Re: Agenda experiment for IETF 103 in November in Bangkok

Alissa Cooper <> Wed, 16 May 2018 18:59 UTC

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From: Alissa Cooper <>
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Subject: Re: Agenda experiment for IETF 103 in November in Bangkok
Date: Wed, 16 May 2018 14:59:42 -0400
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Thanks all for the feedback thus far. I have a few personal observations to share (not sure if the rest of the IESG would agree with these or not).

It is indeed difficult to experiment with both the shortened week and more unstructured time at once without changing up the agenda too drastically. Personally I had been in favor of experimenting with just ending the meeting on Thursday evening, but the feeling in the IESG was that there would be certain groups of people who might take advantage of the ability to schedule ad hoc meetings on the Friday. This is easy enough to experiment with, so it will be interesting to see what happens (and also interesting to see if there is a slippery slope that extends into Thursday as Christer described). We also discussed future experiments with unstructured time mid-week and we’re working on agenda proposals of that sort, so I hope this can be viewed as the beginning of the experimentation, not the end.

There are a few different vectors for enforcing “agenda discipline,” so to speak. This proposal focuses on the length of WG sessions and will involve some days running longer than they have in the past (to the point about “cramming” more sessions in). But certainly focusing on the number of WG sessions is also possible independently or together with reduction in session lengths. This has come up before and could be fodder for future experiments.

Regarding the hackathon timing, one trend we’ve observed is that we have people who live near enough to the meeting site that they are able to join the hackathon precisely because it is on the weekend and does not interfere with work or school time. These folks tend to be new(er) to the IETF (and the hackathon) so this provides them with some valuable exposure and cross-pollination with the IETF crowd without requiring extensive travel and time away from day job. This isn’t a reason to never move it to different days but was one reason to keep it where it is while we experiment with other changes. 

Understanding how attendees feel about conflicts would indeed be useful, altough I suspect generic feedback (“I keep having to miss 5 WGs where I’m a contributor due to conflicts”) would be more helpful than specific feedback about particular WG clashes at a particular meeting, since there will always be some conflicts for some people as long as we have multiple WG meetings scheduled at once in the agenda. We can think about how to incorporate a question in the post-meeting survey.


> On May 11, 2018, at 9:07 AM, IETF Chair <> wrote:
> The IESG will experiment with a new agenda structure at IETF 103. We will be running working group meetings Monday to Thursday, November 5-8, only. There will be no working group meetings on Friday, November 9. A variety of facilities will be available for ad hoc meetings on Friday, including some breakout rooms available until 13:30 and the Code Lounge until 15:00. Participants will be able to sign up to use ad hoc meeting space on Friday starting when we open up WG scheduling for IETF 103. 
> The motivations for this experiment are twofold. First, with the growth of the IETF Hackathon, the IETF meeting week is getting very long for a larger number of people. This is affecting even people who do not attend the Hackathon, because other pre-meeting events are now being scheduled prior to the Hackathon. Second, we would like to provide more unstructured time for IETF participants. Given that 20-25% of working groups typically request not to be scheduled on Friday already, we will be experimenting with more unstructured time on Friday.
> While running this experiment we will still be able to accommodate our usual number of working group scheduling requests, in part by offering a larger number of shorter slots. There will be no 2.5-hour slots in the meeting session request tool; 2 hours will be the longest slot available for sign-up. WG chairs who want a slot that is longer than 2 hours will be encouraged to check the ‘Other’ box in the list of slot lengths in the meeting request tool and explain in the text box that they would like a longer slot. We will be able to combine slots on some days and in some meeting rooms to provide longer slots for WGs that need them. (This is basically just a reversal of the current default, where WG chairs already can indicate that they are willing to split their slot with another WG). 
> We will be collecting feedback about this experiment via the meeting survey. You will also be welcome to send feedback directly to <> or by speaking with IESG members at the meeting.
> Alissa Cooper
> on behalf of the IESG