Cool Tools for Standards Gurus — A First Look at KAVI Workspace

Online communication and collaboration tools have grown in popularity over the past few years, and with them, the opportunities for collaboration on standards development have blossomed. The subject matter experts that serve on IPC committees work for many different types of companies and each has its own set of information technology considerations. Determining how an online collaboration tool can work with the myriad of IT system configurations is a daunting task. For the past two years, IPC has taken this challenge to heart and is ready to share information on a new online collaboration system for our standards development committees.

For IPC insiders, the system is referred to as the KAVI Workspace. The KAVI name is reflective of the company that has developed the infrastructure of the workspace, KAVI Corporation. KAVI works with standards developers from many different industries and provides assistance in customizing configurations of their enterprise tool to suit the requirements of a given standards developer. In IPC’s case, the KAVI tool needed to meet the standards development requirements of the organization as well as be compliant with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) requirements as well.

Kavi management engine
Document management engine (click to enlarge)

At the heart of the KAVI Workspace is the document management engine. Many different types of files are used in the development of IPC standards. The document management system allows committee members to create, revise, and distribute documents in real-time fashion. This leads to committee members being able to collaborate almost instantaneously as new versions of documents are posted into the KAVI Workspace. Documents can be worked on both online as well as offline. Revision control is automatically built into the KAVI Workspace. Every document has metadata regarding the “who, what, and when” changes were made. Multiple revisions of the same document can be compared to each other to identify differences. The document management engine provides a great way to organize the documents and related files into a central location. Most important, the document management engine keeps all committee members on the same page at the same time.

Kavi comments
Comment tracker feature (click to enlarge)

Committee chairmen often solicit comments and input to take a draft of a document to the next level. The comment tracker feature of the KAVI Workspace provides an easy to navigate a structured system for comment review and disposition. Committee chairmen have the permissions to resolve comments online. The comment tracker feature allows for collection and management of comments during the public review and balloting phases of the standards development process. As with the document management system, the disposition of comments is recorded and data pertaining to each comment is retained within the workspace.

The KAVI Workspace is organized in such a manner that a committee member can log on to it and find out what is currently going on with all the standards committees of which he or she is a member. The Workspace brings the content to the member rather than the member searching for the content. This results in less time looking for information and more time creating or revising content. The content for standard development is available 24/7. Overall, the KAVI Workspace results in better collaboration and a higher level of engagement on a global basis.

IPC will complete the beta evaluation and configuration of the KAVI Workspace before the end of 2012. We are planning to deploy the Workspace to new standards development activities throughout 2012. IPC will be blending the legacy process for standards development into the online collaboration system over the next two years.

For additional information on KAVI Workspace, contact Dave Torp, IPC vice president of standards and technology.


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