Request for feedback - IESG thoughts about new work proposals

Spencer Dawkins at IETF <> Wed, 11 October 2017 13:21 UTC

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From: Spencer Dawkins at IETF <>
Date: Wed, 11 Oct 2017 08:21:01 -0500
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Subject: Request for feedback - IESG thoughts about new work proposals
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The IESG has spent considerable time discussing how we can improve our
ability to charter new work as soon as it’s ready and ensure proposals have
the resources needed for success. We want to share our expectations about
BOF requests and new work proposals with the community because we are
interested in feedback.

We ask for feedback, either on the IETF Discussion List (so, replies to
this note are fine), or optionally, to the IESG at We would
like to put this in place soon after IETF 100.

We would like to see earlier notice about proposals for new work, and more
attention to specific work products in proposals.

*** Earlier notice to ADs about proposals for new work to enable better
support and improving chances of success

We ask that proponents provide BOF requests and proposals for new work as
early as possible so that your area directors can begin evaluating these
requests long before our coordination call with the IAB each IETF meeting

Earlier notice about new work proposals will give area directors more time
to provide direction, to involve other IETF participants with relevant
backgrounds and related interests, and to confirm whether a BOF would be
required to consider a proposal for new work.

Earlier notice about new work proposals will also give area directors more
time to request that the IAB provide BOF shepherds to help improve BOF
requests, when that is appropriate, and more time for BOF shepherds to help
to improve the BOF proposal.

The IAB's expectations are described in their statement on "IAB Member
Roles in Evaluating New Work Proposals"[1].

*** More focus on specific work products in new work proposals

The IESG has received some BOF requests that describe interesting problems
at considerable length but do not clearly identify what the BOF proponents
want the IETF to do. When that happens, we cannot approve a BOF intended to
form a working group.

In some cases, area directors might approve a non-WG-forming BOF to tease
out the details of the BOF proposal, but often that isn’t the best way
forward. However, we also want to put ideas in front of the IETF community
early in the process, in order to gauge community interest and feasibility.

The BOF Wiki at, where we collect
BOF requests for each upcoming IETF meeting cycle, will be using this

- Long name and abbreviation

- Description, including whether the BoF is intended to form a WG or not

- The responsible Area Director (AD)

- Suggested BoF Chairs (or the ADs as placeholders)

- Number of people expected to attend

- Length of session (1, 1.5, 2, or 2.5 hours)

- Conflicts to avoid (whole Areas and/or WGs)

- Links to the mailing list, draft charter if any, relevant
Internet-Drafts, etc.

Proponents are encouraged to add new entries in the BoF wiki even if they
don't have all information that the template is asking for yet. The entry
can be modified until the Cut-off date for BOF proposal requests to Area
Directors, which is available from

When writing the description, the IESG strongly encourages BOF proponents
to focus on the work that would be reflected in an approved working group
charter. What we are looking for is:

- What protocols or practices already exist in this space?

- What modifications are required for the purpose described in the BOF

- What entirely new protocols or practices must be developed?

We prefer that BOF proponents do this mapping, and gap analysis, rather
than relying on the IESG, the IAB, and the broader community. That will
help us make better decisions more quickly about approving BOFs, and to
charter new work more quickly, that produces solutions more quickly. As we
said in "Support Documents in IETF Working Groups" [2],

"In order to speed up the time period from idea to running code, the IESG
supports working groups that commence solution work early in the working
group timeline, and do not wait for completion and publication of the
support documents. When the problem scope is well understood and agreed
upon, charters focused on solutions work are extremely efficient."

Spencer Dawkins, for the IESG