This post comes in response to [SCP-92] - Definition of a Workstream Leader. It is the belief of some from the community that the scope of authority granted to Workstream Leaders under this definition is overly broad, and inadequate checks and balances to the authority and autonomy granted to Workstream Leaders by this definition are given. An updated Workstream Leader definition with a more appropriate set of checks and balances to Workstream Leader authority is proposed below.
This proposal clearly defines a Workstream Leader.
This proposal explicitly defines the roles, responsibilities, and authority of a Workstream Leader, as it relates to
- The authority to hire and fire within a workstream
- Discretion over the allocation of a budget approved by governance
- Policy for removing a Workstream Leader
In addition to this proposal, workstreams are encouraged to expediently adopt a Workstream Charter which outlines the team structure, working agreements, team policies, and may supersede the resourcing and budget sections of this document. In the absence of a Workstream Charter at the time the workstream becomes eligible for renewal, only the terms outlined in this document will apply. Should this proposal pass, the Workstream Leader definition provided herein shall override any previous Workstream Leader definition. Future proposals that create, renew, or amend workstreams will adopt this definition of a Workstream Leader by default unless explicitly defined otherwise.
There does not currently exist 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. Workstream leaders are granted some degree of both authority and autonomy by the DAO. As such, it is essential to ensure that the aims of Workstream Leaders are at all times aligned with the best interests of the DAO through an equitable system of checks and balances against this authority and autonomy.
The ShapeShift DAO is a community-led organization. Workstream Leaders are elected to serve the interests of the community by implementing community-generated strategic decisions within the bounds of the scope of their responsibility as stated in the proposal instantiating the workstream(s) they represent.
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. The Workstream Leader may undertake a hiring or firing action without independent consultation of the Workstream Contributors during the process; however, the Workstream Leader must notify all Workstream Contributors of the action immediately after such a decision has been made. Subsequent to this notification, a >50% majority of Workstream Contributors may raise an objection to this action by forum post and make an appeal for the action to be decided by governance. In this case, the action taken by the Workstream Leader shall take no effect until the governance process has concluded.
A workstream budget shall be submitted along with each workstream proposal to inform the DAO as to how treasury funds allocated to the workstream will be spent. The Workstream Leader shall be delegated the authority by governance to have full discretion over how an approved budget is spent within the bounds of that which is explicitly outlined in the proposal establishing the workstream. The Workstream Leader is expected to adhere to the spending plan approved by the DAO, however, budgets need not be overly specific, and Workstream Leaders are encouraged to add line items for discretionary and contingency funds to allow for the workstream to cover unanticipated expenses during the lifetime of the proposal without requiring a budget amendment to pass governance. The Workstream Leader shall not be able to spend more than the approved budget without a proposal to amend said budget. Budgetary decisions affecting funds allocated to Workstream Contributors are considered resourcing decisions and so are subject to the same provisions in the Resourcing section above or as dictated by superseding Workstream Charter, where applicable. 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. On the 1st of each month, the Workstream Leader shall be responsible for submitting an accounting report to the DAO showing the actual funds spent during the previous month.
Consideration of Organizational Impact
The DAO is an integrated structure containing several workstreams that operate in parallel but are not orthogonal in scope or interaction. it is possible that situations may arise where a decision made by a Workstream Leader has side effects that negatively impact other workstreams, carry an outsized risk to the success of, or have a disproportionately large effect on the strategic direction of the organization as a whole. To avoid these situations, Workstream Leaders may request a consideration of organizational impact by a forum post, where the appropriateness of the decision in question will be evaluated by governance. In this case, the decision called to question shall take no effect until the governance process has concluded. A consideration of organizational impact may also be raised by a contingent of community members by staking a total of one million (1,000,000) FOX in support of a motion created on Snapshot within a five (5) day window. This governance mechanism has the potential to cause significant difficulty to the operation should it be abused, and so this should only be used rarely, in cases where there is a significant risk to the continued successful operation of one or more workstreams or to the organization in its entirety.
Removal of a Workstream Leader
At any time, a Workstream Leader may be nominated for removal by a proposal. Should the proposal calling for the removal of the Workstream Leader pass governance, an amendment to the original workstream proposal naming a new Workstream Leader and making any necessary budgetary reallocations shall be submitted by the remaining Workstream Contributors from the affected workstream. In the event that a replacement Workstream Leader nomination cannot be decided upon by the Workstream Contributors, the new Workstream Leader shall be elected from a list of candidates supplied to the community by the remaining Workstream Contributors on the affected workstream through governance.
Declaration of “No Confidence”
If, at any time, a >50% majority of Workstream Contributors on a workstream announces a declaration of ‘no confidence in their Workstream Leader by way of a forum post, a decision to remove the Workstream Leader will be made by the community through governance (this is to be replaced with the expedited governance process which has not yet been officially defined.) During the time that removal of the Workstream Leader is being considered by the community, autonomy over resourcing and budget decisions is suspended, pending the outcome of the vote. Should the proposal calling for the removal of the Workstream Leader pass governance, an amendment to the original workstream proposal naming a new Workstream Leader and making any necessary budgetary reallocations shall be submitted by the remaining Workstream Contributors. In the event that a replacement Workstream Leader nomination cannot be decided upon by the remaining Workstream Contributors on the affected workstream, the new Workstream Leader shall be elected from a list of candidates supplied to the community by the remaining Workstream Contributors on the affected workstream through governance (this is to be replaced with the expedited governance process which has not yet been officially defined.)
Leave of Absence
In the event that a Workstream Leader must take a planned or unplanned leave of absence, the Workstream Leader has the authority to appoint an Interim Workstream Leader to assume all responsibilities of the original Workstream Leader during the leave. The Interim Workstream Leader shall assume the role entirely, and is subject to all provisions outlined in this document.
An explicitly defined and shared understanding of how workstreams and their leaders operate will remove the ambiguity that currently exists within the DAO. An adequate system of checks and balances on the authority and autonomy granted to Workstream Leaders minimizes the centralization risk associated with the creation of the role and ensures that the DAO continues to be led ultimately by the community.
There is an inherent centralization risk associated with the delegation of any power or responsibility to a small group of individuals and an additional risk in the possibility of collusion between these individuals to make organization-wide strategic decisions outside governance. Hopefully, the provisions outlined in this document stand to minimize these risks by giving some recourse to the community should concerns arise.