Special Interest Groups
What is a Special Interest Group?
A Special Interest Group (SIG) is a collaborative working team focused on one compelling topic of mutual interest. The International Integrated Reliability Workshop (IIRW) offers an excellent atmosphere for members of a SIG to meet face-to-face in an informal setting as well as for the SIG to attract interested individual. SIGs also offer a unique opportunity to extend the experiences and interactions at IIRW.
Identifying the Opportunity to Form a SIG
Although SIGs may be formed at any time during the year, IIRW offers unique opportunities to form a SIG at the workshop. A SIG may be formed just for the duration of IIRW or members may choose to extend activities beyond the workshop. IIRW strongly supports but does not drive SIGs. The formation of a SIG may be the outcome of a discussion group seeking an opportunity for follow-up interactions after the workshop. It may also result from discussions started during formal IIRW activities that individuals would like to continue after the close of IIRW. Or, it may be sparked from interactions at another event where there is interest in meeting at IIRW and continuing discussions there. When there is a group of identified individuals interested in collaborating on a topic a SIG may be formed. IIRW is an excellent nurturing ground to initiate the formation of a SIG.
Forming a SIG at IIRW
The IIRW DG/SIG Chair or DG/SIG Vice Chair or any other IIRW Committee Member may be contacted to express interest in forming a SIG at IIRW. We can assist in identifying a meeting time/place for the kick-off as well as in advertising the details to workshop attendees. As an outcome of the kickoff meeting, a SIG topic and name should be selected that describes the intent and focus of the team. A brief, one paragraph description of the SIG is helpful in focusing activities as well as in encouraging and attracting new members. For SIGs that will plan to continue after the IIRW event, an attendee contact list can be distributed to the members. Also, it may be helpful for a scribe to volunteer to capture and document highlights from the discussions; this maximizes visibility and provides a quick reference for current and new members. As an option, a summary of SIG discussions held at IIRW can be published in the IIRW Final Report.
Maintaining a SIG
A SIG is a flexible and cooperative engagement. The timeframe of a SIG is determined by the membership. A SIG may be very brief in duration to solve an immediate problem or question. Or it may iteratively tackle complex challenges and evolve over time as deemed appropriate and as supported by the members. Membership can change over time and participation levels may change as appropriate for each individual. Rigid meeting procedures can be followed but are not required to be successful. At a minimum, proctored discussion groups and a scribe to document highlights are helpful in maintaining focus on the consensus goals and objectives. SIG outcome summaries, when distributed to members and to the IIRW DG/SIG Chair, whether after every discussion or after each achieved milestone, help to maximize visibility, support, and participation on SIG activities. With SIG agreement, IIRW DG/SIG Chair may advertise to attract other individuals to contact, join, and participate in the SIG.
Retiring a SIG
The SIG may be discontinued or retired at any time the members deem appropriate. It is helpful to document the final results and distribute them to the membership, with a courtesy copy to the current IIRW DIG/SIG Chair. As an option and with SIG concurrence, the final summary of results can be published in the next IIRW Final Report. Results from a closing SIG are helpful for current and future SIGs.