C-SPIN Organizational Charter
Effective 08/15/06


The Chicago Software Process Improvement Network (C-SPIN) was established on June 30, 1994. Since its establishment the C-SPIN has grown to support approximately 1200 members from over 150 companies in the Chicago area. Its membership is composed of software professionals with a high interest in process improvement.  The C-SPIN delivers programs to its membership on a variety of software quality and related topics intended to inform, educate, train, and share lessons learned. The C-SPIN holds its meetings in various locations in the Chicago area. 


This document contains the mission, charter and other specific information on the C-SPIN.  The C-SPIN website can be found at http://www.c-spin.net/.


C-SPIN is loosely tied to the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense through the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. The SEI's core purpose is to help others make measured improvements in their software engineering capabilities.  For more information on the SEI and on various SPINs please, see the SEI website at http://www.sei.cmu.edu/sei-home.html.



The C-SPIN is a leadership forum for the free and open exchange of software process improvement experiences and practical ideas. We promote achieving higher levels of process maturity, software quality and mutual respect. Our goals are to enhance skills and support technology transition through an active program of networking, speakers, forums, publications, recognition of excellence, and mutual support.



In carrying out its mission, the C-SPIN intends to accomplish the following objectives in a measurable way:

·         Promote knowledge sharing of systems & software process improvement tools, techniques and industry best practices

·         Provide opportunities for C-SPIN individuals to improve their own professional presentation skills

·         Sustain C-SPIN as a viable, cutting-edge organization



The C-SPIN is organized as a Steering Committee and regular non-Committee membership.  The Steering Committee members take roles as officers and/or as chairs of C-SPIN standing Committees. Since no fees are collected to operate the C-SPIN, there is no remuneration for services for any of the positions/roles in running the C-SPIN.


The C-SPIN will maintain a general membership that has no voting rights.  It is C-SPIN’s purpose to provide the value added services as identified in the Mission and Objectives sections.  The Steering Committee will use periodic surveys to determine how well this is being achieved. 


Steering Committee

Has final decision authority; set direction; coordinate all Committees; governance.


The Steering Committee consists of those C-SPIN participants who have committed to actively take on the roles and responsibilities of the various functions necessary to run the C-SPIN. The Steering Committee operates as a consensus based decision-making team.  The Steering Committee is comprised of the Chair person of each respective C-SPIN Standing Committee.  The specific Standing Committee chairs will act without oversight from the Steering Committee unless directed by the Steering Committee or requested from the Standing Committee chair.  Each Standing Committee chair may deem it necessary to ask for help for the Committee tasks.  That help may come from various entities, including, but not limited to, other Steering Committee members and individuals from the general membership.


Steering Committee Positions:


Chairs C-SPIN programs and chairs C-SPIN Steering Committee meeting, sets agenda, ensures all other Standing Committees are on track/task; Helps establish future direction of the C-SPIN



Serves as Chair Person when Chair Person is unavailable.  Assists the Chair Person as required and requested. May serve as chair to another Standing Committee.



Official note keeper and scribe of the C-SPIN. Responsible for publishing agendas prior to C-SPIN programs and Steering Committee meetings, publishing meeting minutes and outcomes after the meeting, and taking, counting, recording, and announcing votes especially when e-mail and/or telephone polling is done. Works closely with and/or chairs the Publication Committee.



Establishes and tracks funds and budgets.  Responsible for all monetary related issues and concerns with regards to the functioning of the C-SPIN.  Chairs the Finance Committee.


Standing Committee Chairs

·         Speakers & Presentation Committee – Source speakers; preview presentation; make recommendations; skills development; presentation evaluation forms

·         Publication Committee – Obtain/edit content; write content; publish newsletter; website

·         Public Relations Committee – Media releases; program  announcements; liaison to SEI, other SPINs and other organizations; member surveys; outreach (new members and organizations)

·         Facility / Logistics Committee – Secure location; secure food if sponsored; obtain equipment

·         Fund Raising – Grants; Corporate Sponsors

·         Finance Committee (Treasurer) – Establish/track budgets; funds

·         Membership Committee – Track members; maintain and backup membership database; retain members; attract new members; check in at meetings


The Steering Committee can, at any time, form ad hoc Committees for those tasks that are not covered by Standing Committees.


General Participants

Participation in the C-SPIN is open without discrimination to all individuals, companies, academic institutions, and government organizations that are interested in furthering the objectives of the C-SPIN.


Role Assignments and Terms

Any C-SPIN participant may petition the Steering Committee to become a Steering Committee member. Steering Committee approves appointment of all Steering Committee members at Steering Committee meetings by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the participants in the vote. At least fifty (50) percent of the C-SPIN Steering Committee must participate in the vote for the vote to be valid.  Steering Committee elects Steering Committee members to specific roles.


The Steering Committee will meet quarterly and as needed in whatever format the Steering Committee determines (i.e., in person, teleconference). Items brought to the Steering Committee are discussed and if needed, distributed by the Secretary or designate for an e-mail vote.  Once an e-mail vote is called, the e-mail vote must be received within the period specified by the Steering Committee.  The Secretary or designated substitute will report the results of the vote within one week after the voting is closed.  A simple majority of the voting Steering Committee members is required for the motion pass.


The Steering Committee will review the role assignments annually.


Participant Fees

Any fees for meetings or special events are determined by the Steering Committee.  If participant fees are required for any C-SPIN sponsored event, the Steering Committee will determine the appropriate participant fees.



C-SPIN programs will normally take place during the first week of each month at a place determined by the Steering Committee.  No programs are presented in December, July or August.  All programs will be posted on the C-SPIN website.


Charter Revisions

Charter revisions are approved at Steering Committee meetings by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the participants in the vote. At least fifty (50) percent of the C-SPIN Steering Committee must participate in the vote for the vote to be valid.


Dissolution of C-SPIN

The Steering Committee may decide to dissolve the C-SPIN organization.  This decision must be approved by a two-thirds majority of all Steering Committee members.  If no vote or an abstention vote is received by the end of the voting period, it will be counted towards the majority. 


If the Steering Committee decides to dissolve, a communication will be made to the general C-SPIN membership.  At least 90 days before any final action is taken, one or more members may, at their discretion, assume the role of the Steering Committee and reverse the dissolution decision.