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Friday, September 13, 2013

Balloting 1000 Page Specification

How do you ballot a 1000 page document in 30 days.  That would be 250 pages per week, or 50 pages a day.  At one minute a page that would be about an hour a day.  Here are a couple of tactics I use:

  1. Use the change log to identify things you are worried about.
  2. Review already submitted ballots from other organizations you trust and pile on.
  3. Ballot general principles.  If you find the same problem in two areas, write your ballot comment in a general way, addressing the principle, and point to the examples you know.  If you find others later, add them on.
  4. Write your comments inline in a Microsoft Word document.  Copy and paste HTML documents into Word, or extract a PDF into Word (requires full version of Acrobat). 
  5. Use this word macro to extract your comments.  This saves precious time getting them into spreadsheet format.  If you don't have time to do that, submit your Word document as your ballot comments. 
  6. Prioritize your work.  Do the things that are of major concern first.  (BTW: This applies to balloting multiple documents as well.)
  7. Divide and conquer:  Split up the work across multiple people in your organization.
  8. If you trust the reviews of others, cite their comments as your own in your vote.  
I routinely use these techniques across multiple HL7 ballots, but rarely have had to apply them to a single specification.  I need to do so this time though, because the latest CCDA specification is some 900+ pages.  If you haven't already signed up for this ballot, it is too late.  However, if you have, then Monday the 16th is your deadline to submit comments.

I have one major recommendation that I already know I'll be submitting on CCDA 2.0 with my negative vote.  


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