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RE: [council] Staff utilization report

Jeff, you are going a wrong path. There will be a lot of time to play and
work if we stop defining processes and count every hour and drill into the
single character in the text. You propose us again - to set up a committee
or working group to drill into working hours of people instead of dealing
with real TLD matter. 




From: owner-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:owner-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of Neuman, Jeff
Sent: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 4:55 PM
To: Stéphane Van Gelder; Council GNSO
Subject: RE: [council] Staff utilization report


I would also like to add some of my own personal comments to Stephane?s on
some of the issues I see with this Utilization studies and the conclusions
drawn from it.


1.  First, the utilization rate is drawn from a 40-hour work week which I
understand is ?ideal?, but I would venture to say that none of us only work
40 hours a week.  I wish this were the case, but unfortunately it is not
especially when ?admin? time is figured into the equation.  With ?admin
time? in the equation, most of us work at least 45+ hours per week.  If you
were to figure in 45 hours per week per FTW (as opposed to 40), then the
utilization rate drops from 126% to 112% (348/310.5 X 100)(assuming 6.9


2.  ICANN policy staff is recommending that the Council not assign any
further work as a result of them being over capacity.  GNSO Council
leadership has tried over and over again to figure out why this is the case
and this report points out that some of the reasons staff is overworked have
little if anything to do with the activities of the Council.  Yet the
requests to reduce staff workload to my knowledge is ONLY going to the
Council.  I have asked ICANN policy staff if this study and their requests
to reduce work load has been sent to ICANN Executive Management and the
ICANN Board, but have not gotten a response.  As a council, we have zero
insight or control into the work that is assigned to ICANN Policy staff by
the Board or by ICANN executive management, or for that matter any request
that comes in from a constituency or stakeholder group for support.  >From my
estimates of the time as indicated in the snapshot, 50 hours of its work
comes from the Board and/or Executive team while another 26 hours came from
the request of new groups wanting to be constituencies.  Combines that is
nearly 2 full time employees (of the 6.9 that have been allocated to the
GNSO).  The GNSO Council has absolutely no insight nor control over this
work by ICANN Policy staff. 


3.  I want us to engage in a constructive dialogue on this as I believe it
is critical.  I had hoped not to have to drill down on individual hours and
numbers in this utilization study, but because ICANN policy staff is making
the recommendation that we take up no new projects as a Council, I think we
need to start getting into the weeds a little, so here it goes. This is not
meant to question the hours spent to date on the work, but rather an eye
towards looking to the future.


a)  This study states that new Constituencies Support/Process is 26 hours
per week.  I really do not believe that this will be (or even should be) the
amount of this will require on an ongoing basis.  That is more than ½ of a
full person in man hours and that seems really high.  Even if it were 10
hours, that would seem high, but lets assume for arguments sake that this
could be reduced to 10 hours per week.  


b)  The OSC seems to be winding down its activities, correct, which is
another 14 hours.


c)  Unless a motion is approved at this Council meeting, the Whois studies
would not be ongoing work, that would be another 10 hours.


d)  Registration Abused Policy WG is now closed and has morphed into Best
Practices and UDRP, which is another 6 hours per week.


e)  I believe the GCOT work is completed or almost complete.  Another 2


f)  PPSC is down in the study at 6 hours a week, but I do not see more PPSC
work in the next several months making way for the Standing Committee (which
has a separate time allocation).


g)  With all luck, this work prioritization I think can be eliminated and
become a burden for the Council and its leadership ? another 14 hours.


Just looking at this quick math, making these changes would save us 68 hours
of ICANN policy staff time.  Even if we went to the 100% level at 40 hours
per week (But see #1 above), that would still leave us with 18 hours to play
with, which is where I would put the new WHOIS studies which look like one
or more may move forward and some other items the Council wants to achieve. 


4.  So, if we commit to making even these small changes, what reductions can
we expect from the Board and ICANN?s Executive Team as that takes up nearly
2 persons? time?  If even we can reduce that to 1.5 persons? time, that
would give us another 20 hours to play with.


5.  Conclusion:  I do not believe it is fair to recommend that new projects
be taken on.  I believe there is still room to play with AND I would like to
see the ICANN Executives and the Board make the same commitments we are
making in helping to achieve realistic workloads. This is a problem, but not
just a problem for the Council.  This is a problem that needs to be handled
with ICANN Executive Management and the Board.  As such, I would like to
explore with the Council the formation of an exploratory committee comprised
of GNSO Council members, ICANN Executive Management and ICANN Board members
to look into this issue and figure out the best path forward.   The answer
cannot be on a going forward basis that no more work can be done.


This is all my personal opinion and does not reflect the views of my
company, my stakeholder group or others in Council leadership.



Jeffrey J. Neuman 
Neustar, Inc. / Vice President, Law & Policy


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From: owner-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:owner-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of Stéphane Van Gelder
Sent: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 7:14 AM
To: Council GNSO
Subject: [council] Staff utilization report




I wanted to get this out to you asap and hopefully you will have time to
read this by the time we start our weekend discussions in SFO. To that end,
I would like to thank Liz for providing a short format for this report that
makes it easy and quick to read.


As you all know, we as a Council have been struggling with prioritization
for a while now. Since the start of the year, we have stepped up our
efforts. We have already deleted several projects that were either no longer
active or just plain finished. We are also now looking at a pending project
at each Council meeting (this is normally set for agenda item 2, except for
SFO because of a scheduling conflict).


On top of those efforts, the Leadership team has been engaging in
discussions with staff so that we can understand the resource issues that
are coming to the fore more and more often.


At my request, Liz has provided some key data to help us in our
understanding of the situation. This is summarized in the report below.


I want to thank Liz and all the policy and support staff for the outstanding
work they provide for both the GNSO and the community as a whole. I
personally feel very fortunate and privileged to be working with such
talented people, and I continue to be humbled by staff's ability to take on
such an intense workload without flinching.


Continuing with the personal comments, I feel that our (the ICANN community
in general I mean) inability to manage our workload is one of the greatest
dangers we face. It has been my experience, while on this Council, that
there seems to be more interest in launching new projects, whatever those
may be, than completing existing ones. And obviously, this way of doing
things is not sustainable in the long run.


I am therefore not surprised to see staff raising an insistent red flag
lately. But I also think it is unfair to ask the Council to tackle this by
itself. We have no control over, and no clear vision of, the way staff is
assigned to each project, be they GNSO or otherwise. As the recent consumer
choice issue shows, we also don't have control over how the Board may send
work our way. And I am sure, although I am happy to be corrected on this,
that the Board does not look at current staff utilization levels before
assigning a new project to ICANN's SOs and ACs. If they did, I don't think
the Cartagena consumer choice resolution would have been made in the way it


So I think it is crucial that we as a community continue to look at this in
great detail to try and find a way to improve. Currently, staff are
basically telling us as a Council that we should no longer initiate new
projects. Line that up with the tentative agenda for our SFO Open Council
meeting, on which there are at least two motions that if adopted could add
to the existing workload, and you can see we clearly have a problem.








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