Restructuring and Refocus | Phase 2: Accountability, Access, Anatomy (Structure)

Phase 2: Accountability, Access, Anatomy (Structure).


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Current Restructuring Status

DXdao passed a signal proposal titled Alternative Restructuring and Refocus Process [Signal Proposal] on September 20th, 2022. This proposal implicated on-chain some of DXdao’s operational issues and a direction to begin solving them democratically. You can find that discussion in this thread.

Not long after, on October 3rd, 2022, DXdao passed a follow-up proposal encompassing immediate “low-hanging fruit” actions. This addressed 6 key actions:

1). DXdao will impose an event budget targetting $150k annually.
2). DXdao will impose an auditing budget targetting $150k annually.
3). DXdao will commit to reducing the length and/or frequency of its public and internal weekly calls where appropriate.
4). DXdao will temporarily require all new contributors to pass a proposal on-chain to start their engagement.
5). DXdao will launch the DXD guild with 4% REP and commit to further governance discussions to scale this REP percentage higher following deployment.
6). DXdao will immediately disengage from contractors.

You can find the discussion on this topic here.

Now, we enter phase 2. This step focuses on the path toward a DXdao direction and accountability metrics. It acknowledges operational failures of the past and collects the thoughts and ideas of the community into a package of equitable changes that better leadership and grant a clearer picture of what it is that we are doing here.

Findings and Discussions from DXretreat

DXretreat 2022 was an enlightening experience that really highlighted how aligned the contributor base is on difficult topics. You can find some footnotes here.

The group spent much of their time alongside the Lateral team to explore DXdao’s purpose as an organization, a path to reach it and measurable metrics to accomplish them. The outcome of simply sitting down and discussing topics was, in my opinion, immensely important to further the identification of key issues and how to solve them. More on this in a bit.

When strictly focusing on restructuring, there were a few noteworthy presentations to highlight that specifically aimed to tackle points outlined in the initial signal proposal.

Recap

First, I took to the stage to recap the restructuring efforts from the bubblings of controversy to the passage of the Phase 1 signal proposal.

You can view the entirety of the Restructuring Recap presentation slides here, which I would highly recommend for anyone not fully up-to-date on the restructuring process. Perhaps a form of this could be paraphrased for external context as we move through the process?

Largely there wasn’t much information to abstract from this beyond context to set the stage for the retreat, which ended up being immensely valuable – not everyone looks to drill into every aspect of the forum or its discussions. Its exhausting!

Structure

Next, Chris took to the stage to chat about accountability and governance. You can view the entirety of the accountability and governance presentation here. I also believe there are recordings of the talks; if they are all recorded, posting them on this thread would be great!

The talk ran through “three new pillars of DXdao governance”;

  • A six-month budgetary cycle for squads usurping the traditional free-for-all contributor proposal process.
  • The implementation of a layer between execution and governance to provide unbiased accountability to product initiatives.
  • A priorities board that lives downstream of overarching goals and vision of DXdao.

Each of the three “pillars” aim to address key underlying structural problems at DXdao between lack of strategy, accounting or direction.

Moving Forward

Finally, I took back to the stage to chat “Vision and Direction”. My goal was to highlight our current lack of direction and where we can point to in the future with a squad based, highly opinionated presentation. Most important thing is that not a whole lot of the presentation was new ideas, but instead a collection of existing community discussions compiled into a digestible format that could actually be executed upon on at the squad level.

You can view the entirety of the Vision and Direction presentation here.

This talk highlighted a variety of different perspectives to the topic:

  • Vision vs Direction vs Priorities
  • Why do we need a vision?
  • How do the pieces come together?
  • Where are we going? – 0xKLOM.eth’s opinionated outlook
  • Ascertaining DXdao’s underlying goals and pointing to a direction
  • Restructuring – What’s next?

The culmination of this discussion lead to DXdao’s third focused day at the retreat where we truely drilled into our goals. This lead to the informal creation of DXdao’s underlying vision… “Enable Community Freedom”. It also detailed a more specific direction to handle product initiatives going forward. More on this below.

Phase 2: Accountability, Access, Anatomy (Structure).


In Phase 1, topics weren’t insanely controvercial, which allowed for off-chain consensus collection such as discussion through weekly calls and forum based polls. In Phase 2, a similar approach will be attempted, relying on off-chain consensus collection before tackling a signal proposal when a vocal majority have reached an equitable solution. Extremely polarized topics could utilize snapshot. (DXdao governance of course has the final say, the goal is for the community to craft a proposal that will not have issues at the governance stage if possible).

The format for these polls once again focuses solely on YES vs NO instead of any semantics. If you can’t vote YES, what would it take for you to lean in that direction? This will simplify consensus collection and remove stress (was very successful in Phase 1!). It also worth noting that the signal proposal for Phase 2 does NOT require that DXdao have the perfect solution to each of its issues, but instead can identify an equitable path forward even if it will require additional exploration within Phase 3.

I again remind the community that this process is completely open, and invite anyone willing to step in and make their own interpretation of Phase 2 utilizing the findings of this thread or any other consensus collection methods.


Governance and Structure


Budgetary Cycle

Should DXdao implement a squad-based six-month budgetary cycle and shift contributor proposals under these budgets?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

This may be the largest proposed change. Each squad would be required to create a budget trailing a six-month period to operate. This would remove free-for-all contributor proposals directly to governance, and, instead, shift that responsibility to squads (who cannot exceed previously approved budgets without an amendment).

This will require squads to be consistent with the documentation of goals, processes and KPIs.

The specifics of operation, including integration with governance accountability layer, streaming squad payments, and amendment process are to be explored within Phase 3.

Squad Accountability Councils

Should DXdao implement “accountability councils” that act as an intermediary step between execution and governance?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

Councils will aim to integrate an unbiased//external voice into our accountability structure. These elected individuals would not be involved in the day-to-day, but instead, hold squads accountable through governance authority.

The councils would provide a “report card” for squads that governance can use to when considering the next budgetary period. These councils could also have a “stick”, or ability to revoke a budget halfway to defer a decision to DXdao governance.

The specifics of ability (stick, exact tasks) should be explored within Phase 3.

Priorities Board

Should DXdao implement a “Priorities Board” to guide the execution of overarching goals?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

The priorities board exists as a global operating direction for the DAO. What needs to be done now, in a week, or in a month? Everyone should know what these things are and how they point back to DXdao’s vision and goals. (More on this below). Governance should also be able to utilize this information to make an informed decision on squad budgets.

The specifics of priority collection should be explored within Phase 3.


Vision and Direction


“True North”

Should DXdao formally establish its “true north”, or vision statement, as “Enable Community Freedom”?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

DXdao hasn’t had a formal vision maybe ever. Although some have tried, its more clear now than ever before that this vision is required to look back upon.

“Enable Community Freedom” points to our approach of solving problems in DAOs as a DAO first organization. We strongly believe DAO’s are the future of coordination and are putting in the effort to create freedom for ourselves and all online communities. We should have this flag to look upon and inspire us when making decisions.

The statement should be a vague yet powerful overarching narrative that we all connect with, whereas a mission statement would articulate an approach to solving it.

Mission statement should be strongly deliberated throughout Phase 3.

Where are we going?

Should DXdao formally establish its direction as a “Decentralized Pipeline for Communities”, and look to prioritize a “flagship” product that interconnects current and future product initatives?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

The idea of a product pipeline or suite is not new by any stretch of the imagination, but an informal delegation of the topic has resulted in misguided product efforts in the preceding year. By ascertaining the flagship product as DXdao’s primary priority, everything begins to flow downstream. What piece of the puzzle would improve the pipeline? How can we incubate projects that could be natively built into this pipeline?

The idea of a fully interconnected product built around our leading governance execution is the true epitome of open source. Sure, you can fork any piece of the puzzle, but the ecosystem itself creates an incredible MOAT where communities would have no reason to leave. This is the key to DXdao’s profitability without negative governance monetization.

Exploration of all specifics on this topic should be deliberated throughout Phase 3. Products wouldn’t be locked specifically to the flagship and can still exist outside of it. DXvoice plans to wireframe this flagship product and its associated user experience, provided this clause passes in its current form.

Individual Squad Actions

There will be no poll here, as the discussed actions fall cleanly within the execution portion of Phase 3. I did however want to call attention to these budding discussions as I expect them to evolve throughout the remainder of the year.

Slides 10 through 19 highlight these discussions and my personal opinions on current squad efforts and where we can point by the end of the year. View the Vision and Direction presentation here.


Example from the presentation focused on DXgov.


Conclusion

As a majority of these changes focus on the direction of structure and future product efforts, there is no budget implication in Phase 2. Alongside the passage of Phase 1, the current budget is as follows:

  • Annual expenditure: $2,864,268
  • Stablecoin Runway: 4.05 Years

If I have missed anything that would be valuable to include, lets chat about it over the calls and within this thread. The original signal proposal implied a submission date of Oct 31st, 2022. Due to travel (and personal sickness) this discussion is live a bit later than I would have liked, and it may make sense to push this date back slightly provided there is any conflict or topics to be deliberated further.

Once again, a big thank you to all participants of this process thus-far. Between the active restructuring efforts and fantastic DXretreat, I am incredibly optimistic for the future of the organization.

Massive massive thank you. :heart:

9 Likes

Thank you again Keenan for putting all of this together and for presenting it so well during the retreat. I and others have said it before but I am genuinely excited for what we will build after making some of these revelations on vision and changes to structure.

I voted FOR the budgetary cycle which I believe in combination with OKRs will be the biggest step forward to improve accountability and just generally how the DAO operates.
This is more a job of phase 3 but I look forward to having DXgov be one of the first using this structure as we are well positioned to provide specific objectives over 6 months and are the most familiar with DAVI and guilds, enabling squads to utilise their budgets.

I voted AGAINST accountability councils less out of principle and more because I think we can take a more gradual approach to third-party accountability. The DAO itself should provide I think enough overview to be able to pull the budget if deemed necessary. We could then aim to onboard advisors first and if the council is needed then it could be established after. However, if others think this a necessary step from the beginning then I don’t have extremely strong opinions against.
Maybe this should pass and the implementation can be decided by phase 3.

I voted FOR a priority board but I think maybe DXdao wide OKRs could provide this for us similar to what we did on the retreat.

Voted FOR “Enable Community Freedom” and the ecosystem flagship product idea and am a big fan of the direction it takes us. A direction and vision we have not had before.

Super excited about this and thanks again Keenan and all involved before, during and after the retreat.

6 Likes

I think this makes a lot of sense. I like to see budgets implemented in squads and see that they are aligned with the goals of DXDao. I have a few questions:

  • Does this mean squads are just dev squads? Or, should squads also take into account the growth / marketing / bizdev / partnerships and all that comes under a product? If so, I am not too sure if the squad setup are structured for that right now.
  • People in the squads - would squads have autonomy over who they onboard / offboard? Or should it be done through ContributorX or would be forced to use a resource from some other squad? How would the dynamics work?
  • Compensation within the squads - Can the squad decide to choose different payscale for different roles? Like, for Swapr, we might need a Swapr shiller who could be a Level 2, but we are forced to choose someone that is a Level 6 or 7. We might want to this gap to hire a senior solidity person and pay him more.
  • Can we engage with contractors again for marketing / content creation / development ? If so, what would be the terms and if not, what reasons?

I think we need these questions answered before just voting this in for Phase 2.

7 Likes

Thanks Keenan. Wanted to make a couple points here:

First, to @Venky’s questions regarding onboarding/offboarding & compensation/contractors, the goal of the squad budgets is to give more autonomy to squads to make decisions, instead of pushing all decisions to all of DXdao governance.

The DAO will still have influence and control through the budget process as well as standards/processes that can apply cross-squad. If a squad wants to hire someone, they’ll need to get budget approved and explain their reasoning to the DAO. If approved, the squad can hire according to their own preference, but if they hope to renew the position after the initial 6 months, then they’ll again have to get DAO approval for the budget and justify the recent hire to governance.

One thing that is not standard is squad decision making. Swapr squad, for instance, already has token-based governance but DXgov does not. From DXdao’s perspective, it can be agnostic to how squads make decisions but it should be clear in the budget requests. As I said on the call today, the same budgetary process could apply to new squads or some grants-like structure for other funding requests.

Second, regarding squad councils:

I don’t necessarily view these as “third-party accountability”. In the initial stage, I see squad councils as a new venue for DXD holders to have a more formal voice in governance, but this could include current contributors as well.

In general, the benefit of the councils is having specific individuals or groups that are responsible for evaluating squad performance. Squads will present their budgets, but governance needs someone that will present an unbiased examination of the squad in order to make informed decisions. That’s the role I see the councils playing. I could see other contributors filling this role too, it doesn’t necessarily need to be “outside” people.

4 Likes

Hey everyone!

There was another discussion on Phase 2 of the Restructuring and Refocus proposal today (2022/11/02) on the weekly Governance call. If you didn’t attend, you can find the recording below.

There are a lot of demanding topics that currently have the attention of governance. I wanted to offer this opportunity for discussion points that have not been brought to this thread previously to be brought to the public thread. The signal proposal for Phase 2 was originally slated for Monday the 31st of October – instead, if no other signal proposal exists by Friday the 4th of November, 0xKLOM.eth will be submitting its own interpretation of the existing discussion and off-chain consensus collection.

Thanks!

2 Likes

Hey Keenan,

I voted against councils, not because I dont agree with the concept, but we are very vague with all the terms and conditions it comes with. I dont think I will feel comfortable about that switch they have to not fund a project anymore without any warnings. I think we need more discussions to be had about what this role entails and what responsibilities are there for being a council.

Just coming out of Product strategy call where we discussed what terms we had for Nimi incubation, we were very vague in what incubation meant for both parties and now it feels that we are not too sure what it means. So, for this reason, I would love to just clarify all the points and thought process behind creating this role and then make a decision. We could do this together in Phase 3 and no reason to push this for phase 2.

There seems to be a lot of points mentioned in the earlier alternative proposal missing in the current proposal. Or, I am not too sure if I am missing some information that is part of the text somewhere and I dont understand it since this was discussed in the retreat. All of the below seems to be missing in the current Phase 2 proposal, or?

  • Tighten processes surrounding sensitive contributor chats and their participants
  • Discovering and implementing long-term contributor proposal solution
  • Address penalties for contributors working off-proposal
  • Discuss whether contributor guidelines should be adjusted for high-demand roles

Am okay with everything else and hoping for better cashflow towards DXDao with these new proposals.

3 Likes

I’ve appreciated your thoughts throughout @0xVenky, it has highlighted a communication gap between those that participated in the retreat and various other in-person events, to those that were unable to attend.

Proposal communication continues to be a running issue all around DXdao – regarding the phase 2 signal, I have a few thoughts.

First, I’ve tried to take an approach that highlights things in a binary sense (Yes vs no), as a way to gauge sentiment for an upcoming signal proposal. If the DAO through discussions and votes can’t vote YES for something in an informal off-chain consensus, how can a prospective signal account for this? I tried this method in Phase 1 and it felt very successful – the reasons you listed are entirely valid to guide the language of said proposal! (The idea isn’t to say definitively what anything is at this stage, but rather push and explore collectively in a direction).

Secondly, surrounding the goals segment of the initial forum thread:

The passed proposal ignores this aspect as they were opinionated statements and I didn’t think that myself alone could determine all specifics. Instead, DXdao passed a list of problems and indicated the path it would take to solving them. I think DXdao lacked sufficient time nor attention to focus on specifics of contributor X capability in Phase 2, but it should focus on these early in Phase 3.

I also believe personally that the transition to squad based budgeting and payment addresses much of these issues, as squads don’t need to condone to anything other than their approved budget.

1 Like

The signal proposal for “Restructuring and Refocus | Phase 2: Accountability, Access, Anatomy (Structure)” has been submitted and pre-boosted to the Gnosis Chain base.

Allow me to run through justification for the choices made in the posted signal proposal. All block quoted text can be found as conditions in the submitted signal proposal.


1). DXdao will implement a six-month squad-based budgetary cycle and shift contributor proposals to their respective squads.

  • An exact solution and specifications will be explored in Phase 3; this action ascertains DXdao’s shift to a squad-based budgetary cycle.

This is one of the, if not THE, largest structural change that DXdao has ever committed to. Discussions were primarily discovery of the various ways a transition to squad based budgets would benefit the organization. To name a few from 0xKLOM.eth’s original forum thread:


2). DXdao will commit to the exploration of “accountability councils” within Phase 3, ultimately aiming to implement an intermediary step between execution and governance if feasible.

  • DXdao recognizes that a step between execution and governance would integrate a significant degree of accountability. This action ensures that DXdao will commit to further exploration of “accountability councils” or other initiatives that could effectively fall within this step during the third Phase of its restructuring.

With a final vote of 55% YES and 45% NO in the above thread, this was the “contentious” finding from the discoveries surrounding the 2022 retreat. The general consensus appears supportive of the notion for a layer between execution and governance, just that the “accountability councils” may require additional exploration before a commitment. So that’s exactly what DXdao will do!


3). DXdao will implement a “priorities board” and a democratic process of determining said priorities. .

  • The “priorities board” will guide the execution of overarching goals at DXdao. This action ascertains that DXdao will implement the required processes when it makes the most sense.

Largely supported at 83% YES and 17% NO. This action will point DXdao towards the creation and processes required to establish global DXdao prioritization.


4). DXdao will formally establish its overarching vision as “Enable Community Freedom.”

  • This operates as a vision statement; the specifics of the mission statement and further actions will be determined within Phase 3. If these statements change dramatically during exploration, they will be reflected in the final signal proposal – this action ascertains a direction.

A structurally important and direly needed aspect of DXdao is its broad vision. What exactly are we trying to accomplish and how can we use it to guide where we are going?

With 76% YES, this action was largely supported but seemingly saw some confusion due to my miscommunication of findings at the DXdao retreat, where this topic was primarily focused upon. Clarity appeared to have been reached after some discussion.


5). DXdao will formally establish its direction as a “Decentralized Pipeline for Communities” and look to prioritize a “flagship” product that interconnects current and future product initiatives.

  • Similarly to the above, if during exploration an alternative emerges, it will be reflected in the final signal proposal. This action ascertains a direction for DXdao to take its product focus when digging into Phase 3.

The other, in my eyes, massive structural change of Phase 2. This action aligns the DAO towards a product direction, while it remained directionless prior. DXdao and outside participants should have no confusion about its products or how external parties can fit in or collaborate throughout the process.

DXvoice, in collaboration with DXgov, will look to create an operable wireframe throughout the Phase 3 discovery period, provided this proposal passes. If another idea comes along the way, or the direction is deemed not financially viable, this product direction could be usurped in Phase 3.


I will ping all relevant channels once the proposal is boosted and ready to be voted on.

Cheers!

7 Likes

The signal proposal for "Restructuring and Refocus | Phase 2: Accountability, Access, Anatomy (Structure) has been boosted and can now be voted on without a REP penalty.

0xKLOM.eth has voted FOR this proposal for the reasons outlined above. Hope to see another high voter turnout for an essential proposal with effects surrounding the entirety of our organization.

4 Likes

Caney Fork voted FOR this proposal. This proposal would put DXdao on the path to a more robust, accountable and decentralized governance culture, while aligning the community and contributors around a core vision.

This will require more work and coordination to set up new processes and norms and more thought and feedback on how to expound on this vision into an easily digestible concept that’s communicated outside of the existing DXdao community.

I appreciate the work @KeenanL has done to align DXdao on where we’re trying to end up at and then allowing the community to “cross the river by feeling the stones

5 Likes