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Stay Home Meet Occasionally Online (shmoo)

WG Name Stay Home Meet Occasionally Online
Acronym shmoo
Area General Area (gen)
State Active
Charter charter-ietf-shmoo-02 Approved
Document dependencies SVG
Additional resources Zulip Stream
Personnel Chairs Mallory Knodel, Suresh Krishnan
Area Director Lars Eggert
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Charter for Working Group

The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may have been mitigated by the
time this group completes its work, but the experience of handling meeting
planning during the pandemic has proven that having community consensus guidance
at hand when dealing with novel conditions in the future is beneficial.

The disruption of the IETF's typical schedule of three mostly-in-person meetings
per year, is causing it to convert a number of such meetings to fully online
meetings. Yet discussions about the possibility of fully or mostly online
meetings had been occurring in the IETF community for years as a result of
general increases in remote attendance, improvements in web conferencing
services, concerns about the environmental impact of travel, and other reasons.
It might therefore happen that in-person meeting participation will become less
popular and that a significant fraction of participants will be remote.

The meeting planning activities that the IESG and the IETF LLC engage in would
benefit from IETF community consensus guidance concerning novel aspects raised
by these developments. The SHMOO working group is therefore chartered to
document high-level guidance and principles to the IESG and the IETF LLC.

The guidance and principles will concern the following:

- Meeting planning for fully online meetings. Similar to how RFC 8719
establishes guidance for the regional rotation of in-person meetings, the IESG
and the LLC would benefit from having community consensus guidelines about the
time zone selection, meeting length in days, and other high-level scheduling
aspects when an in-person meeting must be canceled. This work item is expected
to be fulfilled with the publication of one or more BCPs.

- Meeting planning for mostly online, or “hybrid,” meetings. Meetings that have
an in-person component but with significantly more remote participants than a
mostly-in-person meeting need to be planned with community consensus
guidelines, too. While trade-offs have often been addressed in favor of onsite
attendees, the IESG and LLC would benefit from having community consensus on
high-level guidance about the organization of such hybrid meetings, regarding
such things as the meeting schedule, the meeting length in days,
acceptable limitations on the maximum allowed or minimum expected onsite
attendees, whether and how to schedule and prioritize among onsite activities
such as side meetings, the terminal room, the code lounge, and others, and
other scheduling aspects.

- Ensuring that any fees for remote participation do not become barriers for
participation. Since remote participation in mostly-in-person meetings has
historically been free, IETF LLC and IESG decisions about the meeting fee
structure for remote participation need to be informed by community guidelines
to ensure that those for whom a fee is a barrier to participation are still
able to participate. This work item is expected to be fulfilled with the
publication of one or more BCPs. Suggestions for changing the IETF's overall
funding model are out of scope.

- The cadence of meeting scheduling and the mix of mostly-in-person, hybrid and
fully online meetings going forward as well as the format of meetings, e.g.,
use of interims compared to components and length of the plenary meeting
(week). The working group is expected to document the expected future meeting
cadence and format as a BCP if consensus emerges to depart from the existing
cadence of three mostly-in-person meetings per year. Notably, any such
guidance will not become actionable until 3-4 years after it achieves
consensus, given the length of the IETF meeting planning cycle.

The work of SHMOO is expected to produce high-level principles, not detailed
operational plans. The goal is to produce guidelines for the IESG and the IETF
LLC to operationalize while ensuring they have substantial flexibility to
continue to deliver and evolve the IETF meeting experience to best serve IETF
participants and the Internet community at large. Specifications of details
concerning cancellation criteria, meeting technologies, and online meeting
agenda formats and content are out of scope. Aside from fee structure,
discussion of financial aspects of IETF meetings and changes to RFC 8713
are both out of scope. Scheduling guidance for interim meetings is out of scope.


Date Milestone Associated documents
Dec 2022 Adopt draft for meeting planning for mostly online, or “hybrid,” meetings
Dec 2022 Adopt draft(s) specifying Technology requirements for fully online meetings
Aug 2022 Adopt draft on cadence of fully online meeting scheduling
Aug 2022 Adopt Guidelines for determining meeting fees for fully online meetings
Aug 2022 Adopt draft for Meeting planning guidelines for replacement online meetings

Done milestones

Date Milestone Associated documents
Done Adopt draft for High level guidelines for evaluating cancellation/replacement of in-person meetings