[council] Council as process manager

Avri Doria avri at acm.org
Sat Nov 30 15:49:55 UTC 2013


During the one day session we had in BA, I spoke of the managerial role of the council as its primary, though not only, role.  Several people seemed to equate that, with me advocating a rubber stamp process.

I do not see it that way at all. I see the managerial role as difficult and challenging. But perhaps I should explain what I mean by a council doing the management of process role.

I believe that the well accepted adage, a meme if you like, is that with the last reorganization we moved away from a legislative council to a management council.  Management of a policy process is a difficult and involved task.

For example when i think of a managerial process i think:

it involves careful observation of the process by the liaison looking for issues that need to be remedied before they become significant. Whether it is an issue of insufficient diversity or the inability of a chair to understand the points made by a member or faction in the WG.  And it involves work to ameliorate the situation. Perhaps by the liaison alone and perhaps with the help of others in council.

I can also imagine many times when a WG wastes weeks trying to understand what the council meant by "it may recommend x" in is charter, the liaison could bring the question to the council for discussion and elucidation - they don't need to wait for the WG to surrender to confusion and ask; liaisons can work pro-actively to help (to be clear, help in a neutral supportive manner, not direct).

It involves reading a lot of issues reports, draft reports etc... .With sufficient understanding to ask the critical questions and to make sure the implications are understood as well as they can be. We need to understand the issues, of our SG/C a well as of the community in general, well enough to ask the questions others may ask and make sure those answers are contained in the reports.

It involves the vision and cottage of sending issues back to WGs, when something needs further work or when the ICANN consensus seems weak or ambiguous.

It involves doing the WG post analysis to understand what might need to happen to make future working groups better/easier, less of a forced march.

It may also include understanding the processes we need to follow when the Board sends back one of our recommendations for further consideration, something we hope they will do rather than deciding  issues at their own pleasure.

This is the sort of stuff I thought the council would be doing in its new role, and to me it looks like a significant , not rubber stamp, type of role.   I thought we were responsible for making sure our process works and it's defended (another one of our roles)

Though perhaps I am wrong and this is not what we needed to learn from our last review/reorg,  in which case than it might be a topic for our review ToR.
Avri Doria
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