Working group participation issue

Ted Hardie hardie at
Tue Feb 18 15:55:56 CET 2003

	In December of last year, Fred Baker made a couple of comments on
the working group chairs list about how management by objective principles
might improve the operation of the IETF.  In thinking about that, I 
realized one
of the issues for me was that it was very difficult to apply those principles
past the level of WG chair or document author.  The AD,in other words, might
be able to use them, but the working group chairs could not.  The reason for
that difficulty, I believe, is that we have no real way of identifying who 
has committed
to the work a working group has taken on.  We can easily identify chairs 
and document
authors, but it gets tricky from there to know exactly who has committed to 
part of the work.
	I've since written a draft on this issue, found here:

	The introduction tries to capture the issues by saying:

      The IETF currently defines working groups by the mailing list
     noted in the charter.  We can identify participants on the mailing
     list; those who express opinions, submit documents, or provide
     critiques.  The process as defined is remarkably open and it has
     the tremendous benefit that anyone can make a comment and be
     heard.  That openness, though, also makes it difficult to make
     anyone other than the working group chairs and current authors
     accountable for the working group making progress.  Making a
     comment on a document does not, in essence, imply that you are
     taking responsibility for the work of the working group.  That
     ambiguity, in turn, makes it very difficult to predict how much
     attention a work item will receive or to estimate when a work item
     will be completed.	

This draft has contrains a straw-being proposed solution, which is out of
scope for this working group.  I would appreciate the working group 
however, whether the basic problem is or is not one that the IETF
should tackle at this time.
					Ted Hardie

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