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ArB Foundation Reorganisation Project

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Proposed Charter

To work with the foundation division to broker the development of a proposal to reorganise division’s organisation and clarify.

  • Rationale: There is a relationship between the architecture of HL7 and the architecture of HL7’s work. There are known issues with the foundation division organisation. We want to work on these issues together
  • Initial Scope: Foundation Division - INM, MNM, ITS, Tooling, Pubs, ICTC, SOA, Templates (and possibly parts of Vocab & SD)
  • All responsibilities & co-chairs need a place
  • Consider separating V2 & V3 Infrastructure in some places
  • Work with co-chairs of nominated committees to develop success criteria and proposals
  • New committees should have clearly defined responsibilities and interactions, both between themselves and ArB
  • ArB’s role: Broker the discussions and provide architectural input
  • ArB’s values:
    • working with the co-chairs
    • looking after the co-chairs.
  • Proposed Process:
  1. Speak to all co-chairs
  2. Develop a plan
  3. Iterate with all co-chairs until consensus is reached


  • ArB has agreed to bring this forward as a project.
  • Grahame to draft the project proposal
  • ArB to approve and then bring forward to TSC
  • Foundation & technology SD to be consulted for approval


Questions from Ioana, Answers from Grahame

  • Since this is a project, I would also recommend using the Project Scope Statement
    • Sure, and we will - but this is not *yet* a project. I'll get to that

The current language is a little vague and I don't know whether to agree or disagree yet: "There is a relationship between the architecture of HL7 and the architecture of HL7's work. There are known issues with the foundation division organisation. We want to work on these issues together"

  • What is "the architecture of HL7's work" and how is different than "the architecture of HL7"?
    • "the architecture of HL7" is a vague statement - is that the way we are organised, or the way the standards we are published are organised?
    • I would say that "the architecture of HL7's work" is a concept subsumed by "the architecture of HL7". Also, "the architecture of HL7's organisation"

is subsumed by the general term too.

    • It's still an open topic in ArB as to what the scope of ArB is in this regard.
  • What are the issues with the Foundation Division organization as perceived by the ARB? Are they organizational, architectural, or both?
    • both. Our primary task is to work on the technical architecture of the standards. But the way these are organised is partly driven by organisational architecture, and that is partly driven by purely organisational concerns.
    • Through the organisational process - ORC, T3F etc, there has been discussion about reorganising the core of foundation, but nothing has happened. ArB

is not entitled to make decisions about change- that belongs with the Foundation SD - but ArB is clearly interested in the process, and it seemed to us that we may be the right group to make a recommendation for change, after working with the interested parties (primarily the co-chairs).

  • I'm assuming the ARB is finding that the current organization makes it hard to make progress in defining the HL7 architecture. What are some of those difficulties? I would hope that after this reorganization the ARB will be able stay focused on architecture as we are all in great need of guidance in that area.
    • Take, for example, the dynamic model - one of the reasons that this is not progressing is because it's shared between many committees. We have been asked to progress this, though we're not sure what this means. I don't think that ArB is supposed to be responsible for actually doing everything associated with the dynamic model. We are supposed to provide... something... that progresses this. So that means working with committees. Which ones? What does architecture mean if not working with the committees to define who does what in this case? (partly rhetorical, partly open question. You'd be wrong to interpret anything I say as established ArB policy, we don't have any yet)
  • Is separation of concerns (V2 vs. V3, services vs. messaging) better than harmonization?
    • no idea. At least one committee is fairly strongly split into two. Should others be? or should this be unwound? who knows.... we are just proposing this as a question worth discussing
  • What sort of input can ARB provide prior to the development of a high-level architecture specification? Perhaps this re-org will have to wait until there is something concrete we can point to as the reason to re-organize.
    • there's definitely a chicken and egg question there. But we have a primary concern: we do not want to spend our time developing and proposing any architecture for which HL7 does not have the resources or will to implement - so I personally think that this is something to be done in tandem.

Tony Julian