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 Internet-Draft                                     M. Wasserman, Editor
 Document: draft-ietf-problem-process-01.txt                  Wind River
 Expires:  December 2003                                       June 2003
 
                      IETF Problem Resolution Processes
 
    Status of this Memo
 
    This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with
    all provisions of Section 10 of RFC2026 [RFC2026].
 
    Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
    Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups.  Note that
    other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-
    Drafts.
 
    Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six
    months and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other
    documents at any time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts
    as reference material or to cite them other than as "work in
    progress."
 
    The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at
         http://www.ietf.org/ietf/1id-abstracts.txt
    The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at
         http://www.ietf.org/shadow.html.
 
    Abstract
 
    This document suggests processes to address the problems identified
    in the IETF Problem Statement.
 
    This document decomposes each of the problems described in the
    problem statement into a few areas for improvement, categorizes
    those areas into longer-term and near-term problems, and suggests
    processes to address each area.
 
    Copyright Notice
 
    Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2003).  All Rights Reserved.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Table of Contents
 
    Status of this Memo...............................................1
    Abstract..........................................................1
    Copyright Notice..................................................1
    Table of Contents.................................................2
    1       Introduction..............................................3
    2       IETF Purpose and Core Values..............................3
    2.1     Non-Core Values...........................................5
    3       Building on our Success...................................6
    4       Problem Decomposition.....................................7
    4.1     Decomposition of Mission Problem..........................8
    4.2     Decomposition of the Engineering Practices Problem........8
    4.3     Decomposition of the Complex Problems Problem.............8
    4.4     Decomposition Standards Hierarchy Problem.................9
    4.5     Decomposition of the Engagement Problem...................9
    4.6     Decomposition of the Management Scaling Problem..........10
    4.7     Decomposition of the Working Group Practices Problem.....11
    4.8     Decomposition of the Preparedness Problem................12
    5       Process Recommendations..................................12
    5.1     Near-Term Improvements...................................12
    5.1.1   Suggestions to Improve WG Quality Processes..............14
    5.1.2   Suggestions to Increase the Use of Tools.................14
    5.1.3   Suggestions to Improve Training..........................14
    5.1.4   Suggestions to Increase WG Chair Communication...........15
    5.1.5   Suggestions to Improve Maintenance of Standards..........15
    5.2     Longer-term Improvements.................................15
    5.2.1   IETF Improvement Working Group...........................15
    5.2.1.2 Working Group Oversight and Management...................16
    6       Conclusion...............................................17
    7       Security Considerations..................................17
    8       Normative References.....................................18
    9       Informative References...................................18
    10      Acknowledgements.........................................18
    11      Editor's Contact Information.............................19
    12      Appendix A:  Suggested Charter for the Improvement WG....19
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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 1  Introduction
 
    This document suggests processes to address several problems facing
    the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) that have been described
    in the IETF Problem Statement [IETFPROB].
 
    This document begins with a short discussion of the purpose and
    core values of the IETF, and it offers a reminder of the many good
    things about the IETF that we donÆt want to lose in the process of
    solving our problems.
 
    We then decompose each of the problems described in the problem
    statement into a few areas for improvement, and organize those
    areas for improvement into two categories:
 
         - Areas that can be addressed in the near-term, via discrete,
           minimally disruptive changes or improvements.
         - Areas that would require longer-term efforts to address,
           such as fundamental changes to our organizational structure
           or standards-track processes.
 
    It is suggested that the IETF work on these two classes of
    improvements in parallel, so that we can enjoy some near-term
    benefits while more fundamental, longer-term improvements are being
    carefully considered and executed.
 
    Concrete suggestions are included for how we can begin or continue
    work on near-term improvements.
 
    The document then offers recommendations for how to initiate,
    organize and manage our longer-term improvement effort.
 
 2  IETF Purpose and Core Values
 
    As we consider how to address the problems with the IETF processes
    and organizational structure, it is important to keep in mind the
    things about the IETF that we don't want to change -- our sense of
    purpose, and the core values that give the IETF its unique
    identity.
 
    It is not the role of the Problem Statement Working Group (WG) to
    document IETF consensus regarding the purpose and core values of
    the IETF -- that role is recommended for a future WG.  However, the
    words of our past and present leaders may help to set the right
    tone for this effort.
 
    The IETF has a rich history and tradition, full of memorable quotes
    that capture our spirit and values.  Two of the most memorable are:
 
        "We reject kings, presidents and voting.  We believe in rough
        consensus and running code." -- Dave Clark
 
        "Be conservative in what you send, liberal in what you accept."
        -- Jon Postel
 
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    At two IESG plenary meetings in 2002, the chair of the IETF, Harald
    Alvestrand, presented his view of the purpose and core values of
    the IETF. These presentations may serve as a useful basis for
    focusing on our mission and core values.
 
    At the IESG plenary in London in July 2002, it was stated that the
    purpose of the IETF is to "produce high quality, relevant, and
    timely technical standards for the Internet".  Our organizational
    structure and processes should be judged by how well they help us
    to achieve that mission.
 
    At the following IESG plenary in Atlanta, Georgia in November 2002,
    five core values were presented [COREVAL]:
 
    "Cares for the Internet"
 
    As its name implies, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
    focuses on Internet-related activities.  We care about the
    Internet, and our standards work and operational activities are
    intended to improve the utility, scalability and availability of
    the Internet.
 
    The Internet isn't value-neutral, and neither is the IETF.  We want
    the Internet to be useful for communities that share our commitment
    to openness and fairness.  We embrace technical concepts such as
    decentralized control, edge-user empowerment and sharing of
    resources, because those concepts resonate with the core values of
    the IETF community. These concepts have little to do with the
    technology that's possible, and much to do with the technology that
    we choose to create.
 
    The IETF community also cares about making the Internet model a
    viable business proposition.  People who choose to offer Internet
    products and services that fit with our core values should be able
    to do so with maximum benefit and minimum amount of fuss.
 
    The IETF community wants the Internet to succeed because we believe
    that the existence of the Internet, and its influence on economics,
    communication and education, will help us to build a better human
    society.
 
    "Technically Competent"
 
    We pride ourselves on our technical competence, and our processes
    are intended to ensure the high technical quality and utility of
    our standards and other documents.
 
    "Open Process"
 
    Openness is a core attribute of the IETF. Our standards and other
    documents are developed in an open process, which allows us to
    achieve wide input and review.
 
 
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    Anyone can participate in defining Internet standards in the IETF.
    We do not require corporate membership. We make final decisions on
    mailing lists, not at face-to-face meetings, so anyone with
    Internet access can contribute. All IETF documents are freely
    available, whether they are active working documents or finished
    specifications.  Individuals as well as working groups may submit
    Internet-Drafts for consideration as Internet standards.
 
    "Volunteer Core"
 
    With some honorable exceptions, the IETF community consists of
    people who are employed elsewhere, and much of our IETF work is
    directly related to the business of our employers.  However, many
    of us take on additional roles in the IETF, beyond those directly
    sponsored by our employers.  We participate in the IETF as
    individuals, because we want to work for the good of the Internet
    community and its inhabitants.
 
    The IETF community is committed to the continued success of the
    Internet, not to the continued success of the IETF itself.
    IETF is only worthwhile if it can effectively produce high quality,
    relevant standards that benefit the Internet.
 
    Openness and individual participation are both parts of an
    interlocking structure that is the strength of the IETF.  The
    openness permits all segments of the Internet community to
    participate, without demanding that they meet any qualifying
    criteria, such as belonging to a member company.  The individual
    participation allows us to focus on a wider set of "success
    criteria" than the health and well-being of our individual
    employers.
 
    Ultimately there is no conflict between the volunteer nature of the
    IETF and employer-sponsored participation, because we believe that
    the long-term survival and growth of the Internet benefits
    ourselves, our societies and our employers.
 
    "Rough Consensus and Running Code"
 
    It is an inherent part of the IETF culture that we base our
    decision making on rough consensus of the community, developed
    through open discussion.
 
    We also value running code as an indication of specification
    quality and completeness, and we require interoperable
    implementations for promotion in the standards process.
 
 2.1 Non-Core Values
 
    Understanding our core values will also help us to understand the
    long-standing features of the IETF that we can change without
    compromising our values or sacrificing our unique identity.
 
 
 
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    During the November 2002 IESG Plenary, Harald Alvestrand also
    presented the following "non-core values" [COREVAL]:
 
         - The division into WGs and Areas
         - The three-step standards process
         - The ASCII format for RFCs and I-Ds
         - The format of IETF meetings
         - The structure of WG mailing lists
         - The powers of the IESG and IAB
 
    These things were designed to help us achieve our goals in a way
    that is consistent with our core values.  If they are no longer
    effective, we can and should change them.
 
 3  Building on our Success
 
    While focusing on our operational problems, we shouldn't forget
    that the IETF is a very successful organization.  We are
    responsible for some of the most widely used communications
    standards in the world, and we have contributed to the creation and
    growth of the Internet, one of the greatest technical and social
    achievements of our time.
 
    It is important to consider that:
 
         - Good times hide problems;
         - Bad times hide successes.
 
    In good times, it is easy to succeed despite operational
    inefficiencies, so organizations tend to ignore operational
    problems and focus on their success.  In bad times, organizations
    can become overly critical of their own structure and processes,
    blaming the organization for problems that are actually caused by
    outside forces.
 
    We are currently suffering difficult times in the IETF and
    throughout the communications industry.  The IETF should be careful
    not to unjustly blame our own organizational structure or processes
    for the effects of industry-wide changes such as:
 
         - Economic issues in the global communications industry, which
           are causing increased scrutiny regarding expenses and
           return-on-investment.  These same factors are causing job
           changes and uncertainty for many IETF participants.
         - The commercialization of the Internet, which has drastically
           increased the financial impacts of standardization.
         - The convergence of the datacom and telecom sectors of the
           communications industry, which has led to an influx of
           experienced people into the IETF with a different culture
           and industry perspective.
 
    Although it is important to recognize and correct the serious
    organizational problems currently facing the IETF, many of these
    problems have existed for years, and the IETF has been successful
 
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    in spite of these issues.  We should not overreact to these issues
    with sweeping revolutionary changes to the IETF structure and
    processes.  Instead, we should focus on developing a culture of
    continuous operational improvement through which we can evolve our
    organizational structure and processes to make them more scalable
    and effective. We should take this opportunity to develop the
    mechanisms and processes that we can use to continually monitor and
    improve our organizational effectiveness, both in good times and
    bad times.
 
    The IETF currently has a large amount of valuable work underway,
    and care should be taken not to disrupt or delay that work while we
    address our organizational problems.
 
    The IETF is also fortunate to have a large number of extremely
    talented and dedicated individuals that serve in formal and
    informal leadership roles throughout the organization.  We should
    be careful not to alienate or disenfranchise our leaders and key
    contributors while making organizational or process changes.
 
 4  Problem Decomposition
 
    The problem statement document lists seven root cause problems
    currently facing the IETF:
 
         - Participants in the IETF do not share a common understanding
           of its mission;
         - The IETF does not consistently use effective engineering
           practices;
         - The IETF has difficulty handling large and/or complex
           problems;
         - Three stage standards hierarchy not properly utilized;
         - The IETF's workload exceeds the number of fully engaged
           participants;
         - The IETF management structure is not matched to the current
           size and complexity of the IETF;
         - Working group practices can make issue closure difficult;
           and
         - IETF participants and leaders are inadequately prepared for
           their roles.
 
    Each of these problems can be decomposed into several areas for
    improvement, some of which can be addressed in the near-term while
    others require longer-term consideration.
 
    It is also important to note that the problem statement lists
    problems that have been reported by some members of the IETF.
    Although all of these problems are believed to exist, not all of
    these problems are present in all parts of the IETF, and some of
    these problems may in fact be symptoms of other problems.
 
 
 
 
 
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 4.1 Decomposition of Mission Problem
 
    In order to determine the best organization and processes for the
    IETF to fulfill its mission and achieve its goals, we need to reach
    a common understanding of the mission and goals of the IETF.
    Although it should be possible to understand the mission and goals
    of the IETF with no disruption to our current processes, it would
    be most valuable as part of a longer-term effort to align the
    organization and priorities of the IETF with its mission.
 
    As part of understanding our mission, the IETF will need to
    identify our stakeholders and understand how we serve them.  We
    will need to define the scope of the IETF, so that it is possible
    to determine what is in-scope and out-of-scope for the
    organization.  We will also need to define our goals and
    priorities, and learn how to recognize and measure our own progress
    and success.
 
    Once we reach consensus on the mission and goals of the IETF, we
    should develop educational programs or resources to expose new
    participants to these principles, so that they can be quickly
    acclimated to the IETF culture.
 
 4.2 Decomposition of the Engineering Practices Problem
 
    The IETF lacks effective engineering practices in four major areas:
 
         1. Failure to clearly define the scope of the work, engineering
            trade-offs and acceptance criteria for each project.
         2. Lack of effective mechanisms for issue tracking and/or
            document change control.
         3. Lack of effective processes to ensure quality throughout the
            development of IETF work items, such as intermediate
            acceptance criteria or formal review processes.
         4. Sufficient focus on milestones, and recognition or rewards
            for individuals or groups that achieve timely, high quality
            execution.
 
    Some of these areas (issue tracking and revision control) would
    require that tools are made available to WG chairs and editors, and
    that IETF participants (at various levels) are educated in how to
    use them.
 
    The other areas concern the formation and process management of
    IETF WGs, and would require documentation and adoption of effective
    engineering processes within IETF WGs.
 
 4.3 Decomposition of the Complex Problems Problem
 
    The IETF has effective mechanisms for dealing with well-defined
    problems of limited scope.  These problems are well handled in IETF
    WGs, where experts in a given technology can convene and solve the
    problems specific to one technology area.  However, we are much
 
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    less effective at resolving complex problems that affect more than
    one IETF WG or area.
 
    Today most communication between WG chairs, especially across area
    boundaries, goes through the IESG.  Some inter-WG or inter-area
    communication problems could be alleviated by greater communication
    and coordination directly between the chairs of related WGs. There
    are some near-term efforts underway that are intended to increase
    communication between WG chairs.
 
    Other complex problems involve higher-level issues, such as unified
    architecture or highly-coordinated multi-area efforts. As part of
    any IETF reorganization, we should consider management structures
    that will allow us to achieve a better focus on architectural and
    cross-area issues.
 
 4.4 Decomposition Standards Hierarchy Problem
 
    There are several problems with the IETF's three-step standards
    process.  These problems can be grouped as follows:
 
         - The three standards-track steps are not used effectively
           within the IETF.
         - The IETF standards-track is not well understood by the users
           of IETF standards.
         - The current standards process does not make it easy for
           users to locate a set of related documents, such as an
           architectural framework and associated protocols.
         - The IETF does not have an effective way to maintain IETF
           standards.
 
    Major changes to the standards-track should only be considered as
    part of a longer-term process that includes an understanding of our
    mission and goals.
 
    However, there may be near-term changes that we could make to
    better maintain current IETF standards, or to make them more
    accessible to users.
 
    [OPEN ISSUE: Is this the correct balance between near-term and
    long-term changes to the standards-track?  Or could we consider
    changes to the three-step process (i.e. to make it a two-step
    process) in the near-term?]
 
 4.5 Decomposition of the Engagement Problem
 
    The engagement problem can be decomposed into three primary issues:
 
         - Some WGs do not have sufficient participation, and WG
           documents are often produced by very small groups of people,
           perhaps with limited expertise in some relevant areas.
         - WG documents are not adequately reviewed by people outside
           of the originating WG.
 
 
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         - People lose interest in longer-lived WGs, especially when
           protocols take a very long time to develop.
 
    When too few people, or people representing too few areas of
    expertise, review WG documents this can result in poor quality
    output.  We need to find ways to increase the effectiveness of
    document review at all levels.
 
    Quality processes based entirely on a gatekeeper at the end,
    whether that gatekeeper is the IESG or a WG review board, tend to
    result in a lower focus on quality by other participants.  So, it
    is likely that instituting better quality processes throughout
    document development, including acceptance criteria and review at
    several stages, would increase the focus of WG participants on
    document quality.
 
    When the interest of document editors or key contributors starts to
    flag, this can cause serious problems for a WG.  This most often
    happens when WGs are floundering, or when charters are so loose
    that WGs lose focus.  It also happens when WG documents get delayed
    in AD review and/or IESG review for long periods with little
    feedback, or when the WG lacks consensus to progress its documents.
    Improvements to our processes for chartering, tracking or managing
    WGs could help to alleviate many of these problems.  Training for
    WG chairs in how to manage difficult situations and disruptive
    contributors might help, as well.
 
    We also need to better understand what motivates people to become
    deeply engaged in the IETF and to remain engaged.  It is possible
    that expanding the number of formal leadership positions and/or
    coming up with more effective ways to acknowledge our top technical
    contributors could encourage more people to become, and remain,
    deeply engaged in IETF
 
 4.6 Decomposition of the Management Scaling Problem
 
    There are several issues grouped into the concept that the
    management structure of the IETF is not well matched to the size
    and complexity of the organization.  One or two of these problems
    might be addressed by near-term solutions, but resolving the
    primary problem will require some type of IETF reorganization.
 
    There are four major areas for improvement that are grouped under
    this problem:
 
         - The current organization of the IETF does not scale.  IESG
           members are running too many WGs, reviewing too many
           documents, etc.  Most IESG members have dozens of direct
           reports (WG chairs, directorate members, etc.).  In its
           current form, there are very few people who could do a good
           job as an IESG member, and the huge time commitment and
           responsibilities of this role make it very difficult to find
           qualified people who are willing to serve on the IESG.
         - Current IESG members and other IETF leaders are overloaded.
 
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         - The IETF selection processes have tended to select leaders
           (IESG, IAB and WG chairs) from the same small pool of
           people.  The IETF needs to identify and develop additional
           leadership, and to delegate real authority and influence to
           a larger group.
         - The IETF is not effective at identifying and developing new
           leaders, and we lack sufficient recognition for the
           contributions of IETF participants.
         - One or two IESG members can block WG documents indefinitely
           (in AD review or IESG review).
 
    Some level of IETF reorganization is needed to improve in the first
    two areas. This should be undertaken as part of the longer-term
    improvement effort.
 
    In parallel with a longer-term IETF reorganization, however, some
    relief could be achieved by modifying IESG internal processes to
    remove the potential for one or two IESG members to indefinitely
    delay a WG document, either on purpose or due to work overload.
    The I-D tracker has already resulted in some improvement in this
    area, as it has created visibility regarding how and why a document
    is being delayed, but it may not have resolved all of the issues in
    this area.
 
    The IESG may also be able to take near-term steps, with community
    visibility and agreement, to transfer or delegate more work to WG
    chairs, to directorates, to the IAB, or to other to people in
    formal or informal leadership positions.  If additional leadership
    positions are needed for this purpose, the IESG should consider
    creating them.
 
    The IESG could also help to expand the leadership pool of the IETF
    by actively seeking interested and qualified people for leadership
    positions, and by using more open processes for the selection of WG
    chairs and other influential positions.
 
 4.7 Decomposition of the Working Group Practices Problem
 
    Although "rough consensus" is considered a core value of the IETF,
    consensus-based decision making works best in smaller groups with a
    common viewpoint and common goals.  Somehow we need to resolve the
    apparent conflict between our core values regarding rough
    consensus, and our desire to be an effective organization with
    several thousand participants.
 
    Although consensus-based decision making has some inherent issues,
    there are some problems in the IETF that exacerbate these issues:
 
         - WG chairs may lack the skills and training to deal with
           common behavior problems that undermine or prevent
           consensus.
         - IETF participants are often unaware of how the IETF
           decision-making processes are intended to work.
 
 
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         - WG chairs and participants often lack good conflict
           resolution skills.
 
    Each of these issues could be addressed through training or other
    educational resources.
 
 4.8 Decomposition of the Preparedness Problem
 
    The IETF could benefit from training and educational resources that
    increase the preparedness of IETF participants and leaders at all
    levels.
 
    The IETF currently has formal training programs for new attendees
    and for new working group chairs.  However, our current training
    programs could use some improvement.  There are also several other
    groups who could benefit from training or other forms of
    development (web tutorials, on-line resources, references,
    mentoring, etc.), including continuing attendees, experienced WG
    chairs, document editors and IESG members.
 
    There is an effort underway to improve the IETF's internal
    education programs, and we recommend that it be continued.
 
 5  Process Recommendations
 
    It is the overall recommendation of this document that we pursue
    near-term improvements to resolve IETF problems in parallel with a
    longer-term effort to reorganize the IETF and improve our standards
    processes.  None of the efforts suggested in this document should
    be blocked pending the completion and publication of this document.
    Ongoing efforts should continue, and new efforts should start as
    soon as there is IETF consensus that they are worthwhile.
 
    In our improvement processes, we should attempt to focus our near-
    term improvements on areas that are less likely to be substantially
    modified by our longer-term efforts, thus minimizing the likelihood
    of making our own efforts obsolete.
 
 5.1 Near-Term Improvements
 
    Many of the problems currently facing the IETF can be resolved, or
    mitigated, through near-term improvements to our current IETF
    organization and processes.  Many of these near-term improvements
    are completely separable, and there is no reason to aggregate these
    efforts into a single IETF WG.  It is also unnecessary that all of
    these changes be directed by the (already overworked) IESG.
 
    However, in order to prevent the chaos and confusion that could be
    caused by trying to change everything at once, it is recommended
    that we choose a few high priority areas for improvement and focus
    on making improvements in those areas.
 
    In choosing which areas to pursue first, we should consider the
    following criteria:
 
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         - We should address our most urgent, important problems.
         - The areas chosen should be cleanly separable, to allow
           multiple improvements to be carried out in parallel with
           minimal interference.
         - We should maximize the benefit vs. the cost of making the
           improvements (i.e. look for low hanging fruit).
         - As much as possible, we should focus on improvements that
           are less likely to be completely invalidated by a longer-
           term reorganization of our management structure.  This might
           be accomplished by focusing on improvements at the WG and
           participant levels, rather than at the IESG/IAB level.
 
    In the sections above, we have identified several areas that could
    benefit from near-term improvements, including:
 
         1. Improve WG quality processes and the effectiveness of
            document reviews at all levels.
 
         2. Increase the availability and use of issue tracking and
            document sharing/revision control software in the IETF.
 
         3. Improve training and resources for IETF leaders and
            participants at all levels.
 
         4. Improved communication between WG chairs to identify and
            resolve inter-WG and inter-area problems.
 
         5. Consider IETF processes or structures to better maintain
            IETF standards.
 
         6. Modify IESG-internal processes to make it impossible for one
            or two IESG members to indefinitely delay a document.
 
         7. Modify IESG processes to delegate more responsibility to WG
            chairs, to directorates, to the IAB or to people in other
            formal or informal leadership positions.
 
         8. Modify the WG chair selection processes to widen the group
            of people considered, and consider ways to develop more
            leaders for the IETF.
 
         9. Initiate regular AD review of WG milestones and progress.
 
    Applying the criteria outlined above, it would make the most sense
    to address areas 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 through immediate short-term
    efforts.  These are high-priority issues, they are sufficiently
    separable to be pursued in parallel, they place minimal additional
    burden on the IESG, and they are the least likely to be affected by
    an IESG/IAB-level reorganization of the IETF, or by subsequent
    changes to the standards-track document process. Specific
    recommendations for how to proceed in each of these areas are made
    in the following sections.
 
 
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    The IESG should consider internal changes to address areas 6, 7 and
    8.  Area 9 would require a substantial time commitment from IESG
    members, so it is not suggested that near-term improvements be
    pursued in this area, unless the IESG believes that the near-term
    benefits would justify the effort.
 
 5.1.1   Suggestions to Improve WG Quality Processes
 
    A working group should be formed in the General Area of the IETF to
    make improvements to the WG quality processes, including: The WG
    (re-)chartering process, the quality processes used by IETF WGs,
    and the effectiveness of IETF reviews at all levels.  It should be
    the goal of this WG to improve the quality and timeliness of WG
    work output.  This WG would be chartered to resolve the non-tools-
    related portions of the Engineering Practices problem (section 4.2)
    the WG-related portions of the Engagement Problem (section 4.5),
    and the non-training-related portions of the WG Practices problem
    (section 4.7).
 
    A great deal of efficiency and synergy can be achieved by adopting
    common processes throughout an organization.  However, it is a
    strength of the IETF that WG chairs are given a great deal of
    latitude to choose their own processes and tools, based on the size
    and nature of their WGs.  So, in general, processes and tools
    should be made available to WGs and WG chairs, not forced upon
    them.
 
 5.1.2   Suggestions to Increase the Use of Tools
 
    Ideally, the proliferation of tools within the IETF would be
    accomplished via grass-roots efforts, organized by participants
    within the IETF.  One example of this type of effort is the recent
    adoption of Jabber for use during IETF meetings.
 
    However, it is also possible that the IESG could designate
    functional leaders for specific tools-related efforts and support
    those leaders in organizing those efforts.  It also might be
    helpful for the IETF to set-aside some technical and systems
    resources, to make useful tools available to WGs and participants
    throughout the IETF.
 
    These efforts should resolve the tools-related portions of the
    Engineering Practices problem (section 4.2).
 
 5.1.3   Suggestions to Improve Training
 
    The current WG chairs and newcomer's training efforts should be
    continued and expanded as possible to cover training for other
    groups.  This effort is expected to address the Preparedness
    problem (section 4.8), and the training-related portions of the
    Mission Problem (section 4.1) and the WG Practices problem (section
    4.7).
 
 
 
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 5.1.4   Suggestions to Increase WG Chair Communication
 
    Some efforts are already underway to allow WG chairs to meet each
    other, and to given them opportunities to establish communication
    channels.  These efforts include WG chair socials and training
    sessions for experienced WG chairs.  These efforts should be
    continued.
 
    The IESG could help to promote chair-to-chair communication by
    encouraging direct communication between WG chairs when multi-WG
    issues arise.
 
    However, most of the responsibility for establishing effective
    chair-to-chair communications channels lies with the individual WG
    chairs.  We should stop relying on the IESG to resolve inter-WG
    issues, and start communicating with each other directly regarding
    inter-WG issues.
 
    These efforts may help to alleviate the Complex Problems problem
    (section 4.3), although a comprehensive solution to that problem
    would probably require some changes to the IETF management
    structures.
 
 5.1.5   Suggestions to Improve Maintenance of Standards
 
    The IETF should consider proposals to improve the way that IETF
    standards are maintained.  It might be possible for the IESG to
    document and implement a mechanism to maintain IETF standards
    without the need for a WG to enact this change.
 
    This effort should address the maintenance-related portions of the
    Standards Hierarchy problem (section 4.4).
 
 5.2 Longer-term Improvements
 
    There are two major areas where we should consider longer-term
    efforts to improve the IETF:
 
         - Organizational structure
         - IETF standards-track process
 
    These two areas cannot be completely decoupled, as the roles and
    responsibilities of the IETF leadership are largely defined in
    terms of the standards process, and vice versa.  Also, the
    standards-track process and the roles of IETF leadership are both
    largely defined within the same documents (RFC 2026 and RFC 2418).
 
    Therefore, a new organizational structure and any required changes
    to the standards-track process should be determined and enacted by
    a single WG, called the IETF Improvement WG (improve).  The WG is
    encouraged to work on these issues in parallel, where possible.
 
 5.2.1   IETF Improvement Working Group
 
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    An IETF Improvement WG should be formed to resolve the Mission
    Problem (section 4.1), the Complex Problems problem (section 4.3),
    the Standards Hierarchy problem (section 4.4), the Management
    Scaling problem (section 4.6), and the longer-term portions of the
    Engagement Problem (section 4.5)
 
    This group should be empowered to make changes to the Internet
    Standards Process [RFC2026], The IETF WG Guidelines [RFC2418], the
    Nominations Committee process [RFC2727] and the charters of the
    IESG and IAB [IESG-CH, RFC2850], as needed to correct the problems
    with our current organization and standards track processes.
    However, the group should not make any changes in these areas until
    the goals and potential impacts of those changes have been
    carefully analyzed.
 
 5.2.1.1 Working Group Charter and Deliverables
 
    The IETF Improvement WG will focus on three areas:
 
       - Reaching community consensus on the mission, core values,
         scope and goals of the IETF.
       - Improving the scalability and effectiveness of the IETF's
         management structure.
       - Improving the utility of the IETF's standards track document
         processes.
 
    This WG will follow a two-phase process.
 
    In the first phase, the WG will undertake an effort to reach
    community consensus regarding the mission, core values, scope and
    goals of the IETF. During this phase, we will also learn how to
    recognize and measure the success of the IETF, and we will generate
    performance baselines that can be used to evaluate later changes.
 
    In the second phase, the WG will determine what changes, if any,
    are required to the organizational structure and standards-track
    processes of the IETF to enable us to efficiently and effectively
    achieve our mission and meet our goals, while remaining consistent
    with our core values.  Phase Two tasks will not be started until
    the deliverables for Phase One have been completed by the WG and
    submitted for publication.
 
    [OPEN ISSUE: Do we really want the Phase Two tasks to wait until
    after Phase One is completed? Or can work on these phases proceed
    in parallel?]
 
    A proposed charter for the IETF Improvement WG can be found in
    Appendix A.
 
 5.2.1.2 Working Group Oversight and Management
 
    The IETF Improvement WG should be managed by the WG chair(s), using
    standard IETF practices and procedures, as defined in RFCs 2026 and
    2418 [RFC2026, RFC2418].  In keeping with current IETF processes,
 
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    the chair(s) of this WG will be chosen and managed by the General
    Area Director (AD).  It is recommended that the General AD employ a
    selection process that allows for community visibility and input,
    similar to the process that was used to choose the chairs of the
    Problem Statement WG.
 
    To ensure that there is community consensus regarding the charter
    of this WG, the charter for the IETF Improvement WG will be
    developed within the Problem Statement WG and included in the final
    version of this document.
 
    We recommend that the IETF WG and document processes defined in
    RFCs 2418 and 2026 [RFC2418, RFC2026] be used for the oversight of
    the IETF Improvement WG.
 
    In particular:
 
         - The WG should be formed in the General Area of the IETF,
           with the General AD serving as the "responsible AD".
         - The documents produced by this WG should be submitted to the
           IESG for approval and publication, according to the usual
           IETF processes.
         - Any process documents that are produced by this group and
           approved by the IESG will be reviewed by the ISOC Board of
           Trustees, using the processes established for previous IETF
           process updates.
         - If necessary, any appeals based on the processes or output
           of this WG would be handled according to the appeals
           procedures defined in RFCs 2418 and 2026.
 
 6  Conclusion
 
    The IETF has problems, and we need to work to solve those problems,
    both via focused near-term improvements and via a longer-term
    effort to build an IETF organizational structure and processes that
    can better handle our current size and complexity.
 
    However, the IETF is also an effective organization with a long
    tradition of excellence, and core values that we donÆt want to
    compromise in the course of improving our organization and
    processes. So, any major changes undertaken in the IETF should
    include an articulation of the IETF's mission and our core values,
    so that we can ensure that we build an organization that can carry
    out our mission in harmony with our core values.
 
    Working together, we can resolve the problems currently facing the
    IETF and make the IETF an even more effective, successful and fun
    place to work.
 
 7   Security Considerations
 
    This document contains suggestions for processes that the IETF
    could use to resolve process-related and organizational problems
    with the IETF.  Although the structure and quality of the IETF's
 
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    processes may have an affect on the quality of the IETF's security-
    related work, there are no specific security-related issues raised
    in this document.
 
 8   Normative References
 
    [IETFPROB]
         E. Davies (ed.), "IETF Problem Statement", draft-ietf-problem-
         issue-statement-02.txt, June 2003
 
    [RFC2026]
         S. Bradner, "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision 3",
         RFC 2026, BCP9, October 1996
 
    [RFC2418]
         S. Bradner, "IETF Working Group Guidelines and Procedures",
         RFC 2418, BCP 25, September 1998
 
 9   Informative References
 
    [RFC2727]
         J. Galvin, "IAB and IESG Selection, Confirmation, and Recall
         Process: Operation of the Nominating and Recall Committees",
         RFC 2727, BCP 10, February 2000
 
    [IESG-CH]
         H. Alvestrand, "An IESG charter", draft-iesg-charter-03.txt,
         April 2003
 
    [RFC2850]
         B. Carpenter, Ed. "Charter of the Internet Architecture Board
         (IAB)", RFC 2850, BCP 39, May 2000
 
    [COREVAL]
    http://www.ietf.org/proceedings/02nov/slides/plenary-2/sld4.htm
 
    [DOCTRN]
    http://www.ietf.org/proceedings/01dec/slides/plenary-3/index.html
 
 10 Acknowledgements
 
    The contents of this document were greatly influenced by members of
    the Problem Statement WG editorial team: Avri Doria, Dave Crocker,
    Elwyn Davies, Jeanette Hofmann, Melinda Shore, Rob Austein and
    Spencer Dawkins.
 
    In addition to the editorial team, the following people have
    provided useful feedback on earlier versions of this document:
    Harald Alvestrand, Randy Bush, Brian Carpenter, Leslie Daigle,
    James Kempf, John Klensin, John Loughney, Keith Moore.
 
    The initial text for the core values section is largely based on
    presentations and e-mail messages authored by Harald Alvestrand.
 
 
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    "Good times hide problems; Bad times hide successes" is taken from
    a presentation by Tom St. Dennis, the former President and CEO of
    Wind River.
 
 11  Editor's Contact Information
 
    Comments or questions regarding this document should be sent to:
 
    Margaret Wasserman
    Wind River
    10 Tara Blvd., Suite 330             Phone:  (603) 897-2067
    Nashua, NH  03062  USA               Email:  mrw@windriver.com
 
 12 Appendix A:  Suggested Charter for the Improvement WG
 
    IETF Improvement Working Group (improve)
 
    Chair(s): TBD, as described above.
 
    Area Director(s): TBD, as described above.
 
    Mailing List: TBD
 
    DESCRIPTION:
 
    The IETF Improvement WG is chartered to make improvements to the
    management structure and processes of the IETF to address the
    fundamental organizational and process problems described in the
    IETF Problem Statement (RFC XXXX), according to the process
    described in the IETF Problem Resolution Process (RFC XXXX).
 
    The IETF Improvement WG will focus on two areas:
 
         - Improving the scalability and effectiveness of the IETF's
           organizational structure.
         - Improving the timeliness and utility of the IETF's standards
           track document processes.
 
    This WG will follow a two-phase process.  Phase two tasks will not
    be started until the deliverables for Phase One have been completed
    by the WG and submitted for publication.
 
    Phase One: Understanding our Core Values and Mission
 
    In this phase, the WG will articulate and document the core values,
    mission, scope and goals of the IETF.  We will also learn how to
    recognize and measure the success of the IETF, and generate
    performance baselines that can be used to assess the success of
    later changes.
 
    The deliverables for Phase One include:
 
 
 
 
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         - A document describing the core values of the IETF that
           should not be compromised as a result of any reorganization
           or process changes.
         - A document describing the mission, scope and goals of the
           IETF.
         - A document describing how the IETF can recognize and measure
           our own success.
         - A set of performance baselines that characterize the recent
           performance of the IETF in achieving our mission and meeting
           and our goals.
 
    The output of Phase One will provide a framework that can be used
    to determine what improvements, if any, we should make to our
    organizational structure and standards track processes. It will
    also give us a means to understand and measure the success of any
    improvements that we do choose to implement.
 
    Phase Two: Organizing to Achieve our Mission and Goals without
    Compromising Our Core Values
 
    In this phase, the WG will document whatever improvements are
    needed to the IETF organization and processes to allow us to
    effectively achieve our mission and goals without compromising our
    core values.
 
    In this phase, the WG will:
 
         - Determine how the WG will identify, plan and execute any
           necessary improvements;
         - Solicit possible improvements from the community, and scour
           the problem-statement and solutions mailing lists for
           proposed improvements.
         - Evaluate, scope and prioritize a set of improvements
           designed to increase the effectiveness of the IETF's
           organizational structure and standards track processes;
         - Implement the improvements (most likely by publishing BCP
           RFCs); and
         - After a suitable time, reapply the metrics developed in
           Phase One to determine if the improvements have been
           successful.
 
    Goals and Milestones: TBD
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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