[SCP-92] Definition of Workstream Leader [Ideation]
Jul 8, 2022

Summary

This proposal clearly defines a Workstream Leader.

Abstract

This proposal explicitly defines the roles, responsibilities, and authority of a Workstream Leader, as it relates to

  • A workstream requiring a single leader
  • The authority to hire and fire within a workstream
  • Discretion over the allocation of a budget approved by governance

Should this proposal pass, it will take effect after 14 days, and apply to all workstreams without a passed superseding proposal.
Current workstreams with multiple leaders are encouraged to expediently elect a single leader and adopt this definition via a separate proposal specific to their workstream.
Future proposals that create, renew, or amend workstreams will adopt this definition of a Workstream Leader by default unless explicitly defined otherwise.

Motivation

There is not an explicit definition of a Workstream Leader as approved by governance.
This proposal seeks to formalize an agreed upon definition of a Workstream Leader, including roles, responsibilities, and authority.
Resourcing and budget are intrinsically linked. A Workstream Leader cannot control one without the other.
A single Workstream Leader is proposed as a clear, effective, and familiar way to mitigate complexities that can arise with multiple Workstream Leaders related to responsibility, accountability, and conflict resolution.

Specification

Single Workstream Leader

A workstream shall have a single Workstream Leader.
The Workstream Leader shall be responsible for the direction, resourcing, budget, performance, deliverables, communication, and representation of the workstream.
The Workstream Leader may only be changed via governance. In the event of a sudden or emergency departure of a Workstream Leader, a Workstream Leader may appoint an Interim Workstream Leader by a forum post, which shall immediately follow the standard governance process.

Resourcing

The Workstream Leader shall be delegated the authority by governance to make decisions pertaining to resourcing, that is, how the funds allocated to the workstream are used to provide the services and meet proposed goals, including hiring and firing of workstream contributors.

Budget

A budget is an estimate of income and expenditure for a set period of time.
The Workstream Leader shall be delegated the authority by governance to have full discretion over how an approved budget is spent.
The Workstream Leader shall not be able to spend more than the approved budget by a proposal, without a proposal to amend said proposal.
Workstream proposals must include timephased budget estimates broken down by each month of their proposed cycle (e.g. $15,000 July, $10,000 August, etc.).
The Workstream Leader shall be responsible for coordinating with DAO treasury multi-sig signers to ensure sufficient funds are made available in Colony to ensure expenses can be paid monthly or on-demand.

Benefits

An explicitly defined and shared understanding of how workstreams and their leaders operate will remove the ambiguity that currently exists within the DAO.
Without a defined and granted delegated authority - a Workstream Leader is unable to lead. The leader role becomes that of a secretary, coordinator or spokesperson.

Drawbacks

There could exist a perceived centralization risk that arises from delegating authority to Workstream Leaders.
This is mitigated by the following

  • Delegated authority is well defined and scoped to an individual workstream.
  • A Workstream Leader can be removed via a governance proposal at any time.
  • A Workstream Leader’s term is always limited and thus up for renewal and potential replacement at the end of any given term.

Vote

poll
Total Votes: 52
·
Voting Closed
FOR - Adopt the proposed definition of a Workstream Leader.
57.69% (30)
AGAINST - Do nothing.
42.31% (22)
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0xdef1cafe
0xdef1cafeJul 14, 2022

Reposted to snapshot after the required 5 day period - apologies it was posted 3 hours prior earlier today
https://snapshot.org/#/shapeshiftdao.eth/proposal/0x3529a9ab550387d1eedf34d0ba26b5c80ed1c04a74a3c407d9b06a6ea90325ab

1
pastaghost
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pastaghostJul 13, 2022

Part of the intent of the ideation step is to allow the community to review any modifications to or alternatives to proposals. You can read that here. Prior to your decision to move this to SnapShot, you were given the alternate proposal in advance, informed that the alternate proposal would be headed to the forum, and the alternate proposal was posted here. You also just yesterday agreed verbally to review the new proposal in order to collaborate on this. I sent you the proposal in advance yesterday to establish some record of these conversations having taken place in anticipation of something like this being attempted.
To be clear, the FOX Governance Process document says:
FOX Governance Process

From time to time there may be conflicting proposals. To avoid issues, the Ideation phase can also serve as time for anyone to list their preferred alternative option on the forum. Each proposal on an associate topic will have a [TOPIC] block placed in its title.
After that time, a formal proposal will be put forward including all options available to move forward with that received majority support in Ideation. This will ensure that everyone has the ability to surface their preferences while keeping decision timelines reasonably short.

and also says:
FOX Governance Process

  • Timeline: 5 days minimum
  • Proposal may move forward if the majority votes in favor after timeline specified above

Given that this post was originally made at July 8, 2022, 1:13PM MST and the proposal was moved to Snapshot at Jul 13, 2022, 10:17 AM, the minimum five-day ideation phase had not concluded prior to this being moved out of ideation.
Perhaps more importantly, I think the decision to knowingly advance this proposal to Snapshot before the community had a chance to review modifications or the proposed alternative unfortunately represents yet another action that is against the spirit of governance.
Although there are currently more votes ‘AGAINST’ this proposal than ‘FOR’ on Snapshot, I think that the right thing to do in order to see that the best wishes of the community are reflected here is to remove the proposal from Snapshot at this time.

1
con5cience
con5cienceJul 13, 2022

I acknowledge that we need governance direction one way or the other here, but I really would have loved to have seen you coordinate with @pastaghost on posting your individual proposals to Snapshot simultaneously after the community discussion had come to a more organic state of completion. 💔

1
0xdef1cafe
0xdef1cafeJul 13, 2022

This has gone to snapshot here Snapshot

pastaghost
pastaghostJul 13, 2022

I’ve provided an alternate Workstream Leader definition here.

1
Giantkin
GiantkinJul 12, 2022

See i was going to stay out… But maybe have this apply only to w-engineering. as they might need clarification. as far as i can tell, no other WS is having this issue.
‘leaders’ are just the ones that are fulfilling the proposal as they discussed and got voted on.

4
willy
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willyJul 12, 2022
, the accusation that I am being dishonest or trying to make this seem like something it isn’t is one that I take very seriously. I always welcome and legitimately consider any feedback, but if this is your point of view, then you’re going to have to make your case instead of blindly throwing an accusation at me. To clarify, what I said is this: made an agreement with the community to remove the immediate effect clause after public conversations about the effect of that clause with respect to governance. The intent of removing that clause was known. Instead, chose to replace the immediate effect clause with a different clause that is functionally identical. In this way, it appears to the community as though the agreement to remove the clause was kept when in reality it was not. I am doing nothing disingenuous or misleading in pointing that out. It is also not clear to me that inserting intentionally misleading language in a governance proposal or making flatly untrue statements about MakerDAO’s governance policy during the weekly governance call can rightly be considered as acting in the DAO’s best interest. If a person finds it necessary to engage in unethical tactics to convince a group of his or her point of view, I think it’s worth deeply considering whether that point of view is one worth holding.

Never accused of dishonesty, but I do stand by my request to please stop making this seem like it is in any way unethical, against the spirit of the DAO, or some kind of “behind-the-back political strategy,” which are very bold claims that I do wholeheartedly disagree with. I see this as ethical, very much in the spirit of the DAO, and a public and transparent conversation that is complying with every requirement in the governance process.
In this same paragraph, you do accuse of dishonesty by inserting intentionally misleading language and as well as making flatly untrue statements about MakerDAO’s governance policy. If somebody says something incorrect (honestly not sure who is at fault here and would like to hear the statement in question so we can get clarity here), I certainly don’t think we should assume that they are doing this intentionally, unethically, or without the DAO’s best interest in mind. That is against the spirit of the DAO imo.
I also do not see any mention of this in the comment where you made the claims:

To clarify, what I said is this: made an agreement with the community to remove the immediate effect clause after public conversations about the effect of that clause with respect to governance. The intent of removing that clause was known. Instead, chose to replace the immediate effect clause with a different clause that is functionally identical. In this way, it appears to the community as though the agreement to remove the clause was kept when in reality it was not. I am doing nothing disingenuous or misleading in pointing that out.

Mentioning this and disagreeing with it would have been fine, but that is not what you did; you claimed the entire strategy was unethical.

If a person finds it necessary to engage in unethical tactics to convince a group of his or her point of view, I think it’s worth deeply considering whether that point of view is one worth holding.

I completely agree.

1
Josh_shapeshiftdemo
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Josh_shapeshiftdemoJul 12, 2022

mcchadwick:

The engineering workstream at its inception had an explicitly flat organizational structure. confirmed this at the engineering retreat. held an extended set of responsibilities as workstream leader, but did not consider himself to be in a position of authority above the other workstream contributors. The engineering workstream had no difficulties as a result of operating under this model,

At the Engineering Retreat I said that I remembered saying to people “I guess I’m not your boss anymore.” And I did think of it that way. I do think that if I needed to fire someone during that time, that I would’ve done so, and been supported in doing it.
I disagree with the statement that we had no difficulties. While we had no internal conflict, I do think that as a team of engineers we were getting complacent. I talked about this at the time. I say “we” as I include myself in this statement. I thought we needed a leadership change, and bringing in James, who is more of an expert/achiever leader (for those who follow in that framework), was what the team needed. The team was getting smaller. He has a better sense of what should be possible in what timeframe, and better able to unblock people with technical challenges to achieve what is possible.
I have mentioned to engineers that in retrospect, this whole discussion about what should happen with the workstream would have been better if we all talked about it together at the retreat. That would not have changed my opinion that James as the workstream leader should have the ability to make the final decision if needed, and I do think we might have come to some common understanding about it all.
I support this proposal as it is. I agree with and some others that I would have preferred if this did not have the 14-day clause. However, at the end of the day, we are only talking about a matter of weeks - whether that is two weeks, or four weeks until the middle of August, or six weeks until the end of August. In August, we will need a new workstream proposal that will begin on September 1, if we want engineering efforts to continue.
I understand will propose a workstream with him as the workstream leader as defined here. If there is another one that someone (?) wants to propose with a flat leaderlesss structure, you still have 14 days from the passing of this proposal (if it does pass), before this definition takes effect and applies to the current Engineering workstream.

2
hunt_shapeshiftdemo
hunt_shapeshiftdemoJul 12, 2022

I would be hard pressed to consider Maker’s model of operation optimal, there are a number of very public issues at MKR.
Example #1: Governance Controversy Arises in MakerDAO Community - Crypto Briefing
Beyond the above ‘controversy’ - Maker literally came to our Stage months ago and defined that we might be doing things better than them as they’re unable to find vital leaders for months at a time (specifically, they can’t/couldn’t pin down a marketing plan or team), so who is to say we should be mimicking them?

0xean
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0xeanJul 12, 2022

I want to clear up a few things about MAKER, I wasn’t in the governance call so I cannot comment on that, but what is posted above isn’t accurate either.
The Core Unit Facilitator role is very close to what is being outlined by here for a workstream leader. Facilitator’s are trusted to have autonomy and control of their budget and are able to make hiring and firing decisions at will inside of their budget.
Please see - MIPs Portal - for reference.
Regarding the Protocol Engineering Core Unit specifically, the team does have a flat structure in that all team members report to Derek_ directly. (MIPs Portal) The “flat” refers to the fact that there is no other hierarchy of people reporting to managers that then report to Derek_. I have spoken with Derek_ directly, and he absolutely has the sole power for hiring and firing within his budget. He does of course consult with his team members, but ultimately he is the arbiter of the budget and is held responsible for that by token holders and governance.
Additionally, Derek_ does have the ability to set priorities on the team within his charter and does so when needed.
There is a large difference between a flat org and a leaderless org structure.

3
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