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

Margaret Wasserman mrw at
Wed Jun 4 11:05:36 CEST 2003

Hi Brian,

At 02:49 PM 6/4/2003 +0200, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
>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.

Right.  With the growth of the IETF, the increase in complexity
and scope of our work, etc. the job of an AD has become so
large, time-consuming and complex that there are very few people
who can do it.  And, there are even fewer people who are willing
to do it...  We need to figure out some way to solve this
problem, and that almost certainly involve some reorganization
and re-definition of roles at the top of the IETF.

This could be driven by the IESG -- they could create new roles
under themselves and delegate work.  Or, it could be driven by
the community.  I actually would have preferred the former, but
the IESG seems to have chosen the latter...

> > 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.

I think that we're all in agreement that the quality, timeliness
and predictability of WG output is unacceptably low.

It might be amusing to watch WG chairs come up with ways to blame
the IESG for this -- they didn't charter us properly, they didn't
manage us properly, they didn't give us early feedback, etc...
But, that's all just whining.  It is the responsibility of the
WG chair to manage the WG to produce high quality and timely work,
to get adequate review for our documents, and to manage our
milestones.  And, most of us are falling down on the job.

As I'm sure you know, high quality, nit-free documents don't happen
by accident...  And, it doesn't matter how many times we ask for
them, or whine about the fact that our editors don't produce them.
We need to actually put some quality processes in place during WG
creation of these documents to improve the quality of WG output.

IMO, though, this won't solve the scaling problems that have
lead to the ADs job being so large/complex that there is a
limited pool of people that can/will do it...  That needs to
be solved separately.


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