[rfc-i] Developing consensus, episode 2: Who chooses the Production Center and Publisher

Dave CROCKER dhc at dcrocker.net
Wed Feb 9 20:55:39 PST 2011

On 2/8/2011 5:54 PM, Ted Hardie wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 8, 2011 at 4:15 PM, Dave CROCKER<dhc at dcrocker.net>  wrote:
>> That's why I tried to be clear that there is an /added/ concern during
>> actual contract negotiation.
> IASA should consult the RSE if its negotiations result in changes to the
> statement of work, but the final authority seems to me to rest with them.
> If the RSE doesn't want the production center staff to be fewer than a
> thousand (to take a ridiculous example), she or he can't withhold agreement
> on a contract to force the hiring of additional folks.  IASA may simply not
> be able to afford the desired situation.  Given the RSE's existing roll in
> formulating the SOW and evaluating the candidates, I think Olaf's language:
> The IASA selects, negotiates and contracts and has final authority.
> could be modified to
> Based on the RSE and evaluation team's ongoing input, the IASA selects ,
> negotiates and contracts and has final authority.
> Is that close enough to what you're looking for?

Well, explicitly declaring 'ongoing' input is an improvement.  But 'input' is
really just advisory and this still allows the IAOC to negotiate details that
the RSE considers unworkable.

I'll repeat:  anything that saddles a supervisor with conditions they consider
unworkable is a bad arrangement.  The supervisor has hands-on expertise for the
topic, as well as responsibility for the long-term performance.  They must not
be ignored. Your wording permits ignoring them.

It's not enough to claim that such a situation won't arise.  The result I'm
trying to prevent does occur in the real world, even among professional managers
and negotiators.  Add to that the reality that most of us in the IETF have
minimal experience with this sort of hiring and negotiating process.  So I
believe we need to anticipate the critical dangers and find ways to prevent or
correct them.[1]  Requiring the RSE to agree to the work-related portions of the
contract accomplishes that, without diving our writing nit-picking details.

As for your concern that the RSE might make unworkable demands, that's also
worth anticipating.  However if that happens then there is a deeper problem with
the RSE that probably needs to be handled separately, by the /RSE's/
supervisor...  In other words, I see it as needing no extra language here
because it ought to be covered by the contract with the RSE...


[1] Just to anticipate a possible response about this sub-point:  Over the
years, in similar discussions about negotiating agreements in various industry
settings, I've seen a frequent view that this sort of problem is handled by
letting the professionals (e.g., the lawyers or the human resources folk) do the
negotiating. Among more experienced hands, it is noted that the core semantics
of a negotiating MUST be done by the principals rather than the assisting
professionals.  The 'professionals' serve to package those semantics properly,
not to haggle the key issues.

   Dave Crocker
   Brandenburg InternetWorking

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