Complex Problems

John C Klensin john-ietf at
Wed Jan 8 16:56:51 CET 2003

--On Wednesday, 08 January, 2003 09:10 -0800 James Kempf
<kempf at> wrote:

> I'm sorry, I think this is directly relevent to the list's
> discussion topic. My message was in response to Marshall's
> proposal for the IETF to not do any architecture work and just
> do engineering for other SDOs that bring their architecture
> and requirements to IETF, but I believe this has in fact been
> happening for some time now with respect to 3GPP, and I
> believe it has led to some significant problems, and a
> monumental increase in work load for the ADs as they do the
> technical liason. The ADs, WG chairs, and WG members not
> associated with the other SDO could simply roll over and not
> push back on requests that violate basic Internet
> architectural principles, but, to their credit, the folks
> involved in the 3GPP liason have not done that. Rather, they
> have attempted to educate 3GPP on why the Internet
> architecture is as it is and also tried to show 3GPP how their
> requirements could be met in a way that is consistent with the
> Internet architecuture. But this comes at a massive cost in
> time for the ADs.
> So if IESG work overload is a problem, then this is one
> contributing factor.


FWIW, there is no requirement anywhere that the ADs, or even WG
Chairs, be the front line of the liaison (or education process).
They may have concluded that it is more efficient for them to
take these roles on themselves, and may even be right.   But, if
it is an important source of IESG overload, and results in
things that are more important not getting done in a timely
fashion, then we are suffering from bad allocation of time and
resources in the management process.   And structural changes
are neither necessary nor sufficient to solve those sorts of
problems... the relevant ADs and WG Chairs just need to learn to
involve others and delegate responsibility.

If we don't have sufficient depth in these areas to permit that,
then we are either doing a very poor job of leadership
development (which I believe to be generally true, but it is
probably a separate issue) or it is questionable whether the
IETF really has sufficient expertise to be the core locus for
the work.


More information about the Problem-statement mailing list