Technical Support Guild Budget Proposal - December, 2021 and Q1, 2022

@fartunov, @lee0007, @daniel-ospina Please review, respectfully keeping in mind the Dec 22nd date: Technical Support Guild Budget Proposal - December, 2021 and Q1, 2022

I like this proposal. It resolves the issue of forming a separate pool of capital that was raised as a concern for the previous iteration. Furthermore having the guild already operational removes the initial uncertainty around the ability to get this off the ground.

December payment seems a bit small but I am an outsider so it could be completely appropriate. @lee0007 has already reached out to the Guild Steward and the AA Patrons of the initiative to investigate. Once that is cleared I will be in support of the proposal.

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The proposal seems clearly outlined and beneficial to the AN DAO as a whole!
The first report demonstrates the ability of tackling and solving issues.

Uncertainties could be related to potential overlappings with the AA competences. But this seems to be solved.

The budgetary request appears fair (compared to the amount of people currently involved in the Guild).

Given the technical knowledge requested in order to give assistance, it is necessary to establish a very rigourous onboarding procedure: skills and capabilities of new members should be carefully assessed. Moreover, I think that the overall amount of guild members should be somehow related to the amount of work and the budgetary request.

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From @lee0007

Posted the following in #tech-infra. I am only moving her post here so I can follow up timely. Sorry if that is not protocol:

@brent, @b3n, @Artem in regards to the current @Executive Sub-DAO members proposal to fund the technical support guild, how many hours oer week on average in December 2021 did members of the tech support guild contribute to this mission critical work? I am concerned that the current budget undervalues the impact of this team and fails to account for current and future expansion and the time necessary to develop the documentation needed to support their work and the continuous improvement of efficient and effective process I.e documentations for DAO onboarding and FAQ. Posting here as I can not post to the appropriate tech support guild channel

@lee0007
A poor way of justifying compensation is finding the average cost per reply. Currently this sits at roughly $26.70 on average based on the proposed funding and data I have to work with in December. I think this is a decent number however, as I said this is an inadequate way of justifying compensation of support output. Each reply could take hours of research and require intense technical knowledge, or they could simply be replying to a 3 min non technical ticket. Guild members could pick only the easy tickets to get $26.70 per reply if that is how compensation was done. This is where the coordinate circle comes in and peers will award more points to those who spend more time, have intense technical knowledge, and resolve harder tickets. Some pitfalls obviously come into play when the rate of support tickets increase or the number of guild members increase limiting the total possible compensation per member. With lower amounts of funding ticket resolution time would increase and possibly start a backlog. This question was raised by @eaglelex in his reply.

This leave a few options.

  1. Attempt to gauge approximate funding needed for Q1 support volume modeled off of December’s results.
  2. Be Overfunded and carry over into Q2
  3. Be underfunded and submit an additional proposal

I think #1 is the answer as it attempts to get it right the first time and possibly slightly increasing ticket resolution time which be taken note for a Q2 proposal.

The average number of hours spent is very subjective and dependent on the guild member’s schedule, dedication, type of ticket worked on, guild members current technical knowledge, and availability of others to collaborate with. But if I was forced to put a number on it I would say that each member is on target to spend an average of 30 hours for December. With some being way lower and others being higher. Hours are not logged and if they were, research and learning would be the top usage of time.

Another metric would be an attempt to use, however frivolous, the handling time and resolution time of tickets weighted against the number of members and the tickets they were involved in. I did not entertain this as it does not take into account help on discord nor time waiting to collaborate with others before responding with a resolution.

Product documentation and other projects will be funded by bounties and should remain separate from ticket resolution compensation. Identifying the specifications of each project will clearly expose overfunding or lack thereof. Since the projects are not clear and the specifications of current ideas are not made, specifying a budget is in speculation territory.

@eaglelex
Onboarding is something that I will be discussing with the guild on our Tuesday call. My main concern is that it is centralized to me. I am the one who reviews the candidates and determine if they are technically fit, will work good with the team, and make a good addition etc. How do we do this in a decentralized way where I am not the only deciding factor but ensure value?

I would be interested in jumping on a call with you and anyone else so we can discuss either of these topics.

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First of all congrats tech guild on a fantastic start, well deserving of funding. @brent appreciate your thinking through alternatives. My question was specific to budget based on average hours in December per contributor. Given you indicate 30 hours, then my primary question are

Q1
Is the requested budget enough to reward contributors well for both for 1) ticketing support and 2) process improvements?" to break this down, show my own thinking - based on the following components - is 40k enough for contributor rewards for ticketing support?

  • 30 hours p/wk p/contributor x 5 weeks per month (surplus) = 150 hours per contributor, multiplied by
  • industry-standard hourly wage for this work based on US equivalent wages, multiplied by
  • the number of contributors per month (current and additional) to clarify the monthly budget

In addition, I would like to understand how you guys are accounting for the time contributed for ongoing process improvements including1) onboarding 2) training 3) documentation. Understand this falls under bounties, seeking clarification on the 10k figure, is that based on an estimated number of hours or number of projects?

You don’t need to specify the numbers - I’m just double-checking sufficient funding to reward contributors well. I’d prefer to provide a surplus (that can be carried over) rather than see additional proposals for the same work.

Q2

Given the total requested is 52k it seems this clause is unnecessary and restrictive. Allowing no more than 10k to be paid each month (unless there is carryover) effectively only allows 40K over four months. Unless I misunderstand something here about how bounties will be paid?

Q3
Will await final advice on the reward payment split. Noting the maximum split is 50:50 ANT:Stable as provided in the Executive Sub DAO Funding Proposal Epoch 1

Comments

Process improvement seems integral to developing a more decentralised pathway to onboard future contributors to the tech support guild and happy to see the budget increase if that would see a contributor-lead, focused effort around onboarding, and documentation.

For transparency, I am biased toward decentralization, especially where we have the opportunity to fund and support community contributors. As the front-line fielding questions, I believe the guild contributors are well-positioned to contribute to the creation of documentation and training resources.

I support this proposal and the following questions go beyond what I need to decide as an exec member but as a community member, wondering about the process of decentralization, could you provide further information to help me understand your role as head of technical support and the roles of the patrons? Are the oversight roles planned as temporary (while guild is established) or will they eventually transition to be roles funded by the AN DAO?

Thanks for the reply @lee0007 I’ll try to answer some of your questions.

Question 1

Is the requested budget enough to reward contributors well for both for 1) ticketing support and 2) process improvements?" to break this down, show my own thinking - based on the following components - is 40k enough for contributor rewards for ticketing support?

Numbers assumed:
30 hours week
Average salary per anumm: $43985 (Salary: Technical Support | Glassdoor)
30hrs * 5 members * $22.90/hr = 3436.32 for December

This lines up just under the estimated $26.70 per resolution… assuming each resolution took 1 hour. The proposal has the first months distribution at $4200 leaving the remaining $5800 to be carried over into the following 3 months.

Again these numbers are subjective and will be so month to month. In my opinion, a better way to gauge funding requirements is to look at current output and incentivize based on any deviation against desired output. Those showing more output will gain in a coordinape circle. In my opinion either way you run the numbers it is sufficient. But it is not my opinion that counts, it is yours along with the rest of the executive SubDao.

Question 2

Unless I misunderstand something here about how bounties will be paid? [also referring to $10k monthly distribution]

This clause ensures that $50k will not be giving out in month 1 draining any further funds that will be needed for future months. It ensures the survival of Q1 to the end. Yes there is carry as stated. Bounty projects will be talked about a lot in the beginning to get a good understanding of the specifications. Afterwards, I will be setting the bounty based on the architecture of the project and estimated time to complete. Bounties that exceed available funds would be out of scope for Q1 and would be included in Q2 budget or would require its own proposal.

Question 3

Will await final advice on the reward payment split. Noting the maximum split is 50:50 ANT:Stable as provided in the Executive Sub DAO Funding Proposal Epoch 1

This has recently been decided upon and will be a split of 85% Stable coin and %15 ANT

Comments

+1 for decentralization. My role is to lead the coordinape process, guide guild meetings propose and ensure bounties provide a better end user experience or freeing up core engineering time, liaise with departamental leads and external resources, propose ways to decentralize technical support while ensuring a good user experience and stability, establish a system in which no single person leaving jeopardizes technical support which includes phasing out my role. Patron roles would be collaborating with me and can been seen as oversight of myself.

Your last question in your comments “Are the oversight roles planned as temporary (while guild is established) or will they eventually transition to be roles funded by the AN DAO?” I do not have an answer for or know if it has been discussed

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I will discuss with Artem as I came on this project after the beginning of this month and cannot attest to what happened beforehand and spent some time getting up to speed. It would concern me if Artem also thought it was too little.

@brent Sorry, I can not agree to the 85:15 for Q1 as the funding available to the Executive SubDAO is based on a 50:50 split which can be reconsidered for Q2. However, this split was set intentionally to build community governance power. In order to increase contributor stable reward, you could increase the $22.90 rate.

It is my understanding that many on the guild will sell most of their ANT to pay for food, bills, etc creating sell pressure on the token and not build governance power. They may be more likely to hold it if they get 15%. ANT token is not intended to be a medium of exchange. That aside, if there is no option based on the holdings and plans of the Executive SubDAO there may be no choice but to use the funding resources available to it.

For Q2 I was brainstorming a matching program, with a max amount, based on the number of ANT tokens the guild member already has in their wallet. This forces them to hold some ANT. But tI have not worked this out yet and that is Q2, not this proposal.

@lee0007
Let’s do 50:50 ANT:Stable coin

Let’s bump up the December payment to 5625.

Also, I feel more of the work is going to be done in bounties. If 3k is set per month and larger projects require more money, the project will sit until the next month. So if we put the Bounty at 4500 per month it would alleviate this concern.

Also, the pay is subjective for technical support. When searching for pay you can find it as low as 24k USD and higher than $100k. I checked with my local ISP and they pay $24 an hour for tier 2 support to solve basic customer internet connection. I think we can all agree that supporting DAOs takes a more technical person and therefore should be paid more. Bumping pay to $37.50/hr should be sufficient. To account for this, the monthly distribution will be a max of 12,000 with carry over.

I do not want to set a standard that we look at the number of hours performed. This is impossible to get because the nature of how we are decentralizing. No one is required to punch in or out. Compensation will be distributed with a coordinape circle rewarding those that give good output, regardless of time spent. Good output is what we are after, not number of hours logged.

So the new numbers looks as such:
December payment: 5625
Per month distributed with coordinape circle: 12,000 per month for 48,000 total
Bounty per month: 4500 per month for 18000 total
Total of 66000

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Thank you for making the effort to recalibrate the budget @brent. This project has my 100% support cc @fartunov @daniel-ospina

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Numbers have been updated in the proposal above. @eaglelex, @lee0007, @fartunov

Let me know of there are any other concerns

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@eaglelex,

Given the technical knowledge requested in order to give assistance, it is necessary to establish a very rigourous onboarding procedure: skills and capabilities of new members should be carefully assessed. Moreover, I think that the overall amount of guild members should be somehow related to the amount of work and the budgetary request.

Since this task is not decentralized yet, I am making sure we have the required number of guild members to make sure tickets are replied to within 24 hours and resolved in under 36hrs on average. Currently we are way under these metrics with a response time of 4hrs and 19min, and an average resolution time of 7hrs.

Tomorrow we are having a technical support guild meeting if you want to join. We will be discussing many things, among them: onboarding and offboarding members to the guild. Currently I am the one who has the power to do this and can accurately vet potential candidates given my background. Our discussion will entail how we can decentralize this process so I am not the decision maker but at the same time ensure we have only new members joining who have the skillsets required while also not being over/under capacity given the current or forecasted state of support.

I see @fartunov and @lee0007 have given their approval. I have not received an approval from @daniel-ospina yet Did you have any concerns?:

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I am also on board with the proposal. Looking forward to the guild crushing it throughout Q1.
@brent please share the payload from the Coordinape circle with @AlexClay and @mheuer in Discord and we’ll try to schedule the payment to happen before EOY

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Correction for December.
The total members on board are 6, not 5. Distribution will be set to 6750 which is the same proportion as before, only adding the additional member. Posting here for transparency as the December report was also included here.

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December contributor reward payment scheduled for execution in 7 days

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January Monthly Report

Support Deliverables

  • Monthly Tech Support distribution is awaiting the end of the 2nd epoch in Cordinape. It was increased from December 2021’s amount and will be scheduled for 4500 USDC and 857.142 ANT @ $5.25/ant for a total of $9000 USD value
  • During the month of January, the guild has helped 186 customers with 216 conversations in Help Scout alone and does not include Discord and other channels of communication.
  • Proficiency increased to 67% of tickets being resolved in under 4 hours and 58% resolved on the first reply.
  • The guild has started creating saved replies for common questions reducing research time responding for common errors
  • Tickets are now being tagged with keywords. The most common tag added for January was ANT token upgrade
  • Most issues are resolved with less research after the guild has gained more direct experience and knowledge of resolutions to common problems.

Bounties

  • A bounty was started at the end of December 2021 carrying over to Jan 3rd to ensure ticket resolution over Christmas and New Years while a lot of the Aragon team was away. This bounty was named “Aragon Santa Support” and was distributed via cordinape circle totaling $2000 USD split 50:50 USDC and ANT
  • A bounty was setup and completed to investigate the ideal platform to combine all of Aragon’s technical documentation and to create a table of contents reflecting all current documentation across all help docs and add any missing topics. The FAQ was also reviewed and updated. Total distribution was decided via cordinape and totaled $2240
  • A bounty was setup and is currently underway to complete the “Fundamentals” and Aragon Client sections of the documentation in Gitbook and link to the forum for additional helpful information from the community (the forum platform/location is currently under discussion). The bounty will be complete when the guild has reached consensus it is complete and considers feedback from the community. $4,500 is the total amount to be distributed as 2250 USDC and 505.61 ANT @ a conversion rate of 1ANT/$4.45 USD after a cordinape circle is completed.
  • Additional bounties were created for 100 USDC each to create video content over each of the topics in the Aragon Client and to be included at the end of the documentation. Each video will follow a template set by the first completed video to be uniform. Intense production value will not be required as the videos will be updated when Zaragoza is released. The feedback and experience making these videos will help to improve for the Zaragoza documentation.

Decentralization progress

  1. Removed my sole ability to onboard new members to the guild. To start, I must have the consensus of at least one guild member.
  2. Started the process of having the guild involved in the administration of their own cordinape circles. I have suggested multiple options how to delegate admin control of their circle but ultimately they must make the decision how to proceed
  3. Removed my control of the Tech Support guild Notion page and handed it over the administration process to the guild in which it was decided that myself and one guild member would manage it, allowing other members to collaborate and make changes with us.
  4. Created an additional discord server as an experiment. Testing what makes sense, what does not when making decisions directly about Aragon support and bounties or discussions about the guild in general: i.e guild membership.
  5. Increased awareness of my role as a leader, not a commander. Being more of an observer allowing freedom of decision making offering suggestions, guidance, and input. Not making top down decisions that effect the guild without discussion and consensus.
  6. Started thought experiments with members of the Cordinape discord to create a structure that allows bounty compensation amounts to be set by the guild or receivers of compensation. Yes, you set the price for the bounty given to you within constrains set by the Aragon Association and total monthly budget. Currently the theory is estimates of bounties by guild members with seniority will affect the total average more than a new guild member as the senior is concerned with obtaining future bounties and has a record of trust. This allows those who are most experienced to set the actual going rate of a bounty.

Concerns

  • Due to some of the Aragon Govern issues with USDC distributions, the technical support team has received numerous notifications that disbursements are scheduled but many were not executed by Govern properly. Multiple distributions had to be scheduled individually after waiting 7 days creating long delays in compensation. This has raised concern for guild members that depend on the timing of their compensation. If Aragon can not execute compensation properly it jeopardize the guilds ability to function. @AlexClay, as some of you may know, is focusing on a resolution to this issue while making sure everyone is compensated for broken Govern executions. It seems like there is a plan in place coming soon, his transparency has reduced any affect on the guild.
  • Guild membership is down to 4 which does not include myself. One member has taken some time away to focus on school. Another member has decided not to do technical support tickets and only wants to participate on bounties. The guild will be discussing parameters for membership and who is able to participate in TSG bounties. If membership falls to 2, the guild is at risk of being unable to deliver its tasks efficiently.
  • There is not enough support to warrant raising compensation for resolving technical support issues. If we add more members to the guild, compensation per member will be reduced leaving the guild to look elsewhere for a livable wage.

Forward Objectives:

  • Adding additional members to the guild is the number one priority to ensure its stability. A new member was onboarded and then disappeared. They were subsequently removed from the guild. Another member who I referred to the Aragon Association dev team is waiting results from interviews. If he is not hired to perform development, he will most likely be offered to work within the guild.
  • This coming month I will propose solutions to the guild to further decentralize the on/offboarding of members to myself having only equal share in the team membership decision making process
  • I will be contacting everyone who has already expressed interest to see their current status, following up with those in discord who express interest, and be on the look out in other communities for people looking to contribute to the space.
  • Create more bounties to give the guild members the opportunity to increase their compensation and to offset the low amount available for resolving tech support tickets. Compensation should never be wasteful to solve a problem (ie raising monthly support compensation when the work/time involved does not match). Creating more bounties will give true meaning to the guilds work, allow Aragon to receive benefit for the funds used, and solve the compensation problem.
  • Obtain more repeating work. I have spoke with @ramon about the tech support guild taking on the role of QA for Zaragoza and other projects but Zaragoza is not at that stage yet. Later in Feb we will discuss if possibilities exist.
  • Identify other communities working with the same issues we are, at an equal stage as we are, and collaborate with each other. What works, what does not.
  • Move closer to completing documentation of Aragon products

Use of carried funds misunderstanding
From the Dec 2021 TSG proposal :

The indicative split of the budget is:

  • $12,000 per month to be distributed to guild members through a Disperse contract with a Coordinape circle as attribution mechanism
  • $4,500 per month for bounties to incentivize larger deliverables

It also states there will be carry:

  • Total monetary value to be distributed, not exceeding $12,000 + unspent carry from previous months

The proposal did not explicitly allow or prohibit monthly guild compensation being used for bounties. For transparency I am posting how I will proceed. The community’s input is welcomed. The bounty funds from Dec and Jan have all be used while compensation did not reach $12k in either month due to the perceived value of the work involved to resolve tickets was not $12k. 4 members is not enough for technical support to be secure in the event 2 members leave thus should be increased to 7 as soon as possible. However, if there are 7 members and no increase in tech support issues, it will dilute each members disbursement. The solution is to use the funds from monthly compensation for more bounty work so 7 guild members can be supported. It is important we provide the tech support guild with security through meaningful compensation.

Lastly, there is no standard for monthly community reporting. I will be posting monthly reports here in the forum and linking to them from notion until the proposal has been completed. As always, the community’s feedback is welcomed, even criticism. That’s how I, we, and they change and improve.

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Really impressive progress report my friend; I learned a lot just reading this!

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Big thanks @brent for this super detailed update report. Hats off for being so transparent with the successes and challenges currently faced, this update sets an excellent example for other Service DAOs to follow suit. The Aragon community is really lucky to have you and the rest of tech support guild members supporting them on their journeys, so just wanted to say a big thank you for everything you are doing :slight_smile:

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