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The Product Family Set-Up process was developed while operationalizing the Business Architecture Model (BAM). 

  • Purpose

The purpose of the HL7 business architecture is to document how the different parts of the HL7 organization collaborate and coordinate to produce interoperable standards products to meet the needs of health information systems builders and their customers.

  • The HL7 Technical Steering Committee endorsed the following definitions of Product Families and Product Lines:

“A Product Family is a collection of products that share common elements, methodologies, and tools as viewed from a design perspective.”

“A Standards Product Line is a set of specifications that share a common, managed set of capabilities satisfying the specified needs of a particular market segment and that are developed from a common set of core resources in a prescribed way.” 

Product Line = consumer perspective, Product Family = developer perspective

  • The SAIF-CD definitions of governance, management, and methodology are:

"Governance establishes rules that control decision-making." 

"Methodology establishes processes that comply with governance rules and may introduce additional rules." 

"Management makes decisions according to governance rules.

  • Examples:

CDA – Product Family
C-CDA – CDA based line of products
US Realm suite of products, which span multiple product families


Once a collection of products that share common elements, methodologies, and tools have been identified:

  • Proponents must bring a proposal for the formation of a product family to the TSC for consideration
  • The TSC is responsible for coordinating the review and execution of the proposal.
  • Identify or establish a Methodology Group (methodology group may need to update their mission and charter)
  • Establishing the management group
    • SGB puts together a list of individuals for TSC consideration
    • Provisional management group drafts a mission and charter based upon the boilerplate and submits to TSC for consideration

  • TSC gives final approval to stand up the product family and associated management group

  • SGB should ensure that the new product family is adequately represented in SGB membership

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