[Archived][DRAFT 2] DAO Operators

Authors: Colin Forward, Erik_Knobl, kempsterrrr, Bobbay

Previous status of paid contributors
Previous Draft: DAO Operators

Timeline

  • Posting in Forum in Draft form: Wed 8 June (Delivered)
  • Move to Forum vote: Wed 15 June
  • Move to Snapshot vote: Wed 22 June
  • Submit nominations to Snapshot: Wed 22 Jun
  • Candidate vote in Snapshot concludes: Wed 29 June

Summary

There is no regulation around Paid Employees for D_D. While being a strategic position, there is no definition on: What is the scope of the role? How to become one? What tasks each one of them should perform? How should they be rewarded? How should they coordinate with the rest of the DAO?

This initiative proposes the role of the Core Operator, for members with highly specific and strategic tasks, defined by the DAO, for the improvement of the community as a whole.

Scope of Work

Core Operators are members dedicated to the improvement of Developer_DAO, and rewarded by the DAO for their contributions with a monthly salary. They carry the highest degree of accountability for the success of the DAO in that they are expected to foster the culture of the collective, do the strategic planning, and drive the execution of work towards our goals. This proposal fully replaces P-7: Formalizing our Developer DAO Operations Team

Each Core Operator role should have the following definitions:

  1. Job Description. Definition of the scope of the role.
  2. Obligations. Activities the Operator does in the course of the role.
  3. Measurable Goals. Defining success; outcomes for the DAO, guilds and initiatives.
  4. Temporality and Salary.

There can be two types of Operators: directly appointed by Budget Stewards, and Guild Leads, which each Guild can define in their Budget Applications for each season.

Budget Stewards are the Core Team and the top 5 verified members from our early contributor rewards round, chosen by DAO members. This proposal asks them to perform three tasks:

Hire Operator. At the instance of any member of the DAO, any Steward can trigger the process to analyze the value of hiring an Operator, and discuss the issue in an open meeting with the rest of the Budget Stewards, and have a majority vote. If the vote is affirmative, the group will initiate the hiring process, discuss and define the role with the community, and submit nominations for it.
Approve Operator. The Budget Stewards will review the Budget Applications of the Guilds, and any of them can issue comments and improvements on the proposal. As well, any Steward can object to a specific item in a Budget, which would trigger a majority vote for all Stewards. The item should be changed if the vote favors the objection.
Remove Operator. At the instance of any member of the DAO, any Steward can trigger the process to analyze the removal of an Operator, and discuss the issue in an open meeting with the rest of the Budget Stewards, and have a majority vote. If the vote is in favor of the motion, the removal will be effective immediately.

What is the process of hiring Core Operators?

  • Any Budget Steward can trigger the process by making a DDIP in the forum stating the problem the new role would solve.
  • Budget Stewards will make sure there is open discussion of the role, pros and cons.
  • Nominations can be made by anyone in the DAO at the time when Budget Stewards convoke for them, with a previous inquiry for availability and interest in the role. Each nomination can be of individual persons, and/or teams of maximum 3 persons. Each Budget Steward participating in the process is expected to make public their reasoning behind their votes and proposals.
  • The proposal will be voted in Snapshot.

How do Core Operators work in relation to the other members of the DAO?
Core Operators are expected to lead the DAO towards the achievement of the goals they have been hired to accomplish, coordinating guilds, projects and individual members that may be needed.

What are their Obligations?
Operators need an accountability mechanism. Each role has its definitions with measurable goals but the community needs to see the work is being done on a regular basis. They should present a monthly report of activities. The following is the bare minimum so people throughout the DAO can discuss whether the Operator is keeping the tasks on track.

  • Overview (How are they reaching their key objectives)
  • Next Steps
  • Other comments.

How are Core Operators paid?
Their salary will be a base of USD amount, with $CODE incentives depending on achievement of KPIs, and defined for each role.

How does the DAO hire Operators for S1?
The DAO will hire Operators when it has funds, which is expected to be the start of S1. Efforts are underway to bill S1 sponsors in advance. In the case that the DAO does not have funds available, each paid operator will have a percent of salary deferred equal to the budget deficit. Deferred salaries will be accrued and paid when the DAO has funds.

The following are the two positions suggested a part of a Hiring Process (discussion of these roles, and nominations for them should be done by the community and the Budget Stewards before Jun 22th):

Coordination Operator:

Accountable for overall organizational process excellence, building internal coordination, with a lean on accounting.

Tasks to deliver for Season 1:

  • Improve internal coordination and champion process improvements accordingly.
  • POC for legal representation in the Caymans (and anywhere else) and liaison between them and the DAO, and keep an open record of all processes.
  • Creating processes required for KYC/AML (such as ensuring grants to the DAO itself are correctly accounted for under Cayman Law), and owning these.
  • Host weekly Initiative Leads meetings, and ensure records are accessible to everyone.
  • Set cadence and structure for hosting monthly DAO wide town halls in coordination with the Community Guild.
  • Oversee the Seasonal Budget application process and tracking of how budgets are finalized, allocated and distributed, as well as any incoming revenue.
  • Define and maintain access permissions across DAO tooling (discord, discourse etc.) to ensure organizational security. Work with any team looking to implement change to DAO tooling or structure to ensure it doesn’t harm coordination as a whole (at the DAO > Guild level).
  • Creating a process for issuing, fulfilling and tracking finances for The Developer DAO Foundation and any other entity created to support the DAO functioning (this may include hiring external partners given compliance risk in maintaining accounts correctly).
  • Establish a $CODE buyback mechanism in partnership with the Governance Guild.

KPIs:

  • 80% of active projects/initiatives submit applications to receive $CODE funding
  • Foundation successfully receives S1 sponsorship funds and pays all S1 financial obligations based on approved proposals
  • First $CODE buyback successfully completed ($CODE returned to treasury)
  • Agreements executed with at least one subsidiary initiative (e.g. pixeldevs, web3con) and one affiliate initiative (e.g. p3rks, DAO Agency)

Temporality and Rewards:

  • Base salary will be $8,000 USD monthly for one Season, plus incentives up to 5,000 $CODE for achievement of KPIs. (25% of the total for each KPI achieved), to be delivered at the end of the season.

Fundraising Operator:

Accountable for overall organizational process excellence, building internal coordination, with a lean on fundraising.

Tasks to deliver for Season 1:

  • Create the legal infrastructure for projects looking to apply for grants.
  • Establish a documented process for qualifying projects for grant applications under Developer DAO banner.
  • Develop a standard agreement between the DAO and projects which receive DAO funding or other resources.
  • Establish a documented pipeline of grant sources and build relationships with those granting entities.
  • Create an internal database of the projects and initiatives that will allow organizational visibility and better coordination.
  • Create guides and info resources that support internal projects who are looking to stand up their own infrastructure (i.e. multi-sigs) and entities (i.e. legal structures).
  • Support the creation of a Guild dedicated to support these efforts.

KPIs:

  • Legal setting for at least one type of Grant application being accessible to DAO projects.
  • Database has been implemented.
  • 30% of applications received funding
  • $30k of total grant funding for projects
  • $100k of endowment funding

Temporality and Rewards:

  • Base salary will be $8,000 USD monthly for one Season, plus incentives up to 5,000 $CODE for achievement of KPIs. (20% of the total for each KPI achieved), to be delivered at the end of the season.

EDIT 1: Added Bobbay as Author.

2 Likes

Commenting just on the Fundraising Operator role:
There are three different things getting mixed together here - Grants given by D_D, and grants given to D_D, and grants given to D_D projects.
Building out and running an internal grants program is a serious undertaking, as many of our members who are on grants committees can attest to. It would be a shame for this to distract from or get in the way of fundraising for the DAO.
I would like to see the Fundraising Operator work with a specific focus on raising funds, primarily for the DAO.
I have been working on this for months and have a lot of interest in Public Goods funding for D_D. I think it’s reasonable for me to raise a lot more than $100k in funding, and I think this deserves primary attention.
I could meet these targets for fundraising, and I’m happy to do this role for D_D.
This salary is not reflective of the value this brings to the DAO.

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May I ask how we arrived at the fundraising operator role being a priority and independent from the other guilds? Independent from mbd and the grants initiative in particular?

I am personally pretty keen to see more transparency on the fundraising side of things and would like it to sit within the grants initiatives. A team that is interested in this should be working to achieve these outcomes for the DAO and it should work very closely with MBD as their is a lot of overlap.

Other than the first KPI “Legal setting for at least one type of Grant application being accessible to DAO projects.” I don’t see why this is a specialised role tbh.

I also don’t fully understand why this isn’t just an operations guild proposal. Why are DAO operators being treated as a special case?

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Building out and running an internal grants program is a serious undertaking, as many of our members who are on grants committees can attest to.

This is precisely the reason we are hiring a person to do it.

Commenting on the Coordination Operator:
The operations team that Kemp and I have been co-leading was more work than two people could do.
Now much of that work is being put onto a single person’s role.
Particularly, having all legal and accounting relationship holding and compliance sit with a single person is a major burden to carry and also not robust.

May I ask how we arrived at the fundraising operator role being a priority and independent from the other guilds? Independent from mbd and the grants initiative in particular?
I fully expect this role to be deeply coordinated with MBD guild, and we have defined the tasks trying to define clear limits between the two parties. We could really help advise there.
As for Grants Team, it is a nascent initiative, and certainly can integrate to this efforts with this Op. The need and magnitude of the task of setting this, IMO, merits a paid role.

I am personally pretty keen to see more transparency on the fundraising side of things and would like it to sit within the grants initiatives. A team that is interested in this should be working to achieve these outcomes for the DAO and it should work very closely with MBD as their is a lot of overlap.

Totally. How can we improve this to advance those goals? Please help us improve it.

Other than the first KPI “Legal setting for at least one type of Grant application being accessible to DAO projects.” I don’t see why this is a specialised role tbh.

Is there anything we need to add? How can we improve it?

I also don’t fully understand why this isn’t just an operations guild proposal. Why are DAO operators being treated as a special case?

That could have been a path to solve this issue too, but I don’t have clarity on Ops Team about the future of it, and also, on the strong need for it to be a Guild.

I personally agree, and as Budget Steward, I’m considering nominating 2-persons teams instead on single individuals for the role.

One of the motivations for this is time - the short term budget provision for full-time staff expires at the end of this month.
Defining roles within guilds has been an ongoing process for months - turning the ops team work into a guild and then setting up staff to work within a new guild structure is not trivial, and does not seem realistic that it could be completed with a ratified budget before the end of the month.
If we value the continuity of employment for our full time staff, we need something like this proposal, or else we need another short-term budget allocation like we had with P-9.

Yeah. Fair. Re paid role focused on raising grant funding for the DAO. I don’t see how this is different to guild roles tbh. Should have same level of accountability, transparency, and ability for others to contribute. Why can’t this role be on of the paid roles in the mbd guild? Similar to marketing lead role. Once both have scaled up to require own guild they can be spun out?

I’m mostly pushing back against any roles that have a special position across the dao.

I’m considering nominating 2-persons teams instead on single individuals for the role.

Does that mean each person will get compensated at one-half the rate allocated for the role?

Right. I’m keen for anyone that is currently being paid by the dao not to stop being paid because we can’t move fast enough to make a decision.

  1. We should try structure roles and the dao based on what will allow us to operate in a productive and aligned manner. Think the work being done by initiative leads is getting us there and feels like we’re very close.
  2. We should have a narrow proposal to extend existing contributor salary payments by a month if we can’t get things done in time.
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I’m keen for anyone that is currently being paid by the dao not to stop being paid because we can’t move fast enough to make a decision.

As one of those people, I’m happy to hear this said. It is not proper for me to put such a proposal forward myself, but I would welcome it.

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Why can’t this role be on of the paid roles in the mbd guild? Similar to marketing lead role. Once both have scaled up to require own guild they can be spun out?

This makes a lot of sense to me, actually.
So, this proposal defines the process to define this type of roles. And the roles described are just suggestions. Deliberation is expected by Budget Stewards, and this point should be addressed and voted by them.

In this case, yes. Other Budget Stewards may suggest changes to the amount, if they consider it unfair.

For the record, who are the budget stewards? (names)

Currently, it’s the core team plus
Alex1237#2487
joshcs.eth
Narb#2669
colin4ward#6586
jazza.eth#0178

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This can potentially sound a little ambiguous, so it may be good to offer a little clarity/context on what this means.

For example: within the Community Guild, I’ve begun encouraging us to be pedantic about focusing on a few core goals for Season 1 - in addition to starting small and scaling up gradually. And so I think that this approach should be stated in the proposal, as it offers everybody guardrails for how they contextualize the scope of responsibilities for Core positions.

Lofty goals are great and really where my baseline is; but clarity will help to facilitate focus. One example is the new Onboarding structure that is being built out - the backend of which, is pretty layered. And so here, I think of the Law of Conservation of Complexity: because as the person leading the Onboarding effort, I will primarily eat that complexity. Our new members will not. This will result in a seamless flow and UX.

But in order to translate this complexity to the wider Onboarding team and ultimately into our goals for the season, we need to re-frame it into a format that is digestible. Therefore for Season 1, what constitutes ‘onboarded’ is split into two phases:

  1. Passing through the new Onboarding process

  2. Making 1 minimal viable contribution

The above is just one example of what will comprise our “few core goals” on the Onboarding Team. Ambitious goals that are small, attainable, and not too difficult to scale.

Adopting process that allow us to exist in the now, without sacrificing tomorrow, will be massively important as we look to organically grow this community.

I know @wolovim has been trying to encourage others throughout the DAO to focus on a small no. of core goals, per season.

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This can potentially sound a little ambiguous, so it may be good to offer a little clarity/context on what this means.

I love being pedantic (kidding!).
Now, seriously, let’s review each one:

“expected to lead the DAO towards the achievement of the goals they have been hired to accomplish”

This is the main reason for hiring an operator, imo.

“coordinating guilds”

This refers to the fact that most operators are actually Guild leads.

“projects and individual members that may be needed.”

You may have a point here. The idea is that operators are encouraged to include/recruit interested projects and members to deliver goals. What would you suggest?

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After much thought on this, the right place for major fundraising and grants outside of MBD’s commercial services sales should be a Public Goods Guild.

This will allow major PG funding, external grants, internal grants, and PG group coordination between major funding groups (Gitcoin, ENS, bitDAO, Public Goods DAOs and subgroups).

I’m holding a kickoff meeting for PGG next week.

I would suggest that we make the Fundraising Operator’s top-level goal the establishment and operation of a sustainable PGG that can carry out funding operations over the long term. This will allow for a stable long-term funding posture for the DAO.

I would add the delivery of a structured PGG budget with roles and a team to the S1 deliverables for the Fundraising Operator.

As a temperature check, does establishing a D_D PGG and bringing in funding for the DAO have general support here?

The first word in DAO stands for decentralized and I think we need to perhaps review how things can be structured to be more permissionless. The centralization of appointments is a tad problematic because it confers hiring responsibilities on a small group, i.e. guilds leads/core team members/budget stewards

Any Budget Steward can trigger the process by making a DDIP in the forum stating the problem the new role would solve.

This problematic.

There can be two types of Operators: directly appointed by Budget Stewards, and Guild Leads, which each Guild can define in their Budget Applications for each season.

This is also problematic

The process should not start with a small group, it should be truly permissionless. DDIPs for Core Operators should be able to be initiatied by anyone in the DAO. I want to imagine the authors intent was to centralize the decision so that they can have some form of control from a budgeting perspective. My contention is the same rationale that will be used at the time, can be decoded, documented and made available to anyone so that anyone in the DAO can understand how to get a proposal passed and how not to. Core Operator DDIPs should include a clear budgetary component that details a clear rationale for whether or not the proposal meets muster. We have to move past the pressing need to centralize things especially at the core team / guild level.

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