Over the past six months, the Aragon association has implemented a number of frameworks and techniques aimed at enhancing product quality and team efficiency.
As we look ahead, we recognize that this year will be pivotal for Aragon DAO, particularly in relation to defining the guidelines that set expectations about how we should work. I think that our initial set of guidelines will serve as a benchmark not only for Aragon DAO, but also for other major DAOs. It is for this reason that we consider the Strategy Planning guideline to be among the most important, as it establishes the connection between Aragon’s overarching strategy and the value proposition of its various guilds. By enabling scalability and facilitating the creation of cumulative value across all guilds, this guideline will be instrumental in Aragon DAO’s success.
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This guideline defines an agile strategic planning framework for the Aragon DAO.
It defines how Guilds are expected to collaborate together and work with Delegates and ANT holders to set strategy and corresponding objectives, which are high-level statements of what the DAO wants to achieve. These objectives are used to map value in Aragon, between strategy and our on-chain governance.
It sets the following expectations for Guilds, which are explained further in the following sections:
- Guilds are expected to work on initiatives that directly or indirectly support the latest Annual Strategy Guideline and the objectives within it.
- Guilds are expected to use the Objective and Key Result (OKR) framework to set quarterly objectives and publicly share them each quarter.
This guideline applies to Guilds requesting ongoing funds from the Aragon DAO.
A Guild is a group of contributors who collaborate on an ongoing basis to reach shared objectives, often sharing a specific skill set or focus area. They are product, platform, or service teams intended to deliver sustainable value. They are thus long-lived and will request funds as a stream or request them on an ongoing basis.
This guideline does not apply to individuals or teams who request funds from the Aragon DAO to complete specific time-bound projects with a pre-defined solution or scope.
It does not specify the Practices that Guilds must follow in order to adhere to the expectations outlined in this Guideline, although recommended Practices from Eagle Ops are referenced in the Details.
The Aragon DAO operates in a decentralized environment where ownership and control are distributed among various stakeholders, such as token holders and delegates. For Guilds to be successful in such an environment, it is essential for them to be explicitly aligned toward common goals and have a shared language, goal-setting framework, and set of ceremonies that enable them to collaborate effectively and communicate their progress.
Guilds are free to discover their own internal Practices without unwarranted interference from governance or excessive dependencies on other teams. At the same time, however, they must also be aligned with the overarching direction provided by ANT-endorsed strategies to ensure long-term success and sustainability of the Aragon DAO.
Guilds are expected to provide new quarterly OKRs for their Guild before the start of each quarter. It is their responsibility to lead and coordinate all necessary processes. This includes:
Leading all workshops for ideation and definition of new quarterly OKRs as well as the review of the previous quarter’s OKRs.
- Guilds are expected to have exactly 1 Guild Lead who acts as the point of contact and participant for all cross-guild strategic planning.
Coordinating with necessary parties, such as:
- Other Guilds during ideation to identify dependencies and opportunities.
- ANT Holders and Delegates, optionally, to participate in Quarterly Reviews.
- Facilitators to assist in workshop design and facilitation.
- Presenting publicly the quarterly OKRs to ANT Holders and Delegates.
While outside the scope of this guideline, it is important to note that ANT Holders and Delegates will run similar processes when reviewing and defining annual OKRs. This includes all necessary workshops, coordination, and proposing them as a new Annual Strategy Guideline.
Aragon’s Strategic Planning Framework uses multiple layers of “Inspect and Adapt Cycles” to establish a holistic system of continuous improvement. The cycles provide predictable opportunities for teams and stakeholders to review progress, practices, or strategies, identify areas for improvement, and make necessary adjustments. The evaluations can occur at different intervals, such as weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually, and are nested within one another, with shorter cycles supporting longer ones. This flexible and unbureaucratic approach ensures that the day-to-day work of Aragon contributors is successfully supporting the higher-level cycles, and ultimately the Mission, Vision, and Values outlined in the Aragon Manifesto.
The Annual and Quarterly cycles both include the definition of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).
OKRs are a method for setting goals and tracking progress. It consists of two parts: an objective, which is a broad, high-level goal, and a set of key results, which are specific, measurable targets that help track progress toward the objective.
Annual OKRs are defined by ANT Holders and Delegates in collaboration with Guilds, and are intended to provide broad and ambitious strategic direction for the entire Aragon DAO. All Guilds and projects funded by the Aragon DAO should directly or indirectly support these OKRs. They will be proposed and voted on as part of a broader Annual Strategy Guideline before the start of a new year or any other time during the year if it needs to be updated.
To maintain focus throughout the year, it is recommended to only have 3-5 Objectives, each with 3-5 corresponding Key Results.
Quarterly OKRs are defined by Guild Leads in collaboration with other Guilds and with feedback from ANT Holders and Delegates. They provide direction to each Guild during the quarter and thus should be obtainable in a shorter amount of time compared to annual OKRs.
Similarly, to maintain focus, it is recommended to only have 3-5 Objectives, each with 3-5 corresponding Key Results, per quarter.
Guilds are expected to publicly post their upcoming quarterly OKRs in the Aragon DAO forum as a comment in their existing Financial Proposal thread for the current funding cycle.
Quarterly Review and Planning
In order to effectively set OKRs before the start of each quarter, it is recommended to follow the Practices from the Eagle Ops Guild that are linked below. These Practices have been iterated upon and refined over several quarters and provide a clear, multi-stage process for defining OKRs. It’s important to allocate sufficient time to this process, without rushing, in order to ensure proper coordination with everyone involved.
At a high level, the schedule for setting OKRs involves:
- Starting the review and ideation process at least 3 weeks before the start of a new quarter
- Posting newly proposed OKRs publicly before the start of the quarter
- Scheduling a formal quarterly review with any ANT Holders and Delegates whose support that guild deems needed in order to continue receiving funding
- Checking bi-weekly or monthly with the Guild on the progress that they have made toward their OKRs.
These recommended Practices, which are made available to Guild Leads or on a case-by-case basis to other DAO contributors, provide a more detailed process for defining and tracking progress towards OKRs: