P-23: 2023 Roadmap

Author: Erik_Knobl


It’s time to prepare for 2023, and we need to define a specific timeframe under which we will operate, to have a common framework for planning and strategy of the DAO.


For 2023 and moving forward, we need to select a common timeline for us to operate:

Option 1: Seasons

Starting the first day of February 2023, a cycle of seasons will start for the whole 2023.
The following would be the calendar of seasons of the rest of 2023:

  • Dates for Season 2: February 1 – April 26
  • Offseason Season 2: April 27 - May 7
  • Dates for Season 3: May 8 – August 27.
  • Offseason Season 3: August 28 - September 10
  • Dates for Season 4: September 11 – December 17
  • Offseason Season 4: December 18 – January 7 (2024).

Option 2: Quarters

A quarter is a three-month period on an organization’s calendar that acts as a basis for periodic operational reports.
The traditional calendar quarters that make up the year are:

  • Dates for Q1: January 1 – March 31.
  • Dates for Q2: April 1 – June 3.
  • Dates for Q3: July 1 – September 30.
  • Dates for Q4: October 1 – December 31.
    If this model is accepted, the current Season 2 will transform into Q1, and end in March 31.

@wolovim @kempsterrrr @willblackburn
Any comments?

Thanks for getting this up. The timeline clarity would be very welcome.

There has been ongoing debate on the pros and cons of Seasons. To switch away from the Season model would require another forum post I imagine, but I’ll attempt to summarize the debate:

Season Pros:

  • Partnerships team needs to know date ranges for selling partnership packages.
  • Seasons give us a chance to try things in cycles, e.g., if a budget decision proves to be a poor one, it expires at the end of the Season.
  • Off-seasons let people take a breath, perform retrospectives, and propose changes for the next iteration.

Season Cons:

  • We’ve found ourselves in an position on multiple occasions where we didn’t get everything we’d hoped to done before a Season started; resulted in rushed and incomplete preparation, and playing catch-up.

Common question: Can we decouple Season Partnership with the rest of DAO operations? I think this is worth exploring. I see auto-expiring budgets as a critical feature, though.

I haven’t spent enough time ideating on this to make a suggestion of next steps, but just want to capture the thought.

Is this a conversation that a) happen first? b) happen here?

Thank you for engaging. This is an effort to set small building blocks, and not to try to solve everything at once. With that in mind, either we continue using Seasons (and define a clear roadmap), or we use quarter and be done with it.

I would say, the calendar has nothing to do with it. The problem lies in our internal processes, and we should be solving those, not a calendar.

Not a problem with that. But I think it should be a specific proposal, building upon a specific roadmap, and explaining the reasoning for it. Trying to include that issue here would be trying to solve everything in one proposal, again.

Imo just quarter it and be done with it. The off season isn’t well utilized and encourages us to over work in favor of a few days off. It’s not practical imo.

Yeah. I think there are tons of debates on something so simple. I will add to this same proposal the option of moving to quarters.

Only thing they need to be tightly tied to is DevRel deliverables like Newsletter and Workshops. And FWIW they are already on 4-month cycles, so not the cadence proposed here. Also, I see us moving towards more granular and fluid engagements with partners in the near future.

Another point for Quarters is it’s understood outside of the DAO without having to explain it

Are we happy with the off-season so far? Did we use it as it was intended?

We didn’t do any retros during that time and we were just doing what we were doing on normal basis, with the exception of the fact that it introduces confusion (what work is required during off-season out of contributors? is it okay to take free time and focus on other projects during that time? some members needed stability and off-season made them search for other opportunities - is that a good thing?).

As far as I can see, no. We are always playing catch-up, talking about delaying starts of the next season.
We are already in Season 2, and still can’t agree on budgets.

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I would be up for introducing retrospectives into the last month of each season and abolishing the off-seasons. If not that, then at least detailing the rules of the off-season so there is no confusion.

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I don’t know how we are maintaining any of the dates of this but Season 2 felt a bit rushed and because of this we are behind on many things.

Stewards still pending commenting on this proposal:
@kempsterrrr @Narb @joshcstein @Stefanie @kayprasla @allWiseee @isiah @luan
Two more comments needed for it to be able to be moved to snapshot.

I’ve had several conversations with folks over the last weeks or so about moving away from the idea of Seasons and just planning quarterly cc @Colin4ward @mannyornothing @wolovim

I’d support this now. The current season definition has the following problems for the DAOs business model:

  • We miss opportunity to sign partners up as we’re asking them to wait X months
  • We’re running if excess capacity to deliver more of the community when we could just add partners as we go
  • It creates arbitrary deadlines for us to work too that don’t mean a whole lot

Acknowledge I was a big proponent of Season, but seeing everything play out recently, I believe they’re potentially holding us back.

Although I love the idea of seasons and t’s web3 jargon I enjoy, quarters seem more simple and practical and something everyone knows of. As long as it plays nicely with partnerships, etc., I don’t see an issue on the community side.

I also don’t see how moving to qrts will help us decide on budgets and prevent playing catchup. Seasons add flexibility because they can start when we say, which just adds more complexity.

But all in all, I’m for qrts if it reduces complexity all around.

@Colin4ward @kempsterrrr This proposal is ready for snapshot.
In the case of Option 2 (Quarters) winning, are there any implications with S2 ending in march 31?
if so, what would be the best solution?

i believe S2 partnerships actually extend through May.

clarifying question: is the intention is that budget approvals and any elections would happen prior to each new quarter? that’s the assumption i’m working with.

if that’s the case, another possible option:

  • switch to using quarters after S2 expiration (June 1),
  • at that point, there will only be one month left in Q2, so each budget proposer has the option to either
    • a) extend the same budget for another month, or
    • b) submit a new one for June + Q3.
  • any elected positions are extended one month through June.

not sure its better than ‘ending’ S2 early - just another option to consider, and one that doesn’t require another round of budgets and elections in the near future.

personal take:

i’m ~comfortable abandoning seasons and off-seasons and instead advocating for more sustainable practices on an ongoing basis, e.g., systems that can account for contributors taking breaks, building in rituals like retros, and other healthy habits on a regular cadence, rather than sprint for a few months, collapse for a couple weeks, plan for a couple weeks. easier said than done, probably.

even if they were inefficient, i do suspect we’ll miss the dedicated down-time that off-seasons offered to recalibrate and sometimes make tough pivots. got a hunch that some of our governance/budgeting overhauls would have been much harder with the engine still running. hopefully the toughest pivots are behind us though, and our iterations will continue to get smaller and quicker. tl;dr - in favor of switching to quarterly, but just want to call out those expected challenges to process and culture.

“If this model is accepted, Stewards will define a course of action to shift from Seasons to Quarters.”
I think this may be the best plan @kempsterrrr @Colin4ward

As long as we continue to deliver the same outputs to partners this doesn’t make much difference from partners’ perspectives.