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

Dave Crocker dhc at
Sun Jun 8 21:32:16 CEST 2003

>> Still, we need to find reasonable, community based criteria --
>> beyond just the criteria of the working group, so that it
>> represents a broader view -- with the IESG enforcing it, rather
>> than inventing it.

RB> does not scale.  this is still the mode where the authors, wgs,
RB> chairs, ... wuss out.

RB> quality management 101: the philosophy of building quality has to
RB> be pushed to the edges so it encompasses the whole organization.

These two two statements appear to be mutually exclusive. The first says you
can't trust all the folks "out there" because they wuss out, while the
second says you have to have quality "at the edges". If the latter does
not mean all those folk "out there" then who are you referring to?

Most interestingly, the first statement fundamentally translates to:

    The entire body of folk who do the core work of the IETF have no
    understanding or integrity about quality.

That doesn't leave much of a base for creating quality, does it?

But perhaps what I originally said was not sufficiently grokked. So
let's try again:

    We need a framework for quality that is embraced by the *general* IETF
    community, so it can be enforced by the IESG, to help individual
    *portions* of the IETF community (ie, individual working groups)
    produce work consistent with that framework.

What we have now is:

    a) no broad base of shared sense about quality,

    b) invention of criteria by individual area directors,

    c) inconsistent application of the criteria, and

    d) application of the criteria far too late in the process.

What we need are specific suggestions, beyond recitation of generic
course teachings. Something we can actually apply, to improve the
production of quality specs in a timely manner.

ER> The only people in the IETF who can realistically block a
ER> document semi-indefinitely over the will of the WG are the
ER> ADs.

It is curious to see some people try to claim that this is not so, or at
least that it never happens, no matter how many of the IETF's worker
bees claim it IS so and it DOES happen.

That kind of disconnect is rather dangerous to an organization.

ER> (1) The WGs have a genuinely different definition of quality from
ER>     that of the IESG. As a consequence, many arguments about quality
ER>     are really about whose standard will be enforced.

Worst of all is that neither 'side' typically has their quality model
documented.  So we wind up arguing nits or intangibles, rather than
substantive issues.

ER> Consider the following thought experiment: take all the documents
ER> that come before the IESG in a year. Rank them in terms of quality.
ER> Then plot quality against "time to approve". Ask what the correlation
ER> is. If there's not a high correlation, why would you expect people
ER> to produce high quality work?

Interesting suggestion.

 Dave Crocker <mailto:dcrocker at>
 Brandenburg InternetWorking <>
 Sunnyvale, CA  USA <tel:+1.408.246.8253>, <fax:+1.866.358.5301>

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