Working group participation issue

James Kempf kempf at
Wed Feb 19 08:12:41 CET 2003


Design teams might help. If somebody signs up for a design team, then they can
be managed by objective. If they don't live up to their committements, they can
be dropped from the design team. It's not as effective a motivator as not
getting a raise, but maybe the best one can do with a volunteer group. I think
one could potentially use the design team approach with reviews as well,
something like invited reviewers, though it is harder because there is no
incentive. With design teams, there is always the incentive of getting your name
on an important RFC.

I don't know if you've considered this or not.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Ted Hardie" <hardie at>
To: <problem-statement at>
Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2003 3:55 PM
Subject: Working group participation issue

> Howdy,
> 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
> what
> 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
> considering,
> however, whether the basic problem is or is not one that the IETF
> should tackle at this time.
> regards,
> Ted Hardie

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