Workgroups
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Workgroups have been described as the "heart and soul" of HTNG and are the most important aspect. They are where HTNG members gather to collaborate and solve industry challenges globally.  

Workgroup Overview
  • Each workgroup addresses a very specific business problem, such as lack of key capabilities in a device, the need to support multiple complex software interfaces among coordinated systems, or identifying the best approach for deploying a new and risky technology.
  • Each workgroup creates, as an end deliverable, a solution to the problem.  Vendors deploy the solution so that hotels can buy it.
  • Typical workgroups Involve about 5-15 people, working together over a limited time period with specific deliverables.
  • Workgroups receive guidance from additional hoteliers ("business advisors") who are interested in the results but not the technical details.
  • Workgroups operate under board-approved charters with a pre-agreed definition of the business problem, a general description of the solution, and a limited time-frame.
  • Regular meetings (usually weekly or bi-weekly) by web conference; many workgroups also meet periodically face-to-face
  • Workgroups publish all working documents on a collaboration site, viewable by all HTNG members.
  • Documentation, standards, white papers, and best practices may be necessary ot the solution, but the objective is normally a tangible solution, rather than paper.
Workgroup Lifecycle

The cycle of a workgroup consists of five stages:

  • Prospective: an idea put forth by members for a possible workgroup
  • Incubation: an informal group of interested people working together to write a proposed charter
  • Active: a formally chartered group of members doing the work
  • Maintenance: the same group overseeing minor updates to completed work
  • Retired: solutions completed, workgroup disbanded; oversight of released specifications moves to the forum
Participation Details
  • One company, one vote: small hoteliers and vendors have equal voice to their largest competitors, ensuring that no one company can dominate decisions.
  • Regular participation is usually required to retain your voting rights!
  • HTNG members may sign up for any new workgroup at launch (instructions provided with launch announcement)
  • Members can also apply to join an existing workgroup through their user profile.
  • There is no cost to join any workgroup that is associated with the forum(s) included with your HTNG membership.
  • Face-to-face meetings are free for most participants. You may incur fees if you have certain discounted membership types, or if your company sends multiple attendees.
  • Members may request to be on a mailing list to monitor workgroup progress and can also help provide direction of one or more workgroups.
  • Nonmembers of HTNG may participate in incubation workgroups by teleconference only. Once the workgroup is chartered, only HTNG members can continue participating.
  • To get on the mailing list for a prospective or incubation workgroup visit the Prospective Workgroup Effort page and complete the form at the bottom

Forum is a meeting place, where HTNG members with similar interests can meet face-to-face to learn and to share information on topics of general interest; coordinate efforts across workgroups in order to maximize reuse and minimize duplication of effort; make personal contacts with potential buyers, sellers, and partners; work together to market the results of workgroup efforts; and address issues that require cross-workgroup coordination. For additional details, including an explanation of the difference between a Workgroup and a Forum, visit our Forums page.

 

Forums and workgroups are the two building blocks of the HTNG organization, through which members interact.

A forum is a meeting place, where HTNG members with similar interests:

  • Meet face-to-face to learn and to share information on topics of general interest
  • Coordinate efforts across workgroups to maximize reuse and minimize duplication of effort
  • Make personal contacts with potential buyers, sellers, and partners
  • Work together to market the results of workgroup efforts to benefit both the participating vendors, and those who have implemented the resulting solutions
  • Address issues that require cross-workgroup coordination

HTNG currently has three forums.  Workgroups are not formally part of the forum, but, all workgroups are assigned to one or both of the first two forums listed below, based on similarity of their tasks and methods.  The forums provide structure and guidance to their workgroups through various activities and face-to-face interactions.

  • The Infrastructure and Device Forum addresses infrastructure, device, and hardware issues, including wired and wireless networking, guest-room entertainment, telephony, building automation systems, and other applications where the bulk of the cost relates to physical devices or networking.
  • The Software Forum addresses software applications, with a primary focus is on architecture and interoperability, including messages to support and extend existing applications by providing simple connectivity to, and interoperation with, other applications.
  • The Hotel CISO Forum addresses issues related to information security, including threat intelligence, best practices, and regulations.  Membership is limited to senior level information security professionals employed by hospitality companies.

Forums may also have Cross-Workgroup Coordinating Bodies that provide resources and coordination that all of the workgroups in the Forum can utilize.  In some cases, these bodies may set standards for development of technical artifacts to ensure consistency across HTNG workgroups.

 

How Do Forums Differ from Workgroups?

Workgroups and forums exist for very different reasons:  workgroups do the work, while forums provide the meeting place for coordination, cross-pollination, learning, and marketing — allowing all the workgroups to come together at a single time and location so that travel time and cost are minimized.

 

This table highlights the general differences.  However, each forum and workgroup is unique, so some exceptions exist.

Activity
Forums
Workgroups

Design and (through vendors) deliver products to the marketplace to address hotels' business problems

No

Yes

Document solutions as open standards

No

Yes

Tele/web conference meetings

Infrequent

Weekly or biweekly during active phases

Face-to-face meetings

1-4 times per year

Only in conjunction with forum meetings

Sets general policies for issues applying to all workgroups, such as certification, documentation standards, etc.

Yes

No

Personal interaction with other members to help form customer, supplier, partner relationships

Face-to-face

Principally telephone and email

Oversees marketing initiatives such as case studies, demos, certification

Yes

No

Eligibility for Participation

The Software Forum and Infrastructure & Device Forum are open to all HTNG members, and  membership in one or both of these forums is included with all HTNG memberships.

The Hotel CISO Forum is open only to senior level information security executives employed by hospitality companies, and requires signing a nondisclosure agreement.

Generally open to members of the forum in which the workgroup is organized; some workgroups may require votes or restrict the timing of new members

 

Suggest a Workgroup

​If you have a different issue within hospitality technology which you would like HTNG to consider creating a workgroup for, complete the form below.