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Support Documents in IETF Working Groups
24 Aug 2023
Support documents, such as problem statements, framework and architecture documents, use case descriptions, or requirements documents, can help working groups find agreement on their scope and guide them toward suitable solutions.
While they can therefore be important to the operation of a working group, finalizing them to the point where they are suitable for publication as RFCs can consume scarce community resources that might be better spent on solutions documents.
There is no expectation by the IESG that support documents need to be published as RFCs, and Working Groups need not wait for the publication of support documents to begin working on the solution unless required by their charter to do so.
In cases where its charter does not require a working group to publish some of its support documents as RFCs or require that they have IETF consensus before solutions work can start, the IESG encourages working groups to consider whether the extra work of finalizing support documents for RFC publication is worthwhile.
It can be beneficial to clearly indicate during chartering or when milestones are added whether a particular supporting document should be submitted for RFC publication.