Re: Quality of Directorate reviews

Michael Richardson <> Wed, 06 November 2019 16:54 UTC

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From: Michael Richardson <>
Subject: Re: Quality of Directorate reviews
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Date: Wed, 06 Nov 2019 11:54:20 -0500
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Keith Moore <> wrote:
    >> WGs that regularly don't produce high quality work, perhaps, should
    >> not be supported in the IETF?

    > IMO most WGs should have a short (2-3 years) lifetime.   So by the time it's
    > clear that they do or don't produce high-quality work, it's time for them to
    > be winding down anyway.

I would like to amend this.  WGs should have a short (1-2) year iteration time.
That is, time from milestone being added to the charter to IESG Publication as PS.
I really think that WGs need to remain in existence longer in order to deal
with errata, to look at interop results, write operational documents, and
promote to IS.
That doesn't mean they have to meet in person very often, in fact, I would
discourage that.  There does have to be a venue for new people to join and
get to meet the existing people.  We need that kind of social interaction to
form cohesion, and to renew our energy and enthusiasm.
(Insert image of old-timer drinking blood of newbies...)


Notice how milestones today say, "Submit Document to IESG for Publication",
and that's all for the WG.  But, it's just the beginning.

There could be four to eight months of IESG level review that follows, which the
WG has no control over.

Let me put this another way, as this started with dearth of candidates to NOMCOM.
The list of AD candidates is effectively limited to the current list of WG chairs.
(I've said this before, multiple times)

WG chairs that aren't actively engaged with their WG and the authors to get
at good result that passes external review and AD review easily aren't going
to have time/energy/ability to be good ADs... yet...

Our mistake, however, is that having picked good WGs chairs to become ADs, we
basically Peter-principle them, removing them from what they are good at, and
ask them now to: *manage* and *mentor* new WGs chairs to be their successors.

Since most of the ADs were awesome WG chairs, it's hardly surprising that
they revert to what they were good at, and basically just take on the WG
chair responsability for document quality.

Afterall: that's the skill that they demonstrated so well that it got them "promoted".

Michael Richardson <>ca>, Sandelman Software Works
 -= IPv6 IoT consulting =-