Collaboration is a huge theme in NSTIC. Below is the initial approach to collaboration in the document:
The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace charts a course for the public and private sectors to collaborate to raise the level of trust associated with the identities of individuals, organizations, networks, services, and devices involved in online transactions.
Collaboration, as defined by Eugene Kim, a collaboration expert and the first Chief Steward of Identity Commons, occurs when groups of two or more people interact and exchange knowledge in pursuit of a shared, collective, bounded goal
To achieve the challenging goals set out in NSTIC, such as raising trust levels around identities, high performance collaboration is required. Both shared language and shared understanding are prerequisites for high-performance collaboration.
This is a powerful excerpt from Eugene Kim’s blog about two experiences from technical community participants (including Drummond Reed from the user-centric identity community) that paints a clear picture of the importance of time for, and the proactive cultivation of, shared language:
[Because I am writing this as a blog post – it is easy for you to go over to Eugene’s site and read the excerpt. – please do]
(This paragraph is key so I will include it with my emphasis.)
Shared language is a prerequisite to collaboration. Without shared language people can’t collaborate. It’s that simple. When a group tries to collaborate without having shared language, the group will try to create it, whether it’s aware of this principle or not. The creation process is often frustrating and painful, and as a result, people sometimes try to skip this step or belittle the process. This is a problem. You can’t skip this step.
I also include this definition of Shared Language from his wiki:
Developing shared language is a messy problem, because communication is a messy process. A good collaborative process recognizes this messiness and factors it in.
Is there currently shared language amongst the identified NSTIC stakeholders?
No. I participated in both the NSTIC governance and privacy workshops in June and did not find there was shared understanding or language amongst stakeholders gathered. I did experience shared language and understanding between the people I knew from the user-centric identity community (and its neighbors). But there are many new stakeholder groups that I was unfamiliar with and found in many conversations that people were talking past each other constantly. This experience of not having shared language was one of the reasons the breakout group conversations were not productive and many experienced frustration.
Eugene Kim notes that that shared language is not developed by intentionally agreeing to agree on language. The glossary in the back of the NSTIC does not beget shared language because it just defines terms as used in the strategy document. The shared language needed for collaboration emerges from conversations and the meaning exchanges within those. To succeed the NPO must focus on cultivating contexts for the development of shared language amongst stakeholders
This post is from pages 10-12 of Kaliya’s NSTIC Response – please see this page for the overview and links to the rest of the posts. Here is a link to the PDF.
This is the section before: Ecosystem as the Frame for NSTIC
This is the section after: Proactive Development of Shared Language by NSTIC Stakeholders