Establishing Proposal/Workstream Budget Oversight/Requirements (Pre-Proposal Discussion)

Sounds like the majority stakeholders voting don’t see a need for this, so I will be not pushing this further. Thanks all for the input.

If someone with more power authority in the forum could take this post down, that would be great. Thanks.

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hey @PTT, thanks so much for getting this convo started! I think it’s a great question, but when trying to vote, realized that a bit more information would help me make a more informed decision.

Would you be willing to answer any more of the questions in this post? How to propose a new workstream

You don’t need to answer all of them until you’re ready to make an official proposal, but here are some specific things I would love to better understand:

  1. in practice, what activities do you envision this workstream doing?
  2. how do you envision members of this workstream being compensated/how expensive would this workstream be?
  3. what would the benefits to the DAO be that would justify the estimated cost?
  4. I assume yes, but would be good to clarify, would you be interested in leading this workstream?

ty ser! looking forward to hearing your answers and making a more informed vote :fox_face: :rocket:

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So I think I like this overall, having some members of the DAO responsible for making sure any proposed budgets go through the proper checks etc, in my mind this seems more like a committee (that meets as necessary) rather than a workstream. I would think the committee would have some bursts of action (like when workstreams are considering new budget proposals) followed by some lull points that make me think that would work better than a workstream, but I am open to ideas and like the idea of some sort of budget oversight/coordination on behalf of the DAO.

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Willy,

Thanks so much for these questions/follow up points, I will do my best to answer them, though I am just one person and my ideas may not be perfect, I am always open to hearing others and trying to improve upon them.

  1. In practice, I think this would likely be a “part-time” workstream/workgroup/committee, only meeting/taking action when needed beyond the initial set-up and collaboration phases. I think, up front, there would be a need for more time/investment towards the establishment of this for guidelines and direction for future proposals to meet. The activities would include meeting likely 1-2 times per proposal, once would be for the establishment of baseline information from the group/person doing a proposal, any concerns, questions, and ideas from each of the workstreams. This would likely create a number of follow-up items for participants to bring back/the proposer to finalize before a final review by the group of people involved/signing off on(we could set a time frame that this should be accomplished in). I would assume the first meeting would generally be longer than the second, but could be wrong. (I know this is a lot of meetings, but those of you who have done budgets know that typically its a tedious process)

  2. The compensation piece of this I hadn’t 100% thought through yet, to be 100% honest. Something I had considered to encourage workstream participation and buy-in is that the funds could be allocated to the workstreams, and from there, the participant from the work stream on the proposals could be compensated from for their time.

Another option would be for there to be a line item for funds on each proposal that indicates a budgeted amount for budget review (assuming that these are only being applied to for withdrawal from the treasury).

A third option is that for future workstream proposals that a line item is built into the proposals for proposal budget review for the workstream that allocates funds to someone who is elected within that workstream to be the member participant, and that would be compensated for their time through that workstream.

I am not sure on amounts or what would be “fair”, as obviously this is adding costs to each proposal, but hopefully over the lifetime of this committee/group/workstream, that we would be able to better and more accurately provide budgets to the DAO and would be able to save in costs over time. I think this is the level of information someone from central ShapeShift could better provide, but I could do some digging online as well as to project accounting/budgeting and such to see if there is any basis for one-off project compensation.

  1. As stated above, I think that budgets serve as a guide of trying to narrow in on true costs of projects ahead of the project for proper analysis, this would allow for us to weed out projects that may be “too heavy” on the cost side at this time to push forward through the DAO governance. The value in having established budget protocols, templates, and procedures for any future workstream leader preparing future budgets, any DAO member proposal, or a new partnership that is wanting to request funds to grow

  2. I am not sure, to be honest. I would love to be involved, but not sure to what level and, also, do not want to step on the toes of central ShapeShifters who are currently in that space and looking to transition to the DAO side of the world. I think this space would be something my background fits in(cost accounting, budgeting, and finance).

Thanks for taking the time to read my long-winded reply. Would love to see more thoughts on this.

Thanks!

-Ron aka PTT

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To get my vote this would need to be a ‘special project’ rather than a workstream. Beyond that, there is clearly a need for some sort of accounting work (as a recommendation/audit) already is the short amount of time that the DAO has been operational. Further, I assume there will be much more need for budget audits moving forward. One item I see as being a priority is the point at which workstreams decided they need to expand/consolidate; when that occurs having an audit of what is really required as compared to what was expected to be necessary for any given workstreams success.

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Thanks for thinking about this. I like how well you have articulated some of your nascent thoughts. One thing this has made me realize is I think a budget template would be useful, so we can more easily digest budgets as they are presented.

However, when reviewing others budgets, I don’t need a separate audit/review, but admittedly I know everyone who has thus far presented a budget, and am familiar with the operations of ShapeShift, Inc. Do others in the community need this, and is there someone who could fill the role that those that need it would trust?

I would welcome any thoughts on the engineering budget, there is a community call at 4 MDT on Tuesday to discuss, or you can comment here: Engineering Workstream Budget

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Perhaps as a special project the DAO could hire @PTT to build a workstream budget template???

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Blockquote Something I had considered to encourage workstream participation and buy-in is that the funds could be allocated to the workstreams, and from there, the participant from the work stream on the proposals could be compensated from for their time.

This part - kinda sounds liike the workstream you are voting on would pay out to the Committee ? (so… if that workstream failed… commitee didnt get paid out? why would they not vote it in then?) better to be a seperate setup totally.
Right now, the community at large states wether its good/bad. (and we mostly follow the ppl that are already established with the numbers, from previous experience)

 WOuld the committe also give advice if its too low?   Some inexperienced members in this system, might underrate the need.   it could get really messy if a workstream under cut itself, and runs out of funds before its actual end?
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@PTT thank you for describing the suggestion and getting feedback. This is an interesting topic.

I’ve obviously been on the side of “more conservative” with budgets than others, and yet I actually would vote no on what you’re suggesting.

A budgeting oversight process implies that the DAO should care about how the money is spent within a workstream. I’m not sure that we should! I think we should care about results and results only, and we should cultivate a culture of experimentation.

I would much rather pay $100k and see that the specific goal was met, rather than paying $100k and have tons of details about how it’s spent.

If we focus on analyzing the details of each workstream leader’s spending proposals, it is going to be a ton of time and attention by lots of cooks in the kitchen, when what really matters isn’t how money is spent, but what is the measurable result of that workstream leader’s work?

If Alice spends $100k and doesn’t tell me how it’s spent, but achieves her objective, I’m thrilled.

If Bob spends $100k and provides exhaustive detail on how it’s spent, and comports to the “budgeting oversight process” etc, but doesn’t actually deliver the objective? No value!

By trusting the workstream or project leader with the resources given to them, we save our time and theirs. The discipline and rigor we should enforce is at the outcome level. If Alice doesn’t deliver, then funding for her should dry up. As people build reputation and a history of performance, we can trust them with larger and larger sums over longer time periods. For now, we should trust with only smaller amounts and on shorter time frames.

Further, if we had a budgeting oversight process, then we are going to engender a culture of nitpickyness, where debates flare up over specific line items constantly. As a decentralized organization, we need to be humble that most of us won’t know how to do X task. The workstream or project leader does (or needs to prove such at least).

Let’s focus on restraining costs at the high level, but not on the line item level. That’s the job for the leader themselves.

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I’m a No on this and my reasoning is below

  1. Most workstreams are only funded for X of months. When the next proposal for the workstream to be funded comes up, it should be with a budget on how they are going to allocate the funds over the next X number of months for that funding period. That is the time for the community to discuss and debate if the budget and how it is going to be spent and if it is of value to the DAO

  2. All transactions are going to be done on chain. Anyone can look to see how the workstream is spending the funds and can flag to the community if something doesn’t look right

  3. Having a person or persons doing general oversight creates the paradoxical question, who oversees the overseers? Back to my #1 point, this should be done by every DAO community member when a workstream is asking for more funding before they vote yes or no on it