RE: RES: [gnso-wpm-dt] WPM Summary & Action Items-Step 6 (In Progress)
- To: Stéphane Van Gelder <stephane.vangelder@xxxxxxxxx>, "Jaime B Wagner" <j@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: RE: RES: [gnso-wpm-dt] WPM Summary & Action Items-Step 6 (In Progress)
- From: "Gomes, Chuck" <cgomes@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2010 15:38:40 -0500
Leadership in a bottom-up organization has different qualities than in a
top-down organization. Hopefully we can learn from both types, but they are
definitely not the same.
From: owner-gnso-wpm-dt@xxxxxxxxx [mailto:owner-gnso-wpm-dt@xxxxxxxxx]
On Behalf Of Stéphane Van Gelder
Sent: Monday, February 15, 2010 1:01 PM
To: Jaime B Wagner
Cc: 'Olga Cavalli'; 'Adrian Kinderis'; 'Ken Bour'; gnso-wpm-dt@xxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: RES: [gnso-wpm-dt] WPM Summary & Action Items-Step 6 (In
Your candor is appreciated, don't worry.
However I think the point we are trying to make is that the group is so
focused on the work it has embarked upon, and more specifically the method
chosen to carry that work out, that it is finding it hard to look at the bigger
I understand that having done all this hard work, it's hard to consider
the fact that we may have gone in the wrong direction. But that is what is
being suggested here.
Maybe we need a simpler model that allows for "authority defining
priority" (nice one BTW). After all, a Chair is elected to be a leader and take
command decisions on such topics as this one. If that possibility is mixed in
with a basic model that takes out the "I'm the boss so I do what I want"
element but still allows the Council's leaders to take executive decisions
based on the integrity of a working model, then maybe that is a quicker way to
reach this group's goals than working to perfect a model as complex as the one
before us now.
But if the group feels it can reach its goals in a short time frame by
continuing along its present path then that's great. I'm not getting the
impression that this work will be finished anytime soon, but if I'm wrong then
I'm happy to be corrected.
Le 15 févr. 2010 à 17:53, Jaime B Wagner a écrit :
Stéphane and Adrian,
Adrian's example of its own company simply states that
"authority defines priority". Well, in a more political or less structured
environment, authority does not stem only from vote or capital, but depends on
other things such as knowledge and moral behavior. Indeed I think that, for
authority to be effective, this should be the case even in private companies.
Authority should not be confused with the sheer will of the powerful. So the
chair as well as the whole council should base its decisions on some principles
accepted by all.
The discussions of such principles, basic as they are, is not
straightforward and can be distressful. To avoid the whole council to go
through this process, that could result simply in abandoning any effort, is the
reason why this group was formed.
I think we made considerable progress, much to be credited to
Ken's work, and that your proposal of a new ground zero just shows that kind of
impatience that would impede any progress should this attempt be undertaken by
the whole council.
Excuse my sheer frankness but I think they go along the same
pace of your observations and that both are made with sincerity and with the
best intention of coming to a good conclusion.
[mailto:owner-gnso-wpm-dt@xxxxxxxxx] Em nome de Stéphane Van Gelder
Enviada em: domingo, 14 de fevereiro de 2010 20:00
Para: Olga Cavalli
Cc: Adrian Kinderis; Ken Bour; gnso-wpm-dt@xxxxxxxxx
Assunto: Re: [gnso-wpm-dt] WPM Summary & Action Items-Step 6
Adrian has joined us. He volunteered to red team the work.
His latest comments make a lot of sense to me. The effort
that's been put into this work by this group has been immense. But it's not
because someone is working as hard as he can that he's working in the right
I've lately dropped back from the work being done on this group
simply because it has become, to me, unmanageable. The reason for that being
the extremely high level of complexity of some of the emails on this list and
of the proposed models. While we shouldn't shy away from complexity in our
search for the best solution, I think Adrian's point about how prioritization
works in an SME and about the length of time it is taking this group to propose
a method for prioritization should ring alarm bells with us. When we started on
this work in Seoul, did we really expect it would take up to half a year to
complete. I know I certainly didn't.
We asked Adrian to red team. Part of doing that is putting his
finger on the things that we may not be seeing simply because we've got our
noses pressed against the problem all day while he is able to take a more
I think we would do well to heed his alarm bells.
Le 14 févr. 2010 à 16:18, Olga Cavalli a écrit :
We have been working as a group and trying to see all different
points of views and ideas.
You are welcome to join us an perhaps bring another perspective.
2010/2/14 Adrian Kinderis <adrian@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Just watching from afar...
I am very concerned that we are not making progress here. As a
CEO of a medium size company we are prioritising work all the time. New tasks/
projects come in all the time and changes are make dynamically. Nothing is set
nor perfect. My Executive Management team provide input and the CEO makes the
final decision. To me, that is why we have a GNSO Chair; to be the CEO.
It has now been 4 months since Seoul and we have not seen any
outward progress. I really think you have aimed for perfection and this has
caused delay. Inexact prioritisation will not result in business lost, nor
staff becoming unemployed. We may have small delays but the consequences are
Let's pick a process and roll forward, understanding and
accepting its flaws.
I know I haven't been heavily involved and perhaps my comments
aren't helpful but I am seeing this process become more and more ICANN like...
something I thought we were trying to avoid.
[mailto:owner-gnso-wpm-dt@xxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Ken Bour
Sent: Saturday, 13 February 2010 9:54 AM
Subject: [gnso-wpm-dt] WPM Summary & Action Items-Step 6 (In
WPM Team Members:
Following is a summary of the WPM teleconference held on 9
February 2010 (1700 UTC):
1) Urgency: Jamie and Ken reported on their email
exchanges between sessions and, after additional consideration during this
teleconference, the team agreed that, although "urgency" represented an
intriguing potential modeling concept, to make use of it properly would require
an objective measurement which does not appear feasible. The team agreed that
urgency/criticality should become a natural part of the Value/Benefit
assessment and the definition will be enhanced to include that concept (see
Action Items below).
2) Resources Needed: Ken recommended dropping this
dimension as well as the 4-quadrant model for reasons provided in his earlier
email (8 Feb 2010). After discussing the pros/cons, the team agreed to
simplify its model to a one-dimensional rating of Value/Benefit. There was
also consensus that, rather than discard Resources Needed entirely, it could
serve as a potential tie-breaker if a decision had to be made between two
projects that were otherwise tied on Value/Benefit. The process would be as
Step 1: Rate all projects using the 1-7 scale on Value/Benefit
Step 2: If needed as a tie breaker, rank any tied projects
using Resources Needed
[Note: Jamie suggested that the team reconsider the
terminology/title of "Resources Needed" preferring a return to the original
concept of perceived "Difficulty." Ken will include this question in a
separate email transmitting revised definitions for team review.]
Once these decisions were concluded, the team took up another
important Step 6 question, "How will the Council actually utilize a
As framework for this discussion, Ken posited that a work
prioritization exercise presupposes that there is some limitation of a scarce
commodity (e.g. resource capacity). If there is an abundance of time and
resources and no real constraints, there would be no obvious need for a project
ranking. The underlying assumption is that, due to immovable constraints (in
the short run), all project work cannot be undertaken simultaneously. A
prioritization, then, presumes that hard decisions are expected based on
competing interests for scarce resources, e.g. perform A instead of B or move
staffing from one project to another. If it turned out that, after developing
a prioritization, no project ever slowed down, stopped, or had its resources
altered, a reasonable question might be: what was the purpose or value in
generating the prioritization?
Chuck acknowledged that we cannot assume that projects can be
eliminated or postponed simply because they have a low position on relative
priority. Looking at the bottom projects test-ranked by the WPM team (e.g.
GEO, TRAV), he was able to articulate convincing reasons why they probably can
and should be continued even though they occupy the lowest positions on the
This discussion led to a hypothesis that, perhaps, the model
may not be as useful in making stop/pause decisions about existing work, but
may be more useful in deciding what to do with new projects that are introduced
after the initial prioritization is performed (e.g. Vertical Integration).
The first question considered was: how should a new project be
rated/evaluated and placed into the prioritization mix? The team reached
agreement on an approach to placing a new project into the ranking. Assuming
that the Council will complete a full prioritization at least quarterly (TBD),
it would never be more than 3 months between rating sessions. Presuming that
Councilors could readily recall what they did the last time, if a new project
surfaces in the interim and cannot wait until a new quarterly reprioritization,
the Council would employ the same technique that generated the most recent
list. For example, 4-5 small groups of Councilors would meet and collectively
vote/decide on a rating from 1-7 considering the same "average project" that
was used at the last rating session. Once a median rating is computed from the
group consensus scores, the new project would take its appropriate slot in the
ranking. [Note: Ken will flesh out this procedure when we get to the point of
preparing Council instructions.]
Once a new project is placed into the prioritized list, Chuck
suggested that there might be a sequence of questions that should be
asked/answered by the Council in deciding what to do with it. Perhaps the team
could create a map or process that the Council would use in evaluating a new
project vis a vis the existing workload.
In addition to assessing a new project, Jamie ventured that
there might be a political value in performing the prioritization even if there
is not a clear decision-making role related to stopping or postponing existing
work. He commented that a project prioritization can establish for the entire
organization (top to bottom) an understanding as to how all work relates to the
GNSO's primary mission and goals.
In thinking about this political implication, Ken wondered if
there might be a potential drawback to publishing a project ranking. Taking
the worst possible scenario, hypothetically, might certain teams working on the
lowest ranked projects perceive that their time/effort is not worth continuing?
The WPM team should think carefully through possible morale implications to be
certain that a new problem isn't created, unintentionally, that wasn't there
before this exercise began. In response to this question, Olga thought that it
would be possible to underscore that projects ranked at the bottom do not
necessarily imply a fundamental lack of worth. On the other hand, following
Jaime's concept of political prioritization, a project ranking does communicate
overall importance. The Council may not want to suggest, subtly or overtly,
that volunteers should know or even think about any project's relative value in
deciding which team(s) to join - only their interest and expertise concerning
the work itself.
In addition to the above summary, Ken agreed to complete the
following tasks between now and the next meeting (16 February, 1700 UTC).
1) Suggest draft changes to both Y and X definitions for
team discussion and approval at the next WPM meeting.
2) Identify additional Step 6 questions (e.g.
group/individual methodology) that the team needs to consider.
3) Continue discussion, as challenged by Jaime: What
is/are the real outcome(s) of the prioritization? Can the team provide
concrete and persuasive answers to this question that would satisfy others who
have not been deeply involved with the process (e.g. "Red Team")?
4) Ken proposed that the team also consider making a
recommendation related to the implementation of desperately needed project
management tools for both Staff & Community to assist with the Council's new
"managerial" role in the policy development process.
Since this summary is already long, the above topics will be
included in one or more separate emails so that the team can focus on the
topics more efficiently and effectively.