Re: [rfc-i] New proposal/New SOW comment period

Sarah Banks <sbanks@encrypted.net> Thu, 05 September 2019 15:38 UTC

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From: Sarah Banks <sbanks@encrypted.net>
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Subject: Re: [rfc-i] New proposal/New SOW comment period
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Hi Mike,
	Please see inline. I'll <snip> more judiciously :)

/S

>> <snip>
>> The SOW clearly calls for a firm initial term. I believe I've also followed up since stating there might be overlap. Help me understand where the confusion is here? Have I overlooked something?
> If this contract runs concurrently with the RSE, and they are separate awards, then either there's duplication of effort, or the RSE role is greatly reduced.   If the overlap is only in the form of handover, that's useful guidance.
> 
> 
> 

SB// We'll have to address that when we get there. There's a balance between giving the person bidding some semblance of how long the initial contract would run, and balancing that against how long it'll take the community to complete its discussion. The text reflects that balance and is of course, subject to input, feedback, and comments.

>>>     b) Does the RSE regain most of the tactical stuff?
>>> 
>>> 
>> 
>> Your question assumes outcome of the community process. I have no idea what that outcome is. This is a TEMPORARY role. There's nothing to "take" away from the next RSE, should we the community choose to continue to have one. I'm being somewhat obtuse on purpose - the SOW is NOT a comment on what happens with the next RSE or the process or any of that - the SOW covers the specific work items laid out, with the ability to adjust them by mutual consent should something arise, and allow RFCs to continue flowing while we, the community, figure out what we want to do.
> Fair enough.   But I would hope that the RSOC at least have some idea - as the current group of responsible people - as to what outcome makes sense for the RSE.  The issues I (and I think others) have had is not so much with what the RSE has been doing/is going to be doing, but in the management regime to come.   Mostly that won't be reflected in the SOW except as side effects for the process changes that happen if a temporary position is created (and possibly maintained).
> 
> 
> 

SB// On one hand, of course we do.. but on the other, I'd say you can't have it both ways. You can't say/accuse the RSOC of steering the process, and then wonder why we aren't sharing those thoughts as an RSOC, because I think if we did we'd be subject to the "but you're steering the process" feedback. Personally, I feel I wear 2 hats; one as a member of the RSOC, and one as the member of the community. When we get to the actual community comment/process that Heather is kicking off leading up to and in Singapore, I'll share my thoughts with my community hat on. I understand you're concerned about the management regime to come, but I'll point out that if we want to change that, then the meetings that are coming are the places where we all get to voice what we want changed. The SOW shouldn't reflect that now because there is no consensus. Restricting the SOW to tactical items that have 1. clearly defined deliverables and 2. a process by which we can mutually amend the deliverables (presumably add something if the need arises) is the best way I can think of to restrict any "danger", or unwanted items, until the community has its say. 

I want to touch on your last 3 words here; it is again the intent that this position be a temp position. If the community chooses otherwise then it'll be what it'll be, but the RSOC is NOT proposing a temp position with the notion of baiting and switching down the line; it really is what I think I've said 15+ times at this point - something that helps us keep documents flowing, and our other contractor happy, while the community discusses what we want. If another body were to come in and attempt to make it permanent without community consensus I'd be the first one in line to jump up and down. The community has been extremely clear; we will all have our say.


<snip>
>>>     e) Can you think of any of these items to eliminate as "can wait for an RSE"?  If not, then see my original question (0).
>>> 
>> 
>> I don't understand what the "items to eliminate" are? The SOW is specific in it's 2 goals, which I've already stated again in this email. They cannot wait, hence the SOW. 
> 
> Take a look at the deliverables for the RSE SOW that hired Heather, compare them to the SOW deliverables in this document.   Besides items already removed if any, are there any that could absolutely wait for an RSE and don't need to provided for before we get a "real" RSE post this contract?
> 
> 
> 

If you want to propose something change, the onus is on you to propose the list :) If there is something in the current document that you think can wait please propose it here.


<snip>
>> Your opinion is noted, thank you.
> That unfortunately isn't really a useful response.  But let me try this:
> 
> You have basically three classes of deliverables:   One-time (or one-time with phases - finish the V3 transition for example); recurring (e.g. quarterly project reports), and continuous (technical expertise as needed, RPC oversight etc).  Only the first two allow for a reasonable fixed price bid.  The last one is going to need something like "For approx 10 hours a week, plus full time 3 weeks out of each year commit to provide technical expertise in the following areas to the extent possible for the allotted hours; increases or reductions in negotiated time commitments may be made by mutual written consent".
> 
> 
> 
I wasn't trying to be facetious, simply acknowledging that you've stated your opinion. We'll review all the comments that come in, and thank you for sharing it. I'm not sure how else to put it, but I also acknowledge that it sounds cheeky, even though that's not at all how I mean it to be.


<snip>
>> Mike, what exactly do you want? Honestly, what is it? I believe the RSOC made a mistake. We publicly and very specifically said that we made the mistake, owned it, and apologized. I am incapable of undoing that mistake, it is what it is. That said, I believe the RSOC has been very thoughtful in it's actions since, starting with the feedback we've received, drafting a new SOW, and IMO clearly stating that the SOW is specifically a temporary position that allows us to keep RFC's flowing while the community figures out "what's next". I'm at a loss to understand how we're telling the community what to do. 
>> 
>> 
> What I'm trying to get to is fixing or at least placing a temporary patch on the issues with the current oversight model without having to wait 2.5 or so years.  I'm mostly ok with the discussions about what the RSE is going to be doing, but I'm less sanguine about what the RSOC and IAB will be allowed to do without some proposed changes in that model.    I don't want to be back here in a year or so with the possibility of having the same things go wrong again.   That maybe hard for the RSOC to hear, but it is what it is.  What's hard for me to hear is the lack of thought about how to mend the current oversight model.
> 
> 
> 
I manage expectations for a living, so when I read your first sentence above, I have a LOT of sympathy for it. I do. It's very hard to put your arms around something that's undefined, and I think the worry might be that the conversation could take a long time is a potential possibility.  On the other hand, I think we seem to be very invested in getting to "something" that makes the majority of us comfortable with where we're going. Ted and Heather have taken that first step, and Heather's been incredibly gracious setting up the meetings and running them. I suppose it's entirely possible things could go wrong again - I don't see any way to guarantee that that couldn't ever happen again - and I apologize if that's hard to hear. 

My perception of what you've been sharing is that there are nuggets of information we should seriously discuss, mixed with a lot of anger. I think it's totally your right to be angry about things. But anger isn't going to change the situation we're in. With all due respect, saying that there's a "lack of thought about how to mend the current oversight model" is rude at best. I've spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about this; thinking about it leading up to the decision the RSOC made, when we made it, and everything that's happened since. Heather is walking away. That weighs incredibly heavy on me. I've not been shy in my praise and support of Heather, that I think the RSOC is here to support her, and that I've not seen the community unhappy with her/want her out/anything else super bad you could write here. I'm on the RSOC Mike but I still chair a WG and participate in others, and write drafts like everyone else. It matters to me deeply that we have someone who is focused on the RFC Series. So while I suspect we somewhat differ on our opinions of the specifics on what went wrong here, it's not helpful to make comments like that last sentence, on a comment thread for the current SOW. This isn't, and wasn't ever supposed to be, where you'd heard anyone's thoughts on how to mend the current oversight model. I look forward to the community discussion that Heather is preparing for shortly.


<snip>
>> 
>>> 
>>>> The RSOC seems to be the reasonable choice given the situation we find ourselves in, and again, this is a 1.5 year contract with clearly described goals.
>>> "clearly described goals" is overstating it I would say.  Sorry.
>>> 
>>> Mike
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>> There's a saying I have on my team - don't come to me with problems, come with solutions. It's perfectly acceptable to not agree with what I said, If you feel it's not "clearly described goals" then please, propose text for the rest of us to review and agree upon that leaves you comfortable with the goals being clearly stated. I'm happy to help review.
> I actually have proposed an approach to fix the oversight problem.  The rest of this - well - the SOW is only part of what you need here, the other is the plan and contingencies.  I think we're getting some of those edges discussed, but the SOW shouldn't be what drives the plan, but the plan being what drives the SOW.  I think the current SOW has too much in it for the stated purpose of "temporary and tactical" and I alluded to that above.  It's difficult to provide text if I don't understand the hard edges of what you want to accomplish - hence the various questions above.
> 
> 

Perhaps this is the point in the communication process where I say perhaps email isn't working. I feel I've written any number of times what we're trying to accomplish, and Ted has specifically spelled out the approach. So if it's that you don't agree with the current approach, that's one thing; if it's that you really don't understand what we want to accomplish, then I'm not sure how to say it any differently. I'd suggest again that perhaps we sync up one on one on a call. 

Thanks,
Sarah

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