[council] GNSO Standing Committee for Continuous Improvement – Ideas and Possible Approach

Kurt Pritz kurt at kjpritz.com
Wed Jan 20 03:02:23 UTC 2021

Hi Philippe, et.al.:

I have thought about this quite a bit and have reached out to others to test my thoughts. While they are not fully fleshed-out or informed, I wanted to provide some input prior to the meeting and look forward to the reaction (positive or negative) of others. 

My initial impulse, that has not waned in the weeks since this proposal was published, is that this SCCI is not an effort to be started at this point. 

First, this would be yet another community drain on scarce resources. Most recently, we have had difficulty staffing important initiatives. I don’t think this is the appropriate time to be launching another project without clear remit, objective or end. 

Second, my recollection of the discussion during the strategic planning session was that there were certain things Councillors had in mind that might result in improvements to the work of the Council. The idea of at least some Councillors was to establish a group of Councilors to undertake this effort. This is reinforced by my perception that the Councillors are best positioned to consider potential efficiencies and not a group outside the Council.

Third, my understanding from talking to others is that the results of the last SCI, that was spun up in 2008 and reported out in 2015, were less than useful. Rather than a review of the SCI recommendations being the first job of the new SCCI, that review should be a pre-requisite to establishing an SCCI. 

For me, one of the reasons I was pleased to join the Council was that I thought it would provide me the opportunity to help make its work more efficient and timely. I don’t think appointing a commission that will outlast my tenure will accomplish that. 

Rather than spin-up this substantial organization, I think it’d be better to launch a Council team to discuss approaches with an emphasis on simple, light-weight approaches or perhaps the creation of mission-specific task forces as suggested in the comments. 

Thanks for hearing me out,


> On Dec 22, 2020, at 11:15 AM, philippe.fouquart at orange.com wrote:
> Dear Councilors, SG/C Chairs,
> As you may be aware, there are quite a number of projects on the Council’s Action Decision Radar (see https://community.icann.org/x/14vzC <https://community.icann.org/x/14vzC>) that deal with improvements to GNSO processes and procedures. We heard from you during the Strategic Planning Session about the importance of prioritizing work as well as considering the resources available to conduct work as efficiently as possible. To this end, the suggestion was made to explore the possibility of creating a Standing Committee that would be tasked with addressing projects or assignments that are mainly focused on improving existing GNSO processes and procedures. 
> To further explore this possible approach, the Council leadership team has worked with the staff support team on developing a high-level outline for your review and input (see https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HBCXMkLb7vFkWClgCpsr8WjYScz3UDh4/edit <https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HBCXMkLb7vFkWClgCpsr8WjYScz3UDh4/edit>). Although the Standing Committee would be chartered by and operate under the oversight of the GNSO Council, it is intended to be a GNSO effort which can only be successful with the full support and participation of all SG and Cs. We appreciate that it may be challenging to comment on this approach without having all the details, but our hope is that by soliciting input at this point in time, we would be able to develop a more detailed proposal as a next step factoring in your suggestions and perspectives. 
> Some of the questions we hope you can focus on are:
> ·         Is this the right approach to benefit from synergies? If not, how should all the projects listed be tackled instead?
> ·         How to ensure appropriate scoping of work? The idea is that the standing committee would tackle topics that cut across the GNSO community and/or would benefit from a cross-GNSO collaboration. A possible approach could be that the charter provides an indication of the topics that are expected to be tackled, but specific assignments are confirmed in the form of a clear scoping document and work plan that is approved by the GNSO Council, with input from SG/Cs via their respective Council members. Are there other approaches that could be considered?
> ·         What should membership look like? How to ensure a balanced composition which at the same time is nimble enough to work effectively? How to introduce sufficient flexibility to allow for expert participation?
> ·         What decision-making methodology should be applied? Or is this to be determined based on the assignment the Standing Committee is tasked with? 
> ·         Is it feasible to consider tackling some of the projects identified in parallel through different sub-committees?
> ·         How should the work be prioritized if a Standing Committee is created? Each of the possible projects identified could take a substantial amount of time to address and resolve which means certain items could take a while to get addressed.
> Of course, there may be other topics you want to weigh in on.
> We hope to receive your feedback in advance of the next Council meeting which is scheduled for Thursday 21 January, either via your input on the google doc (seehttps://docs.google.com/document/d/1HBCXMkLb7vFkWClgCpsr8WjYScz3UDh4/edit <https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HBCXMkLb7vFkWClgCpsr8WjYScz3UDh4/edit>) or in response to this email. As you will have seen, a number of the possible projects for the Standing Committee are fairly high on the Council’s Action Decision Radar so we hope to agree on an approach for tackling these sooner rather than later.  
> Best regards and happy holidays,
> Philippe Fouquart
> Chair, GNSO
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