MAJOR ISSUE: WG formation process

Keith Moore moore at
Sat Jun 28 21:55:32 CEST 2003

] On Sat, Jun 28, 2003 11:02:10AM -0400, Keith Moore allegedly wrote:
] > often, we're not able to take advantage of the energy that accompanies
] > an effort to start a new WG; by the time we get it started, that
] > energy has often waned considerably.  this makes it harder to recruit
] > people to do the heavy lifting in the group, and may cause the group
] > to take longer to produce output.  in rare cases the group is unable
] > to produce output while it's still useful or relevant.
] Is this a problem?  Why would energy quickly evaporate?  People start
] work but then lose support to participate?  Some article in Wired shifts
] everybody's attention to the next hot topic?  I'm used to thinking of
] the WG formation process as a pain, but it might be a good thing for
] filtering out fads.

Analyzing the psychology behind this is probably beyond my expertise.
But I'm certainly not the first to observe that the enthusiasm for
a project fades fairly quickly after it is started.  (Surely you've
seen the "six phases of a project" sign?)

I would love to believe that talented people could be found to work for free
on any IETF project that is worthwhile.  But experience suggests that people
prefer to work on things that are visible, that promise significant benefit,
that can win them recognition, and yes, that are in fashion.  Given that we
are a volunteer organization I suspect we're going to need to be able to take 
advantage of fads.

More information about the Problem-statement mailing list