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Dispute Resolution Evolution

May 11, 2020

As a project manager, I often assist the committee chair to run the meetings with as little disruption and disputes as possible. With so many passionate stakeholders, each bringing with them different points of view, this is often easier said than done.

In late November 2019, I attended a BD-021 Doors and Windows meeting with the committee chair Tracey Gramlick. This meeting brought together international delegates to discuss pressing issues regarding committee representation and engagement. Prior to the meeting, there were concerns that there would be emotionally charged discussions and as a result, we would not be able to arrive at a suitable resolution.

To combat this, Tracey and I decided that we would test out a governance document that was under development at the time regarding dispute resolution. Our aim was to help facilitate the meeting efficiently and mitigate disagreements between international bodies that could potentially damage working relationships. The document, SG-008 Committee Dispute Avoidance and Resolution, was developed as a result of Standards Australia’s Technical Governance Review (TGR) in 2016, with ongoing initiatives in place to support the findings.

I’m pleased to say that the BD-021 meeting produced the desired outcomes and our international working relationships have since gone from strength to strength.

After using SG-008, Tracey commented that “there was an absolute driving need for it, with more conflicting and company interests being represented on committees than ever before. It was in draft phase when it was used it really worked a treat.” She also confirmed the document became an essential component to the successful outcome of the meeting, noting that “at the beginning of [the meeting] the ethics were put out and we used the draft [to help us with] what to say and how to say it. We used it as a mechanism to control and give feedback through the meeting”.

This initiative is only one of the fantastic outcomes the TGR has produced. While I have only worked with Tracey on this committee for six months, she has participated on committees with Standards Australia for over 35 years. Her hugely positive feedback is a true testament to the support that SG-008 can provide in running committee meetings.

On a personal note, I have already seen firsthand the success of our TGR initiatives, and how they can support more efficient and effective standards development. I look forward to seeing what comes next!

Kate Orr
Project Manager

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