Proposed working groups for the Aragon Network DAO

Last year, around the time that Aragon One split from the Aragon Association (fka Aragon Foundation) and the Aragon DAC team was coming on board, I started thinking about how the Aragon Network might evolve as an organization. While previously activities and resources were centralized under the Aragon Foundation, we now had multiple independent teams and individual contributors joining the project. A new organization structure was needed. I began thinking about how to divide work between multiple “working groups” that would each have a distinct functional purpose.

By Fall 2018 we decided to let coordination happen organically. I had mentioned the working group idea to my Aragon One teammates but we eventually agreed that it was too early to implement something like this. The number of people involved was small enough that imposing structure early on may have stifled creativity and prevented teams from finding the best way to coordinate in a bottom-up fashion. Since then, we have brought on two more Flock teams and funded several others through Nest and the AGP process (e.g. Aragon Coop). We’ve been working with multiple teams and individual contributors long enough that we have a work rhythm and coordination processes that work reasonably well.

I would now like to return to the working group idea and present it to the wider community. The slides that I originally shared with my Aragon One team mates outlining the idea have since been updated to more or less reflect how teams are working together and who is doing what. You can view the slides here to get an idea of what I am proposing:

My vision is to think of the Aragon Network DAO as the “top-level” organization with “working groups” acting as different functional “departments” in the organization. Whenever cross-functional skills are needed for a project, people from the different working groups can collaborate together e.g. the Documentation WG may collaborate with the Globalization WG to translate the Wiki to a new language. Individuals from Flock, Nest, the Coop, and other teams, as well as individual contributors, would self-sort into the WGs they want to be a part of and contribute to projects the WG agrees to take on.

While projects that are committed to as part of a funding agreement (such as a Nest grant or CFDAO bounty) will necessarily have individuals who are obligated to complete the deliverables, other individuals who are not part of these commitments will have a choice to contribute or work on other projects. Crucially, Aragon community members who want to help with the broader Aragon project but don’t care to participate in the WG structure can choose to do their own thing at their own pace, and others can choose to self-organize with them if they want. Participation in the WG structure is completely optional; it is just there to provide a structure for those who want/need it and to coordinate work among full time members of the project so we are “rowing in the same direction” and have some shared language and patterns to organize around.

I don’t anticipate this WG structure to change much how teams work today; the whole reason for waiting until now to introduce it was so it would map to the existing terrain rather than trying to fit terrain to a potentially flawed map. Rather, the WG structure intends to formalize and make legible how work is already being done, and by doing so open up the process a bit more to other contributors and make joining in the work more accessible.

With that introduction out of the way, I’ll open the floor to feedback. What do you think about this idea? Would this be helpful for you, and could you see this being helpful for other contributors? Once I get a sense of what the general sentiment is towards this idea, the next steps I see are detailed in the “action items” slide of the deck linked above, and I can put some work into fleshing out an implementation plan so we can make the transition as smooth as possible (again, I don’t anticipate many changes to how work gets done, mostly just in how we talk about it amongst ourselves and with new folks joining in).

Let me know what you think! If it would be valuable to anyone interested in discussing further, I’m happy to schedule a conference call in the next few weeks where we can discuss this in real time too. If there’s demand for that I’ll pick a date well ahead of time and follow up here with invites and instructions on how to join.

@luis @jorge @maria @stefanobernardi @LouisGrx @stellarmagnet @Schwartz10 @osarrouy @DanielS @danielconstantin @Julian @sepu85

(Feel free to tag anyone else who you want to join the discussion - this is open for anyone contributing to Aragon in any way!)

10 Likes

I think this would be great.

  • minimal downside: it’s opt-in so it wouldn’t disrupt anyone’s current flow
  • potentially large upside: this could greatly improve coordination and cross team collaboration across the ecosystem

Examples:

  • at 1Hive we have lots of projects that we might take on in the future. Many of these require a cross disciplinary team to execute and deliver. Having a directory of working groups we can reach out to would allow us to engage the broader community, get more/better work done, and share bounties with contributors. This would help us ship higher quality projects faster.
  • another example might be the Aragon Cooperative. Perhaps we decide that it would benefit the community to create X app, but we don’t have someone to build the UI. The Cooperative could start work and reach out to a working group to help get the project finished.

As is it’s kind of hard to do anything meaningful in the Aragon ecosystem beyond commenting on the forum, voting in ANVs, or starting/joining your own project. Having various working groups you can join and collaborate with could help more community members get involved with the community and start building on Aragon. Then any organization in the ecosystem could reach out to a working group to get feedback or help with stuff specific to that working group. Since it’s all opt-in I see no downsides to this, but potentially a lot of value that could be created :slight_smile:

4 Likes

My take is that this could be the most interesting Flock-level initiative in 2019.

Think this is good summary:

Quick comments

(in addition to what @light and @burrrata explained pretty well)

Individual level benefit

While they kind of emerged organically, formalizing WGs would would facilitate access to coordination and information for individuals.

  • Personally, I’d be interested in joining WGs aiming at documenting/vulgarizing/explaining the ecosystem to the broader audience. (i.e probably some community/documentation/education WG). Without WGs I feel options to coordinate are limited.

Team level benefit

  • If WGs eventually increase collaboration between members of different teams, this will facilitate information flows between them. More common knowledge on state of things = more cohesion on decisions = better network scaling while preserving shipping pace.

Would be happy to join if there is a call organized @light and to give a hand if needed.

4 Likes

This is pretty awesome John! If current functional groups are already siloed as I understand from the Motivation slide, I think that the sooner this initiative is kicked off, the better.

The way I see this, this would consist in building up a knowledge platform, traversal of course to all Working Groups (shouldn’t this be called “functions”?) and teams/individuals. A place to store and easily find Aragon best practices across the functions, to understand the current needs and WIP, aggregate historic kpi’s, setting and agreeing goals and objectives, as well as platform to define mid-long terms tactical/strategical plans all these in a descentralized and automated fashion, of course. This could end in being the basics for the most scalable Organization ever thought!

Probably this is nothing new to you guys, but I’ve been having this kind of things in mind for a while, but I confess wouldn’t have idea where/how to start, your proposal here is an awesome first stone for sure!! Happy and excited you are bringing it now and to share insights with yourself and the rest of the team! :raised_hands::raised_hands:

The question I have now is, do you have any idea about where/how to start moving forward into that vision (hope my vision is not that different from yours), what are the current pain points that might be useful to tackle? If you have something in mind, let’s have a talk! this weekend I’m gonna participate in Ethereum Madrid’s hackathon (where Aragon is sponsoring BTW thanks to the CFDAO AGP-10) and it could be interesting to find a team and challenging it to brainstorm a like-solution and build up a prototype aimed to approach somehow this vision (can’t promise this will be done as I’m still lacking a team there, but I will definitively make a try). Sorry if I’m being too abstract here, but that’s part of the Innovation process, isn’t it? :smile_cat:

I’m available to have a call with you this week, if you see any sense in discussing the above, and of course will be there for the conference call you have in mind for the greater audience.

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“Working Groups” is a pretty standard term for this style of collaboration.

In terms of tools I want to keep this very lightweight, not much different than how we (the different Flock and Nest team, and the wider community) are working together now. The only tool I feel may be necessary to add to our stack in the short term is a more public project management tool (I think each team is using their favorite with their own private accounts right now) - something like Taiga for instance. We may have to add others as the organization grows but I don’t want to impose too much too soon.

(I have some more ideas about Networking-wide goals and KPIs and how to track/ share them, but will save that for another thread.)

From the OP, perhaps this answers your question:

Once I get a sense of what the general sentiment is towards this idea, the next steps I see are detailed in the “action items” slide of the deck linked above, and I can put some work into fleshing out an implementation plan so we can make the transition as smooth as possible (again, I don’t anticipate many changes to how work gets done, mostly just in how we talk about it amongst ourselves and with new folks joining in).

3 Likes

thanks for the clarifications John!

I come from the Corporation world, and might be too warned about the organizational demons / bureaucracy in really big organizations.

Happy to join that call, understand better your vision and point of pains, and see how we can help from the Cooperative perspective.

Not much to add to the discussion except sending kudos for the initiative!

From having experienced the growth of several semi-scaled DAOs the emergence of working groups is a quasi anthropological move towards recognising collaborative culture as technology and increasing the purpose and coherence of different tribes towards a united family.

Will be glad to join a conference call on the topic.

In the meantime I do have a single question about the nature of the working group: are these closed to workers funded by the Aragon Network, where they are able to speak about considerations of strategic importance? Or are they instead outer-world facing groups where wide participation communication of actions can occu ? A 3rd option would be keybase chats and calls for internal purposes+outer facing interactions on an open telegram/x app group

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This is a great question. The intent is for the WGs to be public and openly accessible to all good-faith participants by default. If space for private deliberation is needed then that will be considered by the WG members themselves on a case by case basis, and the right of members to coordinate privately about certain matters should be respected (again, with the intent that most activity should be public by default and treat private/ closed discussions as the exception).

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