An IGS Working Group (WG) works on a particular topic related to the IGS components according to goals and schedule specified in the Working Group's Charter.
An IGS Pilot Project (PP) aims at the development of one or more particular IGS product(s) using data from the IGS network. The establishment of an IGS Pilot Project always implies that a more definitive, operational phase should follow the pilot phase, with the establishment of a new operational project.
Pilot projects have a finite life-span and will be terminated by the Governing Board once the product is generated in a service-like manner, or, alternatively it becomes clear that the aims of the project will not be achieved. Working groups may either have a limited life-span or they may be long-term. In the latter case the chairperson will be appointed for a term of two years (re-appointment possible).
A Working Group or Pilot Project may evolve into a more operational activity devoted to the long-term generation of an IGS product. The generation of such products and the monitoring of their quality and performance are the responsibility of a Product Coordinator who works in cooperation with the IGS Analysis Center Coordinator. A Product Coordinator is supported by a Working Group, which is normally chaired by the Product Coordinator.
Every working group or project has a membership list. The IGS Analysis Center Coordinator and the Director of the Central Bureau are "members ex officio" of each working group or project. They may send official designees to meetings that they cannot attend.
Working groups and projects operate autonomously under the leadership of the chairperson or coordinator. After the establishment the chairperson has in particular the right to add members to the group. He may also collaborate with other scientific organizations, such as IAG commissions, projects, or special study groups. The membership list and goals have to be adapted as necessary.
The chair of a working group or pilot project, or the product coordinator prepares at least annually a report about the activities of the group or project. Such reports are included in the IGS Annual Report. The IGS Governing Board periodically organizes special meetings, where IGS projects, working groups and products are reviewed. All IGS technical chairs are invited to these meetings. Proposals to terminate, to essentially change the Charter, and/or (re-)appoint the chairperson/coordinator may be made. These proposals are presented at the next IGS Governing Board Meeting.
Individuals or groups of individuals wishing to establish an IGS Working Group, Pilot Project or new operational product must provide the following at least two weeks prior to an official IGS Governing Board Meeting:
- Draft of the Working Group or Pilot Project Charter clearly specifying: the goals (two pages at maximum), and the structure of the group or project
- Work plan including schedule and milestones, and the anticipated end of work
- Only for projects: initial ideas for an operational phase
- Call for participation (CfP) as needed
- Initial list of members
- Candidate for a chairperson (optional)
- Draft of an IGS-mail message to inform the IGS community
IGS Working Groups and Pilot Projects are set up by the IGS Governing Board at one of its regular meetings. At this constitutional meeting, when the WG, Pilot Project or new operational product is considered by the Board, the IGS Governing Board approves the draft Working Group or Pilot Project Charter appoints the chair for the designated term
In the case of new operational products requiring a Product Coordinator, the initial WG or PP must demonstrate to the GB that the product is viable and an important addition to the IGS suite of official products. The ACC or Product Coordinator, along with the WG or PP membership must present the proposal at a GB meeting and include the goals, objectives and product definition. Any proposed Product Coordinator must obtain confirmation from the host organization that the activity will be supported for at least 4 years. An exchange of letters between the organization and the Chair of the GB will formally establish the Product and Product Coordinator. Before completion of the four- year period, the IGS Board will ask for continuance or the responsibility will transfer to another organization. A one-year advance notice is required prior to cessation of the commitment.