Trusting the IESG to manage the reform process (was:Re:Doingthe Right Things?)

Brian E Carpenter brian at
Wed Jun 4 15:49:20 CEST 2003

Dave Crocker wrote:
> Harald,
> HTA> 2.5.1 Span of Authority
> HTA>    Overt authority in the IETF is concentrated in the small number of
> HTA>    people sitting on the IESG at that time. Existing IETF processes work
> HTA>    to funnel tasks on to this small number of people (primarily the Area
> HTA>    Directors (ADs) in the IESG).  This concentration slows up the
> HTA>    process and puts a very large load of responsibility on to the
> ...
> HTA> cannot be solved by making small changes to the IETF and IESG procedures;
> HTA> we need to change the way we make decisions, which is a BIG change.
> You have made similar statements a number of times. What do you have in
> mind?
> The Kobe change to IETF organization was actually quite small.
> Strategic. Essential. But small. In fact, for all intents and purposes,
> it did not change the procedures for working groups at all. It simply
> moved the final authority over standardization from one existing group
> to another. 

I think there was something else. The IETF also put in place mechanisms
for renewal and accountability of the decision-taking group. And that,
if I'm not mistaken, was to reduce the incidence of hubris.

In other words, there was no attempt to solve a scaling problem.

What Harald is referring to is a scaling problem, imho. 

> (There were some important additional changes, but they were
> not related to operational decision-making for daily IETF work.)
> Absent specific proposals, we cannot know whether the cited problem of a
> bottleneck requires us "to change the way we make decisions" or more
> simply requires that we do divide-and-conquer with existing tasks and
> responsibilities.
> If the latter suffices, then in fact we continue to make decisions in
> the same way. We simply target different types of decisions to
> different groups.

...or simply give the existing decision-taking group better input to
work with, such as fully reviewed and nit-free documents.


More information about the Problem-statement mailing list