TEC Coordination Team Proposal

This is a joint proposal, resulting from a merger of two forked proposals - one by @liviade and one by @gideonro. It has gone through 3+ weeks of extensive advice process via public calls in the Stewards voice channel on Discord.

TL;DR:

This is a transitional plan that will last approximately three months. Its goal is to simplify structures and processes for coordinating the work of the commons. It is also a plan to reduce expenditures, achieve economic sustainability, and ultimately restore the TEC and grow its ability to have impact through its mission, vision, and values and create value for token engineering stakeholders.

Provide as much information as possible about your idea:

Background:

The TEC has had a 60% drop in community activity on Discord since April (and similar drops in engagement on the community forum in Discourse). We are under growing budgetary pressures, as the shrinking Common Pool makes it much harder to pass operating proposals via conviction voting. At the same time, many of the TEC’s working groups have started to phase out. As a result, we have an opportunity to simplify the way we coordinate stewardship of the commons with a smaller team.

The TEC has focused too much in operations and inward activities for a long time, contributing to alienating us from the token engineering field. This proposal is also an opportunity to address this concern and have our operations support token engineering.

Purpose of the Team:

  • Create greater cohesion and impact for our mission
  • Improve cross-functional coordination
  • Increase flexibility and resource efficiency
  • Reduce operating costs
  • Increase clarity of expectations and accountability
  • Help contributors develop and find inspiration and meaning

Basic Functions:

This new team will focus on coordinating work throughout the Commons. In this sense, it takes over many of the functions originally held by the TEC’s numerous working groups, including the Stewards, Transparency, Communitas, Communications, and Soft Gov working groups.

As part of a small team, members will ‘swarm’ to solve problems together and remain flexible in the kinds of work they take on. To maintain maximum flexibility for a small team, we will maintain descriptions of organizational functions and enable individuals to plug into specific tasks within those functions. Individual jobs will thus be loosely defined through a combination of roles based on the team members availability, preferences and skills. An individual’s roles could cluster within functional areas, but not necessarily.

To ensure that all essential coordinating processes are covered, we will organize them into a number of higher-level categories:

  • Contributor Coordination and Project Management
  • Governance Coordination and Implementation
  • Organizational Development
  • Strategic Planning
  • Stakeholder Communications
  • Community Organizing
  • Partner Relations
  • Economic Development
  • Service Operations and Development (mostly through partnerships)
  • Technology Support
  • Finance and Accounting
  • Token Engineering needs research

How is it relevant to the TEC mission, vision and values?

One of the primary goals of this plan is to streamline coordinating costs so as to free up resources to resume funding of actual token engineering public goods. The simplified, smaller team should also improve the TEC’s ability to be outward-facing to the token engineering community. It should also help with engaging with token engineering projects, professionals and interested people in order to bring visibility to the token engineering discipline, ease the coordination between peers and elucidate access to the TEC’s grant process.

Who is going to be affected by what you’re proposing?

Coordinating Team Compensation and Budget:

  • Three full-time-equivalent positions, spread across roughly six part-time people. These are not full-time positions, but the goal is to have most positions staffed at (at least) half-time so that contributors can really dedicate themselves and focus on serving the TEC
  • On average the team would work 20 hours per week at an hourly rate of $21 DAI per hour, and a monthly budget of $10,080 xDAI for the whole team. This would only be for the transition period.
  • This coordinating team will fund itself initially with remaining funds from Sampo, Communitas and Comms working groups. After that, it will submit a formal funding proposal to the community through Conviction Voting. We plan to set a fixed annual operating budget that reduces our spending to approximately one-third of the TEC’s average operating expenses since launch. The team will submit requests for continued funding approximately every four months to ensure its accountability to the community.
  • The initial team members include: Bear100, Enti, Rex, Nate, Acidlazzer, and Gideonro. The team is subject to change with each new funding proposal and based on individual members’ performance and accountability.

Team Process and Culture:

One of the primary goals of this new structure is accountability to the TEC mission and its stakeholders. The trick is how we do that without adopting a centralized managerial hierarchical structure. An anonymous feedback typeform will be available at the end of every month for the community to provide constructive criticism, suggestions and acknowledgements to the core team.

As part of holding one another mutually accountable, members of this self-directed work team will commit to a set of agreed-upon guidelines, by signing the community covenant (see below). As a mechanism for supporting the commons, this agreement is guided by Ostrom’s 8 principles. Violations will lead to graduated sanctions, and dismissal if warranted.

Team Goals for Transition Period:

  • Maintain the TEC’s essential services.
  • Community accountability and team accountability systems: define what success looks like in terms of outcomes and metrics. This includes updating the community covenant to include a section on accountability (especially around provision and appropriation of services and resources for the commons). This will include details on graduated sanctions.
  • Clarifying project management and governance processes.
  • Clarify the relationship between voluntary contributions recognized by Praise and paid contributions among the coordination team.
  • This proposal replaces coordination of the DAO formally done by the TEC Stewards. The Steward transformation process proposed on Snapshot in August wasn’t approved for a lack of quorum (it received 143k TEC votes of the needed 208k - 10% of the total token supply), and there is some remaining work still to be done defining what role, if any, stewardship plays in the TEC going forward.

Community Member Contributions:

Like many DAOs, the TEC has invested significant resources into allowing permissionless engagement in its work. This openness is not going away. This proposal just restructures and better defines the terms of that open engagement. It is important that the TEC continue to accept contributions from newcomers and long-time contributors. This is how we remain open to new ways of thinking and doing work. There will be two primary methods:

  1. “Active Contributors” are those community members who regularly engage with the TEC through things like attending weekly coordinating meetings and executing minor tasks. For budgetary reasons, we will not be able to pay for most of this work, but these contributions can continue to be recognized and symbolically compensated through Praise and whenever substantial work emerges, it can be proposed to the common pool. The team will act as coordinators to ensure these contributions sync with the workflows, projects and overall priorities of the commons.

  2. The second option centers around carefully defining workflows to allow for truly permissionless engagement without generating a lot of ongoing operational expenses. That might mean buying/selling $TEC using our Augmenting Bonding Curve, participating in governance, sharing and curating knowledge with the curation service, and even participating in Praise quantification. It will be important to continue to develop more of these opportunities for permissionless contribution over time.

Who has expertise in this topic and could advise your process?

The Stewards as well as stakeholders and community members that have experience and perspective to share.

What type of proposal is this?

  1. Snapshot (cultural)
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