, positive experience
  • For ongoing working groups, develop a yearly work plan and evaluate/track progress on a regular basis 

Document Stewardship Procedures

  • The Trust and Identity Document Stewardship process is key to preserving documents that your working group produces.
  • If your working group is producing documents, please refer to the processes HERE . 
  • An important function of the WG Chair who is helping to shepherd a document is to ensure that all authors are listed along with their ORCID ID.
    • You may want to encourage community members without an ORCID ID to set one up so they will get proper recognition for their contribution. 
  • If you have any questions, please contact the librarian,

Consultation for Getting Feedback on Proposed Documents 


Set Up Consultation

  • Post the proposed document or a link to it on the wiki for the working group (document can be in a PDF)
  • Create a new wiki page for the consultation as a child page from the wiki for the working group.  If there is no working group wiki associated with the consultation, consult with Netta Caligari on the best placement for the new wiki page. 
  • List the consultation in a new row in the table on the Trust and Identity Consultations page

Announce Consultation

  • Flywheel should Inform the trust and identity team by email of the new Open Consultation so it can be promoted on Internet2/InCommon newsletters, social media and other avenues

Close the Consultation

  • One week before close of consultation:
    • Working Group Chair send an email reminder of the open consultation and the date it will close
      • Flywheel will remind chair to do this if possible 
    • Flywheel put a reminder of Consultation end date on InCommon Facebook at Twitter
    • Include the Consultation closing date in an InCommon Newsletter if timing works out
  • After the Consultation review period closes, the working group should address community comments 
  • Email the lists announcing the revised document, if applicable
  • Allow time (suggestion of 7 days)  for a final community review if significant and potentially controversial changes have been made based on community input

Closing a Group

When a group finishes its work or gets transitioned/combined for a new phase of work:

  • Summarize the group’s work

  • Update the community on group's accomplishments. See Tools for Publicizing Working Groups, Recruiting New Members and Onboarding.

  • Express appreciation to group members for their contribution

  • Email to the appropriate list(s) of the group’s closing

  • Indicate on the wiki and / or website the group's completed status

  • Remove calendar item from people's calendars (if applicable)

  • Update the Salesforce Committee record for each member, with the term end date  

  • Close Sympa email list after a period of time (optional, there may a reason to keep the list around in case follow-up is needed)


Your Suggestions

Please help us to improve the working group process which is so vital to our community work. 

Send your suggestions on these guidelines or other matters related to working groups Netta Caligari

See Also:

List of Trust and Identity Working Groups 

Working Group Agenda template

email list naming guidelines

Tools for Publicizing Working Groups, Recruiting New Members and Onboarding

Internet2 Support Levels to Trust and Identity Working Groups (Google Doc)

Document Stewardship Process

Flywheel Specific Info 

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1 Comment

  1. May be helpful in the future to include guidelines for working groups planning a survey