[CESG] CESG Meeting: Updated Agenda

Shames, Peter M (312G) peter.m.shames at jpl.nasa.gov
Mon Mar 24 11:22:43 EST 2014

Ciao Nestor,

I think that Mike has pretty clearly stated why he thinks that I have been providing these analyses of various documents and I agree with it.    And I agree that Tom Gannett is indeed the editor of the document, not me, although you will find over the years that both Adrian and I, and several others, made significant contributions to the contents of this document.  This is really no different than what has been happening since the CCSDS was re-organized more than a decade ago, it is nothing new.

You have stated that the "CMC owns the book", and I suppose that is so in the same way that the CMC "owns" all CCSDS documents.    The CMC has the role of approving all CCSDS documents for publication, but it has seldom provided any content, that is the job of the CESG and the working groups.  The CMC role, as stated in the draft A02x1y34 (and all earlier versions) is this:

  1. CMC Responsibilities

c) approving the program of work and products of the organization, resolving appeals in cases of disagreement, and authorizing the transition of documents from one designation to another as they move along the various document tracks, including verifying that Normative Track documents have been subjected to satisfactory formal review by the agencies;

There is no stated role for the CMC that says anything like "The CMC owns all documents" nor "The CMC owns (or creates) the CCSDS guiding documents."   Another CMC role is to "The CMC approves the organization that will act as the CCSDS Secretariat."   The Secretariat, and the CCSDS technical editor, are charges with managing the documents and ensuring their editorial consistency.

The role of the CESG is different, and more technical, but it also has management responsibilities: CESG General

The CCSDS Engineering Steering Group (CESG) is responsible for technical management across CCSDS domains and for the top-level coordination of the overall international standardization process. It ensures that all developments occur in accordance with procedures, schedules, and resources that have been negotiated with the CMC. To do its job the CESG adopts and applies uniform architectural views that guide the systems protocols, policies, and procedures used for international space mission cross support. The CESG is directly responsible for executing the actions associated with entry into and movement along the CCSDS document tracks, including making recommendations to the CMC for approval of specifications as they progress through the various stages of standardization.

So according to the CCSDS Org and Procs it is the CESG that is responsible for "adopting and applying … policies and procedures".   All of us on the CESG are responsible for ensuring that we have appropriate policies and procedures. Another role of the CESG, in Sec Responsibilities is this:

  1.  i)  periodically reviewing the technical work of each Area to ensure that it is progressing toward common goals, that the process of consensus is being observed and that the needs of CCSDS stakeholders (2.2) are being satisfied in a timely manner (the ADs shall be responsible for reporting on all work items within their Area);

This requirement on ensuring that the consensus process is observed is the source of the current discussions.   As noted in my earlier analysis, CCSDS has from the outset been defined as a consensus standards organization, and as a part of ISO this is also required of us.

As an Area Director each of us has a set of responsibilities.  As stated in Sec

  1.  d)  ensuring that CCSDS documents are properly categorized and that they embody the content and quality expected of documents of their type;

This is a responsibility that each of us has and we carry it out within our areas and across areas as members of the CESG.  There is  also a specific stated requirement that the CESG is responsible for ensuringthat the body of work of the CCSDS is internally consistent: CESG Operating Principles

d) Consistency. An important job of the CESG is to watch over the output of all of the WGs to help prevent CCSDS specifications that are at odds with each other. This is why ADs and DADs are required to review the drafts coming out of Areas other than their own as part of the consensus process leading up to their adoption into the program of work. The quality of the CCSDS Recommended Standards comes both from the review that they get in the WGs and the review that the WG products get from the CESG.

As for why the System Engineering Area director might specifically get involved in these issues, aside from the responsibilities that all of the ADs and DADs have, there is this:


The Systems Engineering Area (SEA) covers system-wide engineering aspects that are so pervasive that they span both the Informatics and Telematics Domains. The AD has the prerogative to define, in agreement with the CCSDS Strategic Plan and its related Tactical Plan, the precise set of work units that this Area contains at any point in time.

And then there is the stated, and agreed, Systems Engineering Charter:

The System Engineering Area (SEA) supports the work of the CCSDS by providing:
   Overall architecture for space mission communications, operations, and cross-support.
  Coordination and collaboration with the other areas about architectural choices and options.
Supporting the CESG in evaluating consistency of all area programs of work with the defined architecture.
Creating such working groups and BoFs as are required to progress the work of CCSDS

In summary, unless I am really misunderstanding something, I am doing exactly what the CCSDS procedures manual and the charter of the SEA says I am supposed to be doing.  It is also completely consistent with how we have been operating ever since the reorganization.  What puzzles me is why this is now seen as a problem.   I would encourage other members of the CESG to take the time to look at the CCSDS Org & Procs, to analyze both what is in there now and what is proposed to be changed, and to consider what the impact on the organization is and its operation might be from any proposed changes.  The analysis materials that I preprared were largely extracted from the existing document and provided to the CESG to make this job easier.

Finally, I believe that it is the stated role of the CESG to propose changes to the CCSDS operations procedures and to work with the Technical Editor to get them defined.  It is then the role of the CMC to either concur or to request changes.  The CMC does not "drive", the CMC "approves".  It really puzzles me why you, as the CESG chair, would be wiling to give this responsibility over to the CMC.  With only a very few exception the CMC, for the most part, are so removed from the actual workings of the CESG and the CCSDS technical working groups that they have no real appreciation of how we have been operating nor of the affect that some of their "simple changes", like voting, might make to the organization.

Very best regards, Peter

From: Nestor Peccia <Nestor.Peccia at esa.int<mailto:Nestor.Peccia at esa.int>>
Date: Monday, March 24, 2014 12:23 AM
To: Peter Shames <peter.m.shames at jpl.nasa.gov<mailto:peter.m.shames at jpl.nasa.gov>>
Cc: CCSDS Engineering Steering Group - CESG Exec <cesg at mailman.ccsds.org<mailto:cesg at mailman.ccsds.org>>
Subject: Re: [CESG] CESG Meeting: Updated Agenda


As CESg chair, I am still struggled about who is the editorship of the YB

Are you the editor captain ?
Is Tom ?

Are both, you and Tom ?

Why are you taking all these initiatives of suggesting propositions (in particular for voting) before reaching a consensus ?

At the end of the day the CMC owns the book, neither you nor Tom. In a normal procedure the CMC must drive, and not the editor.

The whole thing smells weird to me.

We need also to discuss these aspects before starting the discussion on consensus.


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