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Internet Engineering Steering Group concludes 360-degree feedback experiment for Area Directors

29 Nov 2021

The intent of this experiment is to give Area Directors (ADs) direct feedback allowing them to develop their method of working and behaviors.

As announced in October, the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) recently conducted an experiment to collect 360-degree feedback for all Area Directors. The feedback was entirely anonymous with no tracking information collected.

The Internet Architecture Board (IAB), IETF Administration LLC board members, IETF Secretariat, and IESG members received a survey for each AD. Each working group chair received a survey for their responsible ADs. Shepherds of Internet-Drafts (I-Ds) that went to the IESG ballot in the past 12 months received a survey for the responsible AD if the AD was still active. Shepherds of I-Ds that spent any time in the AD Evaluation state in the past 12 months received a survey for the responsible AD, if they still served as an AD.

The IETF Secretariat collected and aggregated the responses. Individual survey responses were provided only to the AD; neither the IETF Chair nor Nominating Committee members have access to the individual survey responses. Each AD received a summary of all responses to their survey, and the IESG as a whole received a rollup of the results of all surveys.

Some observation on these results:

  • Many ADs found the feedback and the ability to compare oneself to their peers very useful.
  • Over half of the responses are AD members commenting on other ADs, which likely skewed the results. If 360-degree feedback will be collected again in the future, we need to solicit it in a more effective way.
  • The community provided some comments and suggestions on how the survey could be improved. The IESG intends to take that feedback into account if we decide to do this again in 2022.

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