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Thursday, August 20, 2009

RETS - Looking Forward and A Little Help From the Past

Matt Cohen has posted another article in his series on "Completing RETS".

It contains some very interesting responses to his recent survey, and, as always, maintains a positive and professional outlook.

So, how do we move forward in RETS?  I have a few ideas for getting unstuck.  First we focus on the BUSINESS side of things.

  1. Stand on the shoulders of the past.  Let's dust off those things that we've put in the metaphorical glove compartment:  the RESO governance document and the old RETS Roadmaps.  Enforce the governance document so we can operate effectively as a standards organization.  Review the roadmaps to find out our previous destinations and why we were headed there.
  2. Gather requirements.  Matt's survey indicates some major areas of concern/interest.  Start with these and flesh out use cases. Include, where appropriate, items from old roadmaps.
  3. Prioritize the requirements.
  4. Use requirements to create strategic goals, and from those strategic goals, define tactical ones.

This becomes the RETS Business Roadmap.  This roadmap is then presented to the general assembly FOR A VOTE.  

Once the general assembly ratifies the business roadmap, we involve technical folks to discuss how RETS gets from where we are to where we want to be. This requires an architecture group.  It's what the Standards Committee was supposed to be, as opposed to a group that validates the format of RCPs. The architecture group devises a plan to adapt the RETS standard to meet the requirements of the business roadmap.

This plan becomes the RETS Technical Roadmap.  This roadmap is then presented to the general assembly FOR A VOTE.

And then?  Then the workgroups are re-evaluated and chartered with specific goals to move the standard along the technical and business roadmaps.  These workgroups create RCPs based on their charters (which are based on the roadmaps) and everything runs according to the governance document.

Along the way, NAR will have to loosen its purse strings and fund some of these activities.  NAR should do this by providing the RESO BOD with a budget (again, see the governance document).  The RESO BOD then would create RFPs, put them out publicly for bids, review responses, and designate who receives funding to do the work.   Everything open and transparent, the original intent of the governance committee.

Bruce Toback, the first technical chair of RETS from 1999 through to his untimely death in 2005, was a good friend of mine, and a visionary.  He moved mountains to make RETS a reality.  I don't want to let him down by letting RETS remain stuck in neutral, or, worse, slide backwards.

4:59 pm | link

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