IETF Problem Resolution Process
RFC 3844

Document Type RFC - Informational (August 2004; No errata)
Last updated 2013-03-02
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IESG IESG state RFC 3844 (Informational)
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Responsible AD Harald Alvestrand
Send notices to mshore@cisco.com, avri@acm.org
Network Working Group                                     E. Davies, Ed.
Request for Comments: 3844                               Nortel Networks
Category: Informational                                  J. Hofmann, Ed.
                                             Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin
                                                             August 2004

                    IETF Problem Resolution Process

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2004).

Abstract

   This Informational document records the history of discussions in the
   Problem WG during 2003 of how to resolve the problems described in
   the IETF Problem Statement. It decomposes each of the problems
   described into a few areas for improvement and categorizes them as
   either problems affecting the routine processes used to create
   standards or problems affecting the fundamental structure and
   practices of the IETF.  Expeditious and non-disruptive solutions are
   proposed for the problems affecting routine processes.

   The document also lists suggested ways to handle the development of
   solutions for the structure and practices problems proposed in IETF
   discussions.  Neither the working group nor the wider IETF has
   reached consensus on a recommendation for any of the proposals. This
   document therefore has no alternative but to suggest that the search
   for structure and practices solutions be handed back to the control
   of the IESG.

   While there was working group consensus on the processes for short-
   term and medium term improvements, there was no working group
   consensus on the proposals for longer-term improvements.  This
   document therefore includes longer-term improvement proposals only as
   a matter of record; they must not be regarded as recommendations from
   the working group.

Davies & Hofmann             Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 3844            IETF Problem Resolution Process          August 2004

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2
   2.  IETF Purpose and Core Values . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
       2.1.  Non-Core Values  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   3.  Building on our Success  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   4.  Problem Decomposition  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
       4.1.  Decomposition of Mission Problem . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
       4.2.  Decomposition of the Engineering Practices Problem . . .  7
       4.3.  Decomposition of the Complex Problems Problem  . . . . .  7
       4.4.  Decomposition of the Standards Hierarchy Problem . . . .  8
       4.5.  Decomposition of the Engagement Problem  . . . . . . . .  8
       4.6.  Decomposition of the Management Scaling Problem  . . . .  9
       4.7.  Decomposition of the Working Group Practices Problem . . 11
       4.8.  Decomposition of the Preparedness Problem  . . . . . . . 11
   5.  Process Recommendations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
       5.1.  Improvements to Routine Processes  . . . . . . . . . . . 12
             5.1.1.  Suggestions to Improve WG Quality Processes  . . 13
             5.1.2.  Suggestions to Increase the Use of Tools . . . . 14
             5.1.3.  Suggestions to Improve Training. . . . . . . . . 14
             5.1.4.  Suggestions to Increase WG Chair Communication . 14
             5.1.5.  Suggestions to Improve Maintenance of Standards. 15
       5.2.  Changing the Structure and Practices of the IETF . . . . 15
   6.  Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
   7.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
       Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
       Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
       Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
       Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
       Full Copyright Statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

1. Introduction

   This document suggests processes to address several problems facing
   the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) that have been described
   in the IETF Problem Statement [1].

Davies & Hofmann             Informational                      [Page 2]
RFC 3844            IETF Problem Resolution Process          August 2004

   This document begins with an outline of what are currently thought to
   be the purpose and core values of the IETF, and it offers a reminder
   of the good things about the IETF that we don't want to lose in the
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