Network of the Future Technology Deepdive Explore the Tech

Engineering Change Request

Engineering Change (EC) Process

Once CableLabs’ Specifications and Test Plans are released under the document status of “Issued”, they become subject to the formal CableLabs’ engineering change process that is summarized below.  The ECR process is subject to change, but the key points and general process are outlined below.

  • All Engineering Changes (ECs) must be submitted electronically using the CableLabs’ ECR form.
  • ECs apply to publicly available Issued Specifications, and to Issued Test Plans (whether publicly available or available under NDA).
  • ECs may be submitted by any interested Vendor, Member, CableLabs Staff, or the public.  A majority of ECs are generally submitted by Vendors.
  • ECs may be submitted at any time during the life of the Issued Specification. Once an Issued Specification status is changed to “Closed”, ECs are no longer accepted or processed.
  • ECs are generally used for clarifications, technical and editorial corrections discovered during the development and interoperability stages, or the addition of functionality required to make the system work within its intended scope.  New functionality or significant extensions to the system should generally be addressed as a new project and / or Specification process—see above.
  • If the same issue applies to multiple specifications within one project, a separate EC must be submitted for each affected specification. However, it is encouraged to note on each EC that other ECs against other specifications are also in process.
  • ECs are posted to a web portal and announced via project email reflector(s) to all NDA participants.  Participants are encouraged monitor the reflectors actively to remain engaged.
  • ECs are subject to the applicable IPR agreement.  The submitter grants to CableLabs the right to incorporate the EC into relevant Specifications, to disclose the EC to Members, other Technology Vendors and others participating in the Specification’s EC process, and to seek public review of such Specifications when CableLabs deems appropriate.  If incorporated into the Issued Specification, the applicable IPR terms apply (e.g., RAND or RF patent obligations) to the EC.
  • If a Vendor is claiming any intellectual property rights in an EC submission, such rights should be specifically identified so that such property may be treated appropriately.
  • The timing of the entire EC process will be defined by each project; but, generally follows the below process:

ECRs (Engineering Change Requests)

  • All ECRs are duly considered by the Specification Working Group, which generally comprises Vendor, CableLabs Staff, and Members.  In almost all cases, the Working Group is able to reach consensus about disposition of an ECR; however, if the Working Group is unable to reach a consensus, a technical team of CableLabs Members and CableLabs staff may act as a final arbiter.
  • The Working Group meets on a regular basis, the timing to be determined by each project. This Working Group discusses and comments on the proposed changes for a period determined by each project.  The goal of discussions are to clarify any issues related to the ECR, identify impact on other specifications, submit any additional ECRs that are required, and agree upon final wording for the Engineering Change Order (ECO), including any corresponding Test Plans or Requirements that may be affected.  Note, after several versions of an Issued Specification have been through the EC process, a more informal review of ECRs may be applied via email consensus among an interested group.
  • At the end of the designated review/comment period by the Working Group, if no comments are received or modifications considered necessary, the ECR is deemed “acceptable” by the Working Group and is moved to ECO status. If discussions ensue and modifications to the proposed change need to be made, it is the responsibility of the author of the ECR to incorporate the changes requested by the Working Group, and provide an updated ECR in a timely manner.

ECOs (Engineering Change Order)

  • The ECO is posted on a web portal and announced on the appropriate NDA reflector(s).  This ensures that all interested parties have seen the requested change and have an opportunity to comment.
  • The ECO comment and consensus period is determined by each project.
  • Based on comments received from the NDA group, the ECO may be rejected by the Working Group. The log will be updated to reflect that it is no longer active, and the EC is moved to a “closed” status.
  • Based on comments received from the NDA group, the ECO may be modified by the EC author, or the Working Group, and resubmitted into the EC process.
  • At the end of the designated review/comment period, if no comments are received or modifications considered necessary, the proposed change order is deemed “acceptable” by the Working Group and is moved to the ECN status on the day the comment period ends.

ECNs (Engineering Change Notice)

  • Once a proposed change has reached ECN status, it is deemed to be an accepted part of the corresponding Specification/Test Plan, and required for Certification.  ECNs may have an effective date in order to allow implementers time to comply with the new requirement.
  • The ECN is announced on the appropriate reflector(s).  This ensures that everyone has been notified of the acceptance of the ECN.
  • Periodically, CableLabs will incorporate outstanding ECNs into the text of the Specification.  The timing of each issued release is determined by the individual projects.

A typical flow chart for the EC process is shown below, although each individual project may have a different flow: