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

Sarah Banks sbanks at encrypted.net
Fri Aug 30 12:39:50 PDT 2019


Hi Mike,
	Some thoughts, inline. Speaking for myself. SB//

> On Aug 30, 2019, at 10:30 AM, Michael StJohns <mstjohns at comcast.net> wrote:
> 
> Five immediate large items:
> 
> 
> 0) The requirements for this position are pretty much indistinguishable from that of the RSE as stated in previous versions of the SOW.   I don't think that makes sense.  If this is simply a "we want to hire some short time to do the RSE position", then state that rather than using the figleaf of strategic and tactical.  I'm not saying you'll get community buy-in for that, but at least it would be less obfuscated.

SB// The thought here was as intended; specifically on tactical, and nothing more. It IS focused on what the current RSE does tactically - I'm not sure how we change that until the community has a conversation about the role. I'm all ears and open to suggestions, though!

> 1) Is this a full time position?  If not, then describe the expected workload.   From the description, its a level of effort contract somewhat less than full time.  State that level.

SB// The RSOC in years past has specifically stayed out of the "how long does it take to do the job" and the "this is a 32-hour-a-week" job. I'd defer this to the LLC; if the person they're hiring is a contractor I'm not sure this matters, since they're bidding on the total amount of work (that's been the thought) versus the employee who clearly needs to understand if this is a part time or full time job. 

> 2) The style manual (last bullet) is a strategic item, not a tactical item.  Delete it.

SB// I could live with this, thanks.

> 3)  Matrix management - seriously?   That's how we got to this situation in the first place.  

SB// We understand that's a concern, and it should probably be one of the items we discuss as a community. We're not looking to force the process though, and to that end, using the process we have (this language came from the previous SOW we used, in fact) seemed prudent. Given that they're focused on the RPC and the new format work and reporting to the RSOC, how else would you propose we address your concern?

> 4) Term - for a tactical contract, this is pretty long - 1.5 years with the possibility of a year extension.

SB// As I previously explained, we as a community don't tend to have short conversations. The process will take time. If we conclude in less than 1.5 years then fantastic, we'll have some overlap with whatever outcome we get from that discussion and the current/temporary RFC Series Project Manager. That seems like an acceptable thing to me.

> 
> Small items:
> 1) Drop the "Experience as an RFC editor" bullet in favor of "Familiarity with the RFC series is desired but not required".
> 2) The "culture and process" bullet is also strategic and not tactical.   Drop this to just the RFC process.
> 3) Travel internationally - state if this is in addition to the IETF meetings.
> 

SB// These seem reasonable.

> Overall comment:
> 
> This has the feel to me of a push towards a more "managed" RFC Editor vs the independent model we've had over the lifetime of the series - and doing it by small nibbles and by delay.  The RFC++ bof indicated community displeasure with that direction, and I'm not sure this SOW is representative of community desires.    I'd be happier with this if the sole and only contract reporting link is from this contractor to the LLC.  The LLC MAY appoint the RSOC for day to day things, but any contractual discussions OF ANY KIND should be with the actual organization that holds the contract.   From a community point of view, we have oversight and a direct line of responsibility from the LLC to the community (with the concomitant ability of the community to recall or otherwise fail to reappoint LLC board members) .  That is not the case with the RSOC.
> 
> With respect to the evolution of the RFC Series - I haven't seen any clear statement from anyone of the changes they believe need to be made.  So, prior to putting us in the penalty box for a year and a half, perhaps we could actually get a statement of interests which would indicate that we need such a delay in the RFC SE selection process.    E.g. a full formal ID/RFC not random musings in email with enough initial support that we have the possibility of getting to some sort of consensus for change if we invest the time.
> 

SB// The goal is to have the conversation as a group, and figure out what to do. if we don't want a managed RFC Editor, but the independent model that folks believe we should have, then as a community we should say that, and figure out how to instrument what we want. Personally, I like the spirit of what was described to me starting with Postel, and having some independence from being told what to do blindly with the ability to push back doesn't seem to be a bad thing. But that's my personal thought, and as an RSOC it's not our current purview to tell the community what to do. We're trying to strike a balance between the process we have, which keeps our contractors moving and documents flowing, and allowing the community to do its thing. This position "reporting" to the LLC makes little sense to me - 1. that's not the current process we have (and if you don't like it, speak up and change it, Ted's outlined how we might proceed to doing that) and 2. The LLC really isn't equipped to handle it either. 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. We'll have the conversation to change (or not) - in the grand scheme of things, this doesn't seem to be an issue to me. The alternatives concern me more - do we just not have an RSE-like function at all, in any capacity, being executed, while we chat as a group? No documents are published? We're paying for the RPC function by contract now; I'd like to see our money well spent, personally. I'm not sure I understand the analogy to a penalty box, but if you mean we're in a holding pattern until we figure out what we want then yes, I totally agree, we are, and I don't see a better alternative. I'm happy to discuss any alternatives you might have.

/S


> Later, Mike
> 
> 
> 
> On 8/30/2019 12:38 PM, Sarah Banks wrote:
>> (Cross-post with rfc-interest at ietf.org <mailto:rfc-interest at ietf.org>)
>> 
>> Hello,
>> 	The RSOC has received a lot of feedback regarding the current SOW, in addition to the feedback received generally around the RSE role, both on and off list, and at the microphone at the plenary session in Montreal. We've listened, discussed, and come up with a proposal that you'll find attached here.
>> 	
>> 	Broadly speaking, the RSE role contains 2  functions, a strategic function and a tactical function. We believe that we, as a community, still want RFCs published while we discuss the RSE role evolution. We also have a contract in place with the RPC (both Production Center and Publisher), both of whom are accustomed to a day to day contact to lean on for assistance (the current RSE). 
>> 	
>> 	With that in mind, we are proposing a temporary position that focuses on the tactical components of the current RSE role, with 2 large work items in mind. 
>> 
>> 	First, this temporary position (called the Temporary RFC Series Project Manager) would serve as the day to day contact for the RPC, assisting with tactical items.
>> 
>> 	Second, this role would focus on the v3 format work, assisting with the delivery of the new tools for the format work, and bringing the new format work to a close.
>> 
>> 	Details are included within the SOW, attached with this email. 
>> 
>> 	The IAB plans on sharing a follow up email shortly, that covers possible next steps for the strategic portions of the RSE role and the evolution discussion. 
>> 
>> 	We'd like to open a 2 week comment period on the SOW, starting on August 30, 2019, closing ons on September 14, 2019. Please send your comments and feedback to the RSOC (rsoc at iab.org <mailto:rsoc at iab.org>).
>> 
>> Kind regards,
>> Sarah Banks
>> For the RSOC
>> 
>> 
>> 
> 

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