This post is intended to give an overview of the various governance processes that are currently in use by MakerDAO.
Signal Requests are the shortest and most powerful of the listed governance processes. A signal request can be created by any member of the community. Signals are primarily used to change existing parameters within the MakerDAO smart contract system, and they are well suited to this use, striking a balance between the necessary time for discussion, but also having the shortest turnaround time of the standard processes.
The signaling process can also be used to gather consensus on governance direction when that direction does not require work to implement, for example signaling on how domain teams should prioritise collateral assets.
Votes in the signalling process are first taken off-chain on the forums, if the off-chain vote is successful, on-chain polls are also conducted using the weekly cycle. If the on-chain poll ends with a majority for change, the change will be included in the weekly executive vote.
A practical guide to using the signaling process can be found here.
Declarations of Intent
The Declaration of Intent process was created to serve as an inbetween point between the signaling process and the full MIPs process. It is ideally suited for members of the community to propose courses of action or intentions that could be adopted by Maker Governance as a whole.
Because this is a sub-process of the full MIPs process, a concrete proposal is saved and will exist on the MIPs github for future reference. This makes this process better for more longer-term goals, aims or intentions, especially when these involve work that must be completed.
Votes in the Declaration of Intent process are first taken on-chain as part of the monthly cycle after a feedback period that takes place on the forum. If the on-chain polls that are part of the monthly cycle end successfully, the intention will be considered ratified after the monthly executive vote passes.
Maker Improvement Proposals
The full MIPs process should be used when defining more permanent inclusions either into the MakerDAO smart contracts (a technical MIP) or more permanent inclusions into the structure of MakerDAO or the way in which it is governed.
The MIPs process has the longest lead time, and MIPs tend to attract more focused attention and scrutiny than signals or declarations of intent. They also tend to be the most static and fixed part of MakerDAO, changing relatively irregularly in comparison to the other two processes.
Votes in the MIPs process happen on-chain as part of the monthly cycle after a feedback period that takes place on the forum. If the on-chain polls that are part of the monthly cycle end successfully, the MIP will be considered ratified after the monthly executive vote passes.
Urgent / Emergency Processes
In addition to these standard processes, there exist some processes that can be used both by the community and the domain teams in the case where more urgent action is required. An overview of these can be found here.