PIP-18: Org Structure v1.2 (revised in comments)

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Idea/Project Title: Re-design of Protein Community org structure

Author(s): Artem (Artem・Protein#0023), Andrea (Andrea Brena#6950)

Summary: Let’s change the structure of Protein Community to make it easier for members to join exciting projects and get compensated more adequately.

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Purpose:

At the start of Season 3, we voted on the most important objectives that we wanted to work on as a community:

  • Develop Good Growth into an effective and tangible solution enabling communities to positively impact their ecosystem.
  • Energise members and the wider web3 ecosystem to meaningfully contribute to the future of GG.
  • Build long-term security into the Treasury and $PRTN token to ensure the longevity and sustainability of Protein Community.

In order to focus on these objectives and simplify our structure in a way, we also introduced five teams along with OKRs, we thought it would make it easier for contributors to choose their adventure. In reality such team-centric structure didn’t quite work… See Season 3 Learnings for more info on that :slight_smile:

One season later, we have to admit that Good Growth still feels like a pretty vague concept. Currently we don’t have a product around it that we can sell (not yet), many of our community members still don’t understand it, and (understandably) investors haven’t been particularly excited as well.

At the same time we have access to an amazing pool of talented people (mostly with creative, but non-web3-native background / expertise). And we’re part of the amazing Protein ecosystem with AAA clients and lots of opportunities for collaboration.

We planned the $PRTN liquidity event in June, but decided to put it on hold because of the bear market. As a result, our contributors have been compensated with non-liquid token, which seems to be one of the main reasons for low engagement.

So with this intermission we asked ourselves, how can we improve our community design to get more real, leverage the assets that we have, and play our cards right? How can we change our operations to support deeper integration with Protein ecosystem in S4?

Specifics:

Going forward, we don’t want to run teams as departments, it doesn’t feel fair when core members are compensated with USDC while others are not. Instead, we want to shift to initiative-centric structure, where contributors can launch and join specific workstreams without having to join one of the “big teams”.

  • Paid contributors (i.e. team leads) will remain the backbone of the org, accountable for deliverables, rhythms, operations, and potentially assign bounties for those workstreams they can’t take care of.
  • The rest of the community will be invited to work on workstreams that can improve the Protein ecosystem or add value to $PRTN token. Some would require some funding, some will just enable Protein members to explore new ideas and grow.

We looked at the current team structure to highlight areas for improvement. The new structure should empower contributors to have more influence on where resources go and join only those projects they are excited about — with either financial or learning opportunities in mind.

Here’s a short explainer video by Andrea (governance lead contributor)

Workstreams and systems

A workstream is a project that Community members can contribute to. All workstreams have clear goals, success criteria, and funding. Workstreams with linear process (e.g. develop a bot) will apply for grants proactively. Workstreams with recurrent process (e.g. edit Mirror posts) will be compensated via roles retroactively.

We propose to transform teams into systems, each with a few roles and its own budget. We like the word “system” because it’s widely used in biology. Systems support all workstreams that community members want to work on (just like teams did in the past).

  • Operations system: governance, accountability, treasury, grants committee
  • People system: membership, talent, onboarding, events
  • Growth system: design, content, partnerships

NB: There won’t be a “product system” anymore as we don’t want to focus solely on Good Growth – it will become one of many workstreams.

Each system will have its own documentation and wallet (see below). They’ll still compensate contributions through roles and bounties. But unlike previous seasons, you won’t need to join any system to start or join an existing workstream. On the other hand, members will be able to work on a few workstreams they’re interested in, which might be connected to different systems (or not connected to any at all). So contribution experience should get much more flexible, with compensation coming from different wallets.

Team multisigs

We propose to set up a separate Utopia wallet for each system (aka team), so if their seasonal budget request is approved by community, they get those funds (PRTN tokens for now and USDC in the future) to their wallets and spend them on roles and bounties without requesting PRTN from the treasury every time.

Grants committee

All workstreams will need funding, and to get it they will have to apply for a grant before doing something. To process all grants applications, we propose to form a grants committee (basically as one of the treasury workstreams).

Grants committee should consist of a few members with sufficient experience in web3 and good understanding of our treasury situation. We need certain cognitive diversity to consider the interests of all stakeholders and manifest GG in funding decisions.

The implications of setting up the grants committee can be discussed in comments and formalized as a separate proposal.

Workstream grants

Seasonal budgeting will still happen within the systems, to enable funding of roles and bounties. But in Season 4 we are aiming to spend more PRTN on workstreams directly. All workstreams will be funded by the grants committee. If a member wants to propose a new workstream (ideally between seasons, but not necessarily), they’ll have to apply for a grant using a template.

Overall, seasonal budget will be distributed between systems (led by core team members) and workstreams (led by any community member). Community members (not only core team) will decide how much PRTN to allocate for systems and how much to spend on workstreams.

System-specific roles

The community needs certain things to be done on a regular basis to function properly — and those can be framed as roles. Systems (aka teams) emerge from connected and persistent roles.

Each system is encouraged to identify specific roles they need to fill by community members. They are domain-specific and won’t change from season to season, e.g. coordinator, engineer, researcher, writer. Ideally, roles should be filled through elections (with contributors nominating themselves). Probably the only role present in all systems will be coordinators who are responsible for budget requests, documentation, bounties, etc.

The idea behind roles is to be able to compensate people who work on recurrent workstreams, e.g. maintaining documentation or talking to other teams. Workstreams can also have roles, but that’s optional – they can distribute PRTN between contributors however they like.

All roles will be reflected in our contributors database. Roles descriptions will serve as scorecards when onboarding new contributors to systems.

Proposal details:

  • We’d like to discuss the new structure with all contributors here on the forum, and formally approve it on Snapshot in the beginning of Season 4.
  • We think that 1 person 1 vote would be the best voting mechanic in this case
  • As it’s a community-level decisions (with high impact), the participation of at least 51% of community members is required for quorum
  • To pass, this proposal must be approved by 75% of the voting members

Temperature check:

Yes: This proposal makes sense / let’s vote on it (if needed)
No: I don’t think it’s a good idea / better focus on something else
Abstain: I don’t understand this proposal

  • Yes
  • No
  • Abstain

0 voters

Artem, thank you for formalizing and building on the structure I proposed. It all makes a lot of sense to me and if I can add a little context, here’s my 2 cents.

Why this proposal?
Organizing a DAO in teams that need to come up with initiative to reach a certain mission it felt corporate 3.0
We are all here to unlearn work and collaboration and test new models that can fuel energy and empower our members. Coordination between routine tasks,ops should be clearly separated by mission driven initiatives.

From team- to initiative-centric DAO
From a team-centric structure that creates verticals and does not favour exchange between members of different teams, I can see how an initiative-centric dao can create more opportunities for exchange and unexpected creative collisions.

I hope this resonates with our community, and that this proposal can help us add value to the Protein token and to our experience.

I see Protein as a platform that could power a lot of initiatives (workstreams) that can either serve our community mission and move it forward, or that can simply empower our members via a platform that is swarmed by talented individuals.

3 Likes

Yes! I agree with this structure change, and it will allow Protein to continue to grow/evolve. I think it simplifies the structure, while also allowing for more diversity in workstreams.

I do have 2 callouts that are more about implementation, and likely for discussions down the line…

In our Season 4 Ops call earlier this week, Deniz and others brought up simplifying the number of systems (3 currently proposed - Operations, People, Growth) down to maybe 1. I think this needs to be explored further bc there might be overlap between the proposed systems, and knowing which system (if there is one) funds a workstream could cause some confusion.

Also want to flag that it will be very important that the Workstream grants process is very clear, and actionable by both new and existing members. From our post season 3 survey, there seems to be a lot of people who want to contribute, but don’t know how.

3 Likes

Thank you @Artem_Protein and @Andrea_Brena (especially for that video explainer).

I think in principle the structure you propose would alow for greater autonomy and therefore emergence, while also creating greater accountability and visualising where the overall energy of the community is.

I like the decentralisation involved in the grants process - rather than a deliberation at core - and seeking to empower contributors to have more influence on where resources go.

  1. Paid leads in usdcI like the initiative/workstream approach to contributor engagement, greater freedom, not committing to a team but to the parcels of work they want to do…I suppose the team lead is then mopping up “unpopular” work packets, which is fine because they’re …being remunerated in USDC?

  2. simplicityI agree with the points by @nehceinna and @dindindeniz about simplicity, and I honestly don’t know about the difference between 1 and 3 systems. But I do feel that expaining the contributor experience should be done as simply as possibe (I know the current video is not aimed at onboarding ).

  3. treasury would be good to hear a bit more about how you envisage motivating and enabling or attracting people to the treasury function - which up to now has not been active, and will play an even more important role under grants-based budgetting… perhaps membership of a grants committe is a more appealing thing that just treasury team…

4.broader context would be very interested to hear your thoughts on the interplay between this proposal and the S4 proposal, which is not yet clear on what the role of community members will be.

  1. multisigs - only members of system will be signatories?
1 Like

We don’t have to have the classic DAO team structure ( membership, gov, product, treasury): I propose that we work all together for one collective goal and 2-3 objectives rather than 4-5 teams having their own seasonal objectives which didn’t work out well in Season 3. I think having so many teams were a distraction from the most important thing in season 3 which was working collectively on the gg product.

DAO Operations. It’s the core team’s responsibility to maintain the DAO and not the members. The core team works for the DAO and gets paid to do so, so it’s their responsibility to maintain the system’s operations. Of course, the core team can open bounties and ask for help on certain topics, but the team leads don’t have to “workstream-ify” an operational job.

not a fan of using the word system It complicates things. Let’s just have workstreams instead and abolish “systems”.

1 Like

Thanks Artem and Andrea for exploring, developing and forming this proposal! I’m aligned on the context/problem and the approach of the new structure.

The grants committee feels like a really vital additional that will bring more power to members and transparency to decision making + resource allocation.

I think this is a good moment to reflect on the resources allocated to the systems vs the initiatives. We should discuss and revise what the minimum is that the systems can operate on given the goals of the season and the limited USDC available, this would potentially free up more funding for community initiatives.

At this current moment I’m in favour of 3 systems, I think breaking apart the different functions is actually really helpful to understand how things work and how members can get involved - can probably be convinced otherwise here though ha :slight_smile:

I echo @goldeng’s thoughts on wider context - I’m not sure if anything needs to be updated/tweaked in this proposal given the Season 4 proposal, does this structure work as is? My hesitation here is it feels like the S4 proposal is a convergence moment, whereas this structure is preparing for divergence?

Even though system is used widely in biology, it doesn’t feel very natural/biological haha. Not sure on other names… Neutron’s (the neutral part of the nucleus)? I like the meaning, but doesn’t feel intuitive ha.

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re: wider context… let’s get @Will_Protein take too?

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Hey everyone! I just wanted to chime in as a member who joined in Season 3 and has been finding my footing a little bit in terms of contribution and the community. My main thoughts / questions are around the workstreams and systems part of the proposal:

  1. I really like this org structure! I think from personal experience having different teams last season was confusing as a new member as it wasn’t immediately clear what initiatives / tasks I could contribute to. I like the idea of having workstreams that can better streamline the path to contribution for new members as opposed to having increased friction by going to a team and then having to ask around for open, often vaguely defined tasks. One of the most important lines that I got from this proposal is that workstreams should have well defined goals and action items. No matter what structure Protein Community takes, if there aren’t very clear tasks / roles for contributors to take on, I think it will be hard to improve community participation.

  2. In terms of systems versus workstreams, my understanding is that the operations of a system will be more relevant to administrative and organizing tasks. It seems like contributors will be able to mostly focus on workstreams unless they’re involved with the budgeting/operations going on for systems.

  3. I definitely agree with some of the other comments hear that there needs to be clarity in terms of which system funds a workstream - it’s mentioned here that a workstream might not be under a system, but it’s unclear how funding would work in that case.

Finally, as a tangentially related thought, however the org structure ends up shaping out, I think structuring the onboarding cohort to introduce and familiarize new contributors with it will be crucial.

2 Likes

Hi all and happy birthday Protein!!!

Thank you all for the contribution. All feedback is highlighting important aspects that head towards defining how to implement this org structure making it an intuitive member experience and a practical solution to everything we surfaced from Season 3.

As she hasn’t been mentioned yet, I’d like also to credit @Feems for the idea of enabling workstreams with grants.

Now, I’d like to try to summarize and visualize this, after your feedback.
Protein organization will be divided into two parts: system and workstreams.

DAO OPERATIONS aka CORE TEAM (ex systems, ex team leads,)
Whether it is one or 3, the core team and anyone who is on payroll will grant smooth operations of the dao facilitating both the success of workstreams and working on the season 4 objectives proposed in s4 objectives proposal by @Will_Protein

Within the Core team there should be a member leading the Workstreams Grants Committee. Elected members will commit to review and vote on workstreams proposals in exchange for USDC.

Workstreams
Any member who can come up with ideas that can enrich our ecosystem, align with manifesto, fit with Protein strategy should be empowered to bring this idea to life on our platform.
How could this work?
See the image below

Uploading: Screenshot 2022-09-17 at 12.00.02.png…

Does this oversimplify too much the proposal above?

2 Likes

Hey, it is great to see that we discuss org structure/workflows here as it was our goal in governance. I’m neither good or bad about this proposal:

  1. How systems and workstreams necessarily differentiate from each other? A grants committee could be a workstream with retroactive+proactive compensation. If we want more accountability (obviously yes), accountability workstream can be created with seasonal budget, retro+pro compensation. Any of the core team functions can be workstream with budget and certain common compensation model. I dont know if im missing something here.

  2. I suggest keeping the structure as light as possible because of this community still product(s) to make… I understand we give more opportunity to members with their initiatives but there is no USDC in that and therefore it may not be an opportunity.

  3. Could committee be a group of certain amount of PRTN holders that runs with one person one vote?

  4. Could committee be a group that runs brainstorming sessions with members and make the approval/denial process smooth by relying on conversation rather than being an entity operating seperate? The word committee is like will create too much seperation in the community. What kind of committee we need?

Specifics

Going forward, we don’t want to run our community as a set of departments. Also it doesn’t feel fair when core members invite others to work on Protein initiatives and get compensated with USDC while others are rewarded with illiquid token. To fix this, we want to shift to a project-centric structure, where contributors can launch and join or start projects without having to join one of the “big teams”.

  • Core team will remain the backbone of the org, accountable for deliverables, rhythms, operations, and assigning bounties for the projects they can’t take care of.
  • Teams become operational cells with roles: governance, membership, treasury and tokenomics.
  • All cells including core team and projects will have roles with specific responsibilities and election process to onboard members
  • Projects will get funded proactively with internal grants, some of them will get USDC grants in addition to PRTN

In general, we want the community to focus on projects, particularly those related to our main objective in S4 – integration with the wider Protein ecosystem. The new structure should empower contributors to have more influence on where resources go and join only those projects they are excited about — with financial and/or learning opportunities in mind.

Cells

Community members will contribute to various projects by filling specific roles. All projects should have clear goals, success metrics and funding. Projects with linear objectives (e.g. develop a bot) will be funded through Protein Grants Committee (PGC). Regular community needs (e.g. onboarding new members, maintaining documentation) – addressed by the core team and operational cells – will be funded directly from the treasury.

Basically, we turn all teams and pods into cells. Each cell consists of a few roles that focus on specific objectives (e.g. governance cell). Operational cells request funding from the treasury and spend it on roles and bounties just like any other initiative. The difference is that operational cells are persistent (between seasons) while initiatives are seasonal.

Each cell will have its own documentation and wallet (see below). They’ll compensate contributors through roles and bounties. Unlike previous seasons, members won’t need to join any team to start or join an existing project. On the other hand, members will be able to work on a few projects simultaneously. So contribution experience should get much more flexible, with compensation coming from different wallets.

We propose to set up a separate Safe or Utopia wallet for each cell, so if their seasonal budget request is approved by the PGC or treasury, they will get PRTN tokens and USDC (if the project supports seasonal objective) to their wallets and spend them on roles and bounties however they like.

In general, we propose to structure our community around three cell types:

Core team

The community needs certain things to be done on a regular basis to function properly — and those can be framed as DAO ops. We think the following roles are critical for DAO ops and require stable USDC funding:

  • Community lead, responsible for community ENERGY
  • Governance lead, responsible for structuring the field of action (SURFACE)
  • Treasury lead, responsible for RESOURCES, incl. fundraising
  • Design lead, responsible for our brand and design strategy
  • Growth lead, responsible for partnerships and communications

Core team should be accountable because they get USDC unlike most members. So it’s really important to set clear responsibilities and scope these workstreams. But DAO ops are funded from the treasury retroactively – no need for grant applications.

We want to make the core team more accountable and open to community members. To achieve this, we propose to compensate core team roles rather than specific individuals – with clear responsibilities and onboarding / offboarding process in place.

Operational cells

Operational cells enable us to compensate people who work on recurrent objectives, e.g. maintaining documentation. Basically these are workstreams that core team members need to delegate to someone else.

Core team members can set up their operational cells, but not all need it, and there are operational cells like Grants Committee that are not necessarily championed by anyone from the core team.

Community initiatives

Anything outside of DAO ops will be framed as community initiatives. These initiatives may come from the core team, community members or other orgs in Protein ecosystem. In any case, they will have to submit proposals to the new #project-ideas channel on Discord, get enough support (upvotes) and request funding from Grants Committee.

Those initiatives that get funded will fill their roles through election process (see below). If a community initiative doesn’t have contributors, it’s automatically deprecated.

Roles

Usually successful projects are done in teams. Good teams divide labour between people with different skill sets that complement each other, i.e. roles.

Each project is encouraged to identify specific roles to be filled by contributors. All cells are championed by enzymes, who are responsible for scoping and budget requests, documentation, bounties, etc.

All roles should be reflected in Notion: 1) in our contributors, 2) on Wiki pages of respective cells. Role descriptions will serve as scorecards when onboarding new contributors.

Elections

Roles should be filled through elections. Community members can nominate themselves for roles in different cells and be elected. Ideally such elections should take place during intermission (between seasons):

  • Cell champions (aka enzymes) publish roles by opening threads in #role-elections channel
    • Each post should include short description, compensation, election timeline and a link to the role page in Notion
  • Community members can nominate themselves by commenting in those threads
  • Each nominated member can be upvoted by everyone else
  • Governance cell makes sure that timelines are observed
  • Those nominees who get the most upvotes fill the role for one season

We recommend using this standard election process, but cells can modify it as they see fit.

NB: Community seats on the Grants committee are also roles that need to be filled through elections starting from Season 5.

Internal grants

Grants committee

All projects will need funding, and to get it they will have to apply for a grant before doing something. To process all grants applications, we propose to form a grants committee (basically as one of the operational cells).

Grants committee should consist of a few members with sufficient experience in web3 and good understanding of our treasury situation. We need certain cognitive diversity to consider the interests of all stakeholders and manifest GG in funding decisions.

For Season 4 we are going to set up a temporary GC, formed by people from community, agency and studios:

  • Gus (GC lead)
  • Will
  • [one more core team member]
  • [core contributor 1]
  • [core contributor 2]
  • Victor
  • [one more agency or studios representative]

The implications of setting up the grants committee are formalized in PIP-19 and can be discussed in that thread.

Project grants

Budgeting will still happen within any project, to enable funding of roles and bounties. But in Season 4 we are aiming to spend more USDC on initiatives that support our seasonal objective (i.e. integration with the wider Protein ecosystem). All initiatives will be funded by the grants committee. If a member wants to propose a new project (ideally during intermission, but not necessarily), they’ll have to apply for a grant using a template.

Overall, the seasonal budget will be distributed between pods (led by core team members) and initiatives (led by any community member). The Treasury cell will decide how much PRTN to allocate for pods and how much to spend on initiatives through PGC.

Proposal details

  • Snapshot vote between 30th September and 3rd October
  • To pass, this proposal must be approved by 75% of the voting members

this makes sense. Some questions that popped in my head:

  1. How long will the elections take?
  2. What happens to a project that has been upvoted but couldn’t fill the required roles? How long does the proposal of this project live for?
  3. What happens when a new member joins the community after the elections?
  4. A member has a project idea after the first cycle of grant giving, does he/she has to go through this process to make it a reality? Who will guide him/her?
1 Like

Thank you Deniz, great questions!

  1. Elections for roles in a project (or operational cell) can take as much time as they need, but projects that fill at least some of their roles / have someone in mind before applying for a grant will be prioritised as we don’t want to lose time.
  2. If a project gets enough upvotes (10+), its champion (enzyme) can still apply for a grant without filling those roles. If such a project receives the grant, it would mean that this project makes a lot of sense and the core team will help it fill those roles.
  3. If a new member joins the community they will be able to nominate themselves for any open role or submit a new idea proposal (grants will be issued every two weeks). There will probably be open roles in some of initiatives and operational cells at any given moment. But most importantly, we need to make sure all the cells create BOUNTIES in addition to roles. Thank you for reminding me of those, I need to add them to the proposal and diagram!
  4. Yes, grants committee has an ongoing process and will not stop after the first cycle. The Grants Committee Lead (i.e. Gus as far as I understand) will be the best point of contact.
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