Standardization News Search

Magazines & Newsletters / ASTM Standardization News

feature

May/June 2009
EnRoute

Online Work Item Collaboration Areas

Pre-Ballot Draft Document Development

“My ASTM” — your gateway to participating online as an ASTM International member — now makes it easier to work with your task group in developing draft standards before they go to ballot. The tool is the ASTM task group collaboration area, which is specifically geared to achieving consensus on a draft standard prior to ballot and designed to be simple and straightforward.

You can use this tool any time, anywhere you can access the Internet, on any day. The one prerequisite is that your task group leader or technical contact establishes the cyberspace collaboration area for a registered work item.

After you log on through “My ASTM,” you will find “My Collaboration Areas” in the “My Committees” area. Each online collaboration area represents a task group for an individual draft standard or revision to an existing standard.

Once you click into a collaboration area, the work item number and its description appear near the top of the page. The description comes from the work item summary.

In each draft standard workspace, you’ll see that the link for the most recent draft of the standard tops any previous versions (also, when a new draft is uploaded, an e-mail automatically goes out notifying all task group members and encouraging their review and comments). Each draft number hyperlinks to a Microsoft Word file of its text.

Task group collaboration areas are divided into these sections:

  • Draft Standard, to get right to the meat of the work and link to the most current draft, or previous drafts, each marked with a date and time;
  • Comment/Suggest Changes, to share your thoughts about a draft as well as to register affirmatives and negatives through an informal tally;
  • Related Discussions, to share information with or ask questions of your fellow task group participants about a procedural step, a definition, a property or anything else that might warrant a detailed exchange to help refine the draft;
  • Related Files, a spot for you to upload files that consist of drawings, precision data, useful reference information or other relevant material;
  • Task Group Members, where you can quickly review task group member names and e-mail addresses and, with one click, start a new message to the entire group; and
  • Project Timeline, based on dates entered by the technical contact/task group chair that reflect the date initiated as well as expected and actual completion dates for project milestones.

If you are the technical contact, you will also administer the individual workspace, which you set up either when registering the work item or later on from the work item page itself. The collaboration area administrative functions that you manage include:

  • Invite Members;
  • Add/Remove/Edit Timeline;
  • Remove Files;
  • Remove Discussions; and
  • View Voting Results.

In addition, the administrator can access two related tools: “Edit Work Item” and “Submit Item for Ballot.”

As you use the tool, please feel free to make suggestions for enhancements by contacting your staff manager.

Technical support is available by telephone from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. eastern U.S. time 1-800-262-1373 (USA and Canada) or 610-832-9578 (International) or by e-mail by clicking here for the support request form.

For information about training sessions on collaborative workspaces, please click here.