[SCP-TBD] Definition of Workstream Leader
Jun 30, 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 immediate effect and apply to all workstreams with a single leader.
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 are strongly encouraged to adopt this definition.

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: 33
·
Voting Closed
FOR - Adopt the proposed definition of a Workstream Leader.
69.7% (23)
AGAINST - Do nothing.
30.3% (10)
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Giantkin
GiantkinJul 8, 2022

Maybe im thinking more about the ‘spirit’ of the Leadership role than others. I would like to know/figure out the root of the issue. Budget: mentioned above that ive flexed my usage. I also try to keep exact records of my spends. ie: i sent $4.22 for something, i have it noted. I note it on the send itself, and in a Google sheet for the purpose. I dont know the item that made this proposal needed at all.
This proposal will not change anything on how I run my WS, that i can tell.

pastaghost
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pastaghostJul 8, 2022

jonisjon:

This affects many workstreams in the DAO, not just the engineering workstream, so I see no issue with this going into immediate effect if this passes governance. If anything it seems worthwhile to have that happen since the goal is to clarify any potential ambiguity, why would we want that ambiguity to persist once governance has clarified it?

That this affects many workstreams in the DAO is exactly the issue with this proposal going into immediate effect if it passes governance. No workstream currently has a superseding charter prepared, and it will likely take more time for each workstream to prepare a charter than the remaining governance time for this proposal. As I explained above, the specifications of the operating agreement outlined above are not suitable for every workstream. To again give the example, the majority of the engineering workstream finds the arrangement outlined above to be not only entirely unconducive to optimal productivity on the engineering team, but dangerous. You may disagree, and I understand that, but realize that you are not on the engineering workstream and so are necessarily lacking the context that informs these specific concerns. Allowing this to go into immediate effect should it pass governance forces the above working arrangement on every workstream at least until those workstreams can draft a superseding charter.
jonisjon:

From my perspective, this definition is already in effect and has been in practice for a year, the governance process of defining this only enshrines that and I don’t think if it passes workstream leader should be defined any differently for current workstreams unless a specific workstream passes something that overrides that via governance (otherwise all the current workstream leaders will be operating without a specific definition which is the exact problem this proposal is attempting to clarify and solve!).

I understand where you are coming from, but you must consider that your perspective is not shared by many members of the DAO. Several of those who do not share your perspective are involved directly with the workstreams and will be affected by the language in this proposal. In your position, not being a direct contributor to or leader of any workstream as far as I am aware, your perspective on this is necessarily different than those closer to the issue.
jonisjon:

The current contention around the definition is a recent phenomenon that did not come up for a full year, and to potentially hamstring the current ws leaders with further ambiguity until the end of their current terms given that contention doesn’t make sense to me once this has passed if we have the power to immediately remedy that with this proposal.

At least on the engineering workstream, that is not the case. This only started to become ambiguous four or so months ago, and there has been contention about this continually since then. I cannot speak as to whether this has been a topic of discussion on other workstreams.
jonisjon:

It seems to me the immediate effect language is important and should remain, anyone who wants to propose to governance an alternative definition, in general, or for a specific WS, can do that before this even goes to vote if they don’t want the effect this proposal would have on their workstream.

This is not practical, for reasons that I would be happy to explain to you or anyone else outside of the public forum.

jonisjon
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jonisjonJul 8, 2022

This affects many workstreams in the DAO, not just the engineering workstream, so I see no issue with this going into immediate effect if this passes governance. If anything it seems worthwhile to have that happen since the goal is to clarify any potential ambiguity, why would we want that ambiguity to persist once governance has clarified it?
From my perspective, this definition is already in effect and has been in practice for a year, the governance process of defining this only enshrines that and I don’t think if it passes workstream leader should be defined any differently for current workstreams unless a specific workstream passes something that overrides that via governance (otherwise all the current workstream leaders will be operating without a specific definition which is the exact problem this proposal is attempting to clarify and solve!).
The current contention around the definition is a recent phenomenon that did not come up for a full year, and to potentially hamstring the current ws leaders with further ambiguity until the end of their current terms given that contention doesn’t make sense to me once this has passed if we have the power to immediately remedy that with this proposal.
It seems to me the immediate effect language is important and should remain, anyone who wants to propose to governance an alternative definition, in general, or for a specific WS, can do that before this even goes to vote if they don’t want the effect this proposal would have on their workstream.
Perhaps, at the very least, this issue around whether it should go into “immediate effect” would be good for an additional poll to gauge sentiment once this goes to ideation?

Giantkin
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GiantkinJul 8, 2022

mcchadwick:

“Facilitators are always attached to a Core Unit that defines their primary responsibility and their Budget and Governance Powers.”
and,
“Facilitators attached to a Core Unit administer the Budget for that Core Unit. How this is implemented in practice depends on the specific Budget Implementation.”
also,
“The Core Unit Budget allows the facilitators to meet their responsibilities by hiring Contributors and purchasing services and products.” Notice that explicit language granting a Facilitator the authority to unilaterally terminate the involvement of Contributor with a Core Unit is conspicuously absent.

Facilitaors attached to core unit. (for us that is Leaders and Workstreams.) not sure i follow, this is how we are yes.
By saying Hiring, that would make it obvious of ability to fire. We dont fire, we let go, etc.
We have our Proposals done up, that say what we are planning on doing for each Workstream. It seems that the makerDao has the same setup we do, with the roughly the same wording.
I pick ppl that i want to work with, and if i dont think the budget can withstand, or they arent doing their jobs, or some other reason, i reevaluate, and restructure.
Thanks for the points. Going by your summary (i didnt read the makerDao links) it seems we are doing things very similiar to what they are.

hunt_shapeshiftdemo
hunt_shapeshiftdemoJul 8, 2022

guess that was more of a cultural observation by me 🍻

pastaghost
pastaghostJul 8, 2022

Adopting a similar governance model doesn’t mean the we have to make similar strategic decisions

1
hunt_shapeshiftdemo
hunt_shapeshiftdemoJul 8, 2022

I didn’t want to mention this, out of painful reminder…but if we are following the footsteps of Maker, no wonder we’re destroying our marketing and growth workstream - they were never able to get it right as stated on our ShapeShift Stage and labelled it as their biggest failure point.

pastaghost
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pastaghostJul 8, 2022

I appreciated the point of view that you expressed in today’s governance call. I do believe it to be a prudent strategy for us to look to other, more experienced organizations in the space for inspiration when solidifying our governance policy. I also appreciated that you selected MakerDAO as an organization after which we should model our governance policies. They have thrived in the space for quite some time and during that time have developed a refined, well-documented governance model that has clearly survived the test of time.
I did; however, find the example you gave invoking MakerDAO’s governance model to be misleading.
MakerDAO has not, as you stated, converged on a governance model similar to the one you proposed here. MakerDAO does not, by default, grant its Facilitators (analogous to our Workstream Leaders) unilateral authority over all Core Unit (analogous to our Workstreams) matters, either.
Instead, what the MakerDAO governance documentation states regarding the role and responsibility of its Facilitators is:
“Facilitators are always attached to a Core Unit that defines their primary responsibility and their Budget and Governance Powers.”
and,
“Facilitators attached to a Core Unit administer the Budget for that Core Unit. How this is implemented in practice depends on the specific Budget Implementation.”
also,
“The Core Unit Budget allows the facilitators to meet their responsibilities by hiring Contributors and purchasing services and products.” Notice that explicit language granting a Facilitator the authority to unilaterally terminate the involvement of Contributor with a Core Unit is conspicuously absent.
That is, each Core Unit Mandate (analogous to the Workstream Charter that I have proposed) specifies the role and responsibility and scopes the authority of the Facilitator for each Core Unit individually. For a reference to the complete description of a Facilitator and their interaction with MakerDAO Core Units, see MIP41c1: The Facilitator Framework.
For an example Core Unit Proposal containing a Core Unit Mandate and a complete description of how the Facilitator is to interact with the Core Unit Contributors, see MIP39c2-SP7: Adding Protocol Engineering Core Unit.
From the section of this MIP39c2-SP7 titled Team Structure:
“The Protocol Engineering Core Unit will have a flat management structure led by the facilitator who answers to the community of MKR holders. This Core Unit is being proposed as a single team.”
The Protocol Engineering Core Unit at MakerDAO has been operating under a flat management structure since 04-27-2021, and appears to be doing just fine. This is one counterexample to the assertion above that unilateral authority over all workstream matters is necessary to successfully operate a team.
I have been very impressed with the verbosity and specificity of MakerDAO’s governance documentation. If this is the model that you would like to see adopted at ShapeShift DAO, I am in support. That would, however, eliminate the need for this proposal and require instead that each workstream adopt and publish a charter upon renewal. On second thought, I think that is a better idea.

1
elmutt
elmuttJul 7, 2022

I agree these are both very important points that we discussed and agreed upon

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