[gnso-improvem-impl-sc] WG Self-Assessments

Ken Bour ken.bour at verizon.net
Wed May 22 22:31:32 UTC 2013

Dear SCI Members:


I appreciated the opportunity to attend your teleconference this afternoon
and to present an alternative approach to the "survey" you have been
contemplating. As requested, this memo is a summary of the points I outlined
for your consideration. 



As some of you may recall, I was the original drafter of the WG Guidelines
and Charter Template and provided Staff support to the Working Group Work
Team during its first year or so. One of the concepts we engineered into the
framework was that Chartering Organizations would ask each WG to perform a
self-assessment at the end of its life-cycle. The idea was to promote a
critical examination of the processes/procedures such that the feedback
could be incorporated into a continuous improvement of the WG Guidelines. 


After consulting with Julie Hedlund and Rob Hoggarth, I reviewed the current
version of the WG Guidelines (ANNEX 1 of the GOP) and noticed that, indeed,
vestiges of the self-assessment concept are still present in the document.
In particular, please see the following sections: 


Section 5.0 Products & Outputs

The products and outputs of a Working Group may be prescribed by the Charter
such as a report, recommendations, guidelines, self-assessment or defined by
the process under which the WG operates (e.g., Policy Development Process).

.         Self-Assessment Template (TBD)


6.2 Working Group Charter Template Closure and Working Group Self-Assessment 

This section of the Charter should describe any instructions for WG final
closure including any feedback and/or self-assessment that is requested by
the Chartering organization. This section might also indicate if there is
any specific format, template, or prescribed manner in which the feedback is
to be provided. 


I have been away from this subject for more than a year, but it appears as
though no Chartering Organization has yet asked a WG to generate a
self-assessment. Perhaps one reason is that the original template work was
never completed. 


One option that the SCI may wish to consider is to suspend the development
of a one-time online survey and, instead, convert the questions (after some
refinement) into a semi-permanent "WG Self-Assessment Template," which could
be incorporated into the WG Guidelines (as was originally intended) and
completed by all WGs (individually and/or collectively) as part of their
closure process. I see several advantages to this approach: 

1)      Feedback would come from actual and recent WG participants (targeted

2)      The information collected should be fresh given that the group
recently completed its work (salience).

3)      If the self-assessment template is reviewed (Chair checklist item?)
with team members the start of deliberations (revealing questions that will
be asked at the end) and something occurs that uncovers a gap or error in
the guidelines, the WG could note it for later inclusion in the

4)      Unlike a static survey, incorporating a self-assessment instrument
into each WG's process provides a dynamic catalyst for continuous

5)      If the Chartering Organization (e.g., GNSO Council) determines,
based upon feedback from one or more WG self-assessments, that the
guidelines (or even the self-assessment template itself) need to be amended
for any reason, it can direct Staff or another community team to address any
deficiencies or issues uncovered. 


Thinking about this concept further and picking up on Mikey's comment about
the learning objectives, my recommendation would be to broaden the
self-assessment to ask not just about the WG Guidelines document, but the
quality and effectiveness of other important success factors. If the SCI
concurs, I would be willing to assemble an initial draft of a WG
Self-Assessment Template that would attempt to assess the usefulness and
effectiveness of: 

1)      Support Infrastructure . charter, procedures, tools/templates, and
mechanics supporting the WG's operations;

2)      WG Processes/Operations . leadership, norms, decision-making
(consensus), and outputs. 


That sounds like a lot of content, but I believe any resulting template
should be designed so that it is (a) simple/straightforward to complete
(perhaps employing the ICANN Wiki capability?) and (b) respectful of
respondents' time (length). 


I look forward to your comments via the SCI email list. 




Ken Bour


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mm.icann.org/pipermail/gnso-improvem-impl-sc/attachments/20130522/5d435704/attachment.html>

More information about the Gnso-improvem-impl-sc mailing list