2014-11-12

ICANN Accountability, IANA Transition, Deadline Dysfunctionality

Remarks of Assistant Secretary Strickling at The Media Institute | NTIA"... the current [IANA] contract expires at the end of September 2015. I want to emphasize that we did not set a deadline for this transition.  If for some reason the community needs more time, we have the option to extend the current contract for up to four years." (emphasis added)

Philip S. Corwin has written a thoughtful article published on circleid.com (link and excerpt below) which I commend for reading re: the Enhancing ICANN Accountability process, which also relates to the IANA Stewardship Transition process as both are now trapped in deadline dysfunctionality:

Accountability Group Charter Sets the Bar Too Low".... Unfortunately, and with all respect to the Drafting Team members who labored hard, fast, and in good faith to reach consensus on this proposed Charter, it fails to adequately capitalize on the opportunity created by the community's united actions over August and September, and should not be adopted by the chartering organizations absent strengthening revisions.
The Charter's major deficiencies are:
  • Letting the arguably unrealistic goal of meeting a September 2015 deadline for transition of the IANA functions dominate its proposed timeline and approach to required deliverables.
  • Adopting a dual work stream approach that almost surely puts off the major accountability issues and decisions until after the IANA transition takes place, at which point the community's unity may well dissipate and its leverage vis-√†-vis ICANN will be permanently diluted.
  • Preserving the ability of ICANN's Board to reject the most important accountability reforms by simply remaining intransigent...." (emphasis added)

My comment (also published on circleid.com):
"Thoughtful, well-written article, Phil. I do not understand the IANA ICG's and now the CCWG-Accountability's "rush" to meet an artificial September 2015 deadline when NTIA/Department of Commerce has repeatedly said there is no problem extending the time frame. Isn't it better to have a substantive end result which has lasting value and broad community support, than a top-down result with little community support? It appears that framing these processes by this "artificial time deadline" is being used as a way to manipulate the community into accepting outcomes which maintain the status quo because "we are running out of time" to consider better alternatives. Unless there is a sea-change, when all is done, the best that will be said of the IANA transition and ICANN Accountability processes is: "Well, they had to meet a deadline and did the best they could under the circumstances." -- John Poole"

It appears that both the IANA Transition and ICANN Accountability processes have now made the false deadline of September, 2015, the priority over everything else. Good luck getting anything of real lasting value substantively, from either process, with the "arguably unrealistic" deadline of September 2015 as The Priority! There's a wealth of literature on the subject of unrealistic deadlines and the resulting dysfunctionality, e.g., Managing projects with unrealistic deadlines - TechRepublic: "... the time constraint is not in alignment with the ... scope ..."




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