Liaison Shepherd Job Description

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This is a draft of a job description for the IAB liaison shepherd task. In prior discussions, the IAB concluded that it would be useful that each IAB-sanctioned liaison have an IAB member as a "shepherd" to monitor the activity and to act as a resource to ensure the IETF is making good use of its liaisons, and to help the person acting as liaison be more successful. Danny McPherson and Dave Oran were asked to draft a "job description" for the IAB liaison shepherds, so here it is.


Liaison Shepherd Assignment

  • Each IAB appointed liaison should have an IAB member assigned to act as their shepherd
  • An IAB member may shepherd one or more liaisons. The goal however is to share the workload among the IAB members so that a number of people have the opportunity to contribute to the task, and no single IAB member is overloaded with liaison shepherding workload.
  • Since some liaisons are more active than others, this needs to be taken into account in dividing up the work
  • Some of the more extensive liaison activities (e.g. ITU) are complicated enough to have multiple liaisons and a hierarchical structure among them. In such cases, it is desirable to have a shepherd for each individual liaison, but to coordinate closely with the overall liaison manager as well.
  • Current Liaison Shepherds

Liaison Shepherd Tasks

The overall responsibility of the shepherd is to maintain an open communication channel with the liaison to ensure the smooth operation of the liaison activity, and to act as a resource to the liaison to help with questions/issues around IETF process, which bodies and people (e.g. Area Directors, WG Chairs, etc.) to engage on specific liaison tasks, and to assess the effectiveness of the liaison to guide the IAB in future liaison selection. Among others, this involves the following specific tasks:

  • Communicate with the liaison at least once a month to get status updates and ensure things aren't dropping through the cracks
  • Get a report from the liaison periodically, usually triggered by:
  1. about one month before each IETF meeting
  2. after each "major" meeting/event of the liaison organization
  • Discuss/recommend coordination activities with IETF Areas/WGs as needed
  • Advise the liaison on IETF process and ensure they're aware that liaisons are responsible to communicate updates and new work items to both the IETF as ingress functions, and liaison organizations as outbound communications.
  • On an as-needed basis, get advice from the liaison on the liased organization's process and how the IETF can best interact with that process.
  • Assist the liaison manager in conveying information about the liaised organizations process when IETF, IETF areas or IETF wg's need to send a liaison statement to the liaised organization.
  • Provide input to the IAB so the liaison's effectiveness can be assessed, and periodically report back to the IAB on issues such as:
  1. Whether the liaison is performing adequately
  2. Whether the activity level has dropped below a threshold requiring the liaison relationship to be maintained
  • Ensure that liaison list/contact information maintained on the web site and elsewhere are accurate
  • Periodic reports to the IAB on the activities of the liaison should be provided on a bi-annual basis, aligning with calendar year (January & July). The reports should be posted to the IAB mailing list, filed on the wiki and linked to the current IAB Liaison Shepherds table.
  • The IAB chair should ensure that all outgoing IAB members Liaisons are picked up by standing or new IAB members
  • Others???

Additional Information relevant to particular liaison organizations

Resources for liaison shepherds