Conflict Resolution within a Working Group: Problem Statement

Document Type Expired Internet-Draft (individual)
Authors Nalini Elkins  , Henning Schulzrinne 
Last updated 2019-06-08 (latest revision 2018-12-05)
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Expired & archived
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This Internet-Draft is no longer active. A copy of the expired Internet-Draft can be found at


At the IETF, we currently use a set of methods to communicate a point of view, to solicit input, to resolve conflict and attempt to obtain consensus within the group. These methods include: writing an Internet Draft, discussion on email lists, discussion at face-to- face, interim or virtual meetings, and design teams. At times, these methods fall short. People become entrenched in their positions. A Working Group may be split for a prolonged period wasting time and energy. There may be a lasting impact. While the authors support rough consensus, the collateral damage of this process, at times can be considerable. This document discusses the benefits and drawbacks of each of the current methods of communication focusing solely on their efficacy at conflict resolution. A companion document will propose some solutions including alternative methods of conflict resolution.


Nalini Elkins (
Henning Schulzrinne (

(Note: The e-mail addresses provided for the authors of this Internet-Draft may no longer be valid.)