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