VRM Charter

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VRM (Vendor Relationship Management) Working Group


Create an ecosystem of tools, protocols, and services that help users manage vendor relationships.


User-centricity. Work from the perspective of the end-user. Users should control who, how, and what happens throughout the entire process. The process should create value for the user first, vendors and others second. Note that by creating value for users, there should be plenty to go around. See Reciprocity.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Don't Reinvent the Wheel. A lot of technology and solutions have already been developed to address various pieces of our online world. When possible, reuse existing tech and learn from prior experiences. That means researching what has already been done and integrating the past whenever possible.

Reciprocity & Everybody Wins. VRM should create value for everyone in the value chain. Although the focus is on the user (see User-centricity), each link in the relationship should come out better after implementing a VRM Protocol. When everbody wins, it will be much easier to convince everyone to participate.

Leverage network effects. Network effects scale as more people participate. Whenever possible, build systems with this characteristic. In particular, reducing transaction costs across many different transactions can dramatically change a market, even when those costs are relatively small part of each transaction. So, use network effects to leverage the value of our efforts as far and wide as possible.

Relationships are more than transactions. Although vendor relationships are ultimately bounded by transactions, they begin well before and continue well after. Build systems that enable rich, long-lived relationships in ways that create real value.

Solve real-world problems. People have lots of challenges and frustrations with existing sales, shopping, and support systems. Pick one and re-invent it from a user perspective. If putting the user in control creates real value with minimal investment by the vendor, we have a good chance of getting traction with both users and vendors.


How does the working group go about doing its work together?


  • a group that hosts event that it charges money for to cover costs might have a practice that 15% of money it earns in doing those events goes to general operating funds for Identity Commons.
  • A group might state that all its meeting notes must be publically published.

Requirements of Participation and How to Join

Each working group is required by the PurposeAndPrinciples to state its requirements for participation, if any. It should also provide instructions for how to join the working group.

Licenses and/or Restrictions on Usage of Work Product

Any work produced by this group must fall under either an OSI-certified OpenSource license, a Creative Commons license, or a trademark to be owned by Project VRM or by Identity Commons. Part of the work of the group will be to determine the best means of stewardship for the deliverables.

Current Deliverables and Milestones

The goal of VRM is to improve the relationship between Demand and Supply (buyers and sellers, customers and merchants) by providing new and better ways for the former to relate to the latter. In a larger sense, VRM immodestly intends to improve markets and their mechanisms by equipping customers to be independent leaders and not just captive followers in their relationships with vendors and other parties on the supply side of the marketplace. Furthermore, by integrating with open identity frameworks, applications can become a mutually beneficial tool to build affinity and trust between buyers and sellers.

The goal of this working group is to be a focal point for how identity-enabled technologies can/will support VRM. This working group will actively explore leveraging open identity framework/applications that enable VRM adoption by businesses and their customers.

Current Meeting Schedule

No regular meetings are planned at this time -- work will proceed via email, the current wiki, and telecons scheduled as needed.

Current Membership

Membership is currently the members of the ProjectVRM mailing list. Following is a partial list of the members of that list (being listed here on the charter page is optional).

  • Doc Searls
  • Iain Henderson
  • Dean Landsman
  • Drummond Reed
  • Charles Andres
  • Mary Ruddy
  • Paul Trevithick
  • Fen Labalme

Current Stewards Council Representative and Alternate

  • Dean Landsman is currently the primary representative.

Current Links

Project VRM wiki


Approved by the Stewards Council on February 8, 2008.