MIP41c5-SP3: Facilitator Offboarding (MKT-001)

MIP41c5-SP3: Facilitator Offboarding (MKT-001)

Preamble

MIP41c5-SP#: 3
Author(s): Deimos
Contributors:
Tags: core unit, cu-mkt-001, facilitator, personnel-xboarding
Status: Formal Submission
Date Applied: 2021-12-08
Date Ratified:

Sentence Summary

This subproposal is to offboard the current Facilitator of the Content Production Core Unit (MKT-001).

Specification

Motivation

Experiments are great in every organisation. This becomes truer for web3 and truest for MakerDAO.

That being said, when an experiment is not killed on time, it becomes a money pit. Several strong reasons indicate that this is a good time to release this team from their duties:

Lack of Quality

This point might be hard to qualify or quantify. If anyone is astonished by the quality of this team, please let know.

Several examples of great videos can be provided if needed. World-class. The quality that Maker deserves.

Lack of Speed

This team has produced two (arguably unremarkable) original videos since they started: Wormhole and How To Vote.
The rest is just the G&R call remixed and rebranded in 7 different flavors.

The Meme Wizard has several Xs impact with a fraction of the budget.

Lack of Accountability and Understanding

A myriad of examples can be presented where this team has not stepped up to the occasion and offered yet another reason. Missing all the important cryptoevents is one that was mentioned in the past.

If necessary, an “anon box” can be set in place to allow others to share experiences.

Lack of OKRs

No transparency, no Objectives, no Key Results, nothing to evaluate this team against. This has been going for months and they haven’t changed (or even acknowledged this).

Their content has no metrics attached. They aren’t judging what works and what doesn’t. They aren’t trying new things.

Lack of Proactivity

They aren’t reaching out to other Core Units to produce content that matters. No videos from all the features coming out from PE-001, or ORA-001, nothing from the partnerships from Growth (and most likely several are being left out: because we don’t know what a good MKT team could achieve).

Lack of Trust

This team seems to be getting trust and support from David U (assumption: they are friends from their times together at the Foundation) and from LongForWisdom (no assumption here: as any non matter-of-factly comment will be heavily frowned upon and also they are really really nice). Have yet to find a team that relies on them.

Not a Social Club

These are great friendly guys, but we need to look past our friendships and seek what’s best for the DAO.

Not a New Team

This Core Unit wasn’t new to the DAO when they started their mandate. The Foundation spent thousands bootstrapping their activities and funding the different members. This means that they have had their fair share of time to get the show running, to hire the needed people, and to start delivering results.

Conclusion

After over a year of what many consider a lukewarm attempt, we need to remove this team to allow for space so that other teams can grow into it. This team representing Maker is enough to discourage new talent from joining the DAO. The quality bar needs to be several feet higher.

Core Unit ID

MKT-001

2 Likes

I haven’t seen any content that stands out off the top of my head right now, or that made me take time out of my day to watch, which I believe would be the goal of a content team. That said, I’m open to rebuttal if there are explanations for the lack of performance here and a plan to improve going forward. Otherwise this makes sense to me.

2 Likes

So I was waiting for Seth to respond, but based on his comment on the other thread, I don’t think he will.

Here’s my 2 cents;

I care little about friendship and more about supporting a team who is working hard and establishing their way of making impact. I support the team because I think it’s more valuable to help guide and build rather than tear down and replace. That being said, the primary thing I think the team needs to do better is transparency around their mandate, roadmap, OKRs, and addressing performance concerns. In fact, I think some of those same things about my own team, COM-001, and we are working towards it as I imagine MKT-001 is too.

I understand where the frustration is coming from and I think several things should be considered:

  • Facilitators have a disproportionately large and complex role. Not only do they have to handle the administrative work to service their Core Unit, but they also have to develop and lead the vision for their team both internally and externally, they have to oversee the various projects and help problem solve within each of them, they also oversee each individual team member’s performance and professional development, and they have to plan ahead with regard to proposals and team expansion or reduction.
  • The content team started with the assumption that a parallel Marketing team would be born, with seasoned ex-foundation Marketing and BD folks, who could partner and guide Content Production to some extent. When that didn’t happen I believe a lot of undue expectations began to fall on Seth and his team.
  • Good work takes time. Shifting a mandate takes time. Deciding how to clearly present it takes time, especially given the first point I made.
  • Although some people aren’t “new”, other members of their team are. Not only that, but the Core Unit itself is quite new and I believe needs a solid few quarters to get into a healthier groove.

Personally I think there should be intermediate steps before offboarding Core Units and their facilitators. I’ve long been in support of a sort of “Oversight” core unit that can help address/audit performance concerns and serve as a general accountability function.

Anyway, happy holidays! I think we all have a lot of growing to do this coming new year and I’m excited for it.

5 Likes

My observations from reading through this thread and hearing rumblings around the DAO re the Content Production CU – people are upset because, as they believe, there have been little, if any, “impactful” results reported on the CU’s activities or accomplishments. For instance, there’s no blog with updates; there are no coordinated campaigns on Twitter (Content CU is not involved in Maker Growth’s tweets afaik); there are no conference focused campaigns that I know of; and there seems to be a black hole when it comes to what exactly it is this team does all day. Couple these impressions with the considerable funds allocated for the CU, and, accordingly, it’s easy to understand why some people may be angry, frustrated and ready for change.

Although I agree with what Deimos writes, I think there is a minor correction of note: I do not believe the Content Production CU had anything to do with the Foundation. That’s important since there is no “continuity” between the Foundation’s efforts and what this team is doing (or aims to do). But, in my opinion, this development is positive because the Content CU should find a voice for MakerDAO separate and apart from what the Foundation established. If anything, doing so will reiterate our independence from that group.

2 Likes

The senior Content Production team members, Seth and Jerry, were contributors working with the community development team at the Foundation. Their work was primarily around the content and design of Makerdao.world, now they are rebuilding a part of the site to fit the team’s(and Maker’s) blog and content output needs. They also participated in a weekly call with Foundation marketing and comms folks for knowledge sharing and wisdom seeking.

They were not members of the Foundation in a full time capacity, but did receive compensation for various contributions and working with foundation members.

I’ll let them share what else I might be missing, I wasn’t facilitating their contributions at the time; rather Amy Jung was, so I have a fuzzy memory about all the details of their contributions.

2 Likes

Thanks, and I stand corrected. But knowing this information actually makes Deimos’s concerns ring more true: the Content CU has had incredible advantages vis-a-vis anyone simply starting a new CU and appears to have squandered what they were given (at least that seems to be an ongoing concern from some people).

I suppose we’ll see how this plays out when the governance poll is up.

1 Like

For reference, I believe David’s referring to this post and yes, based on the fact that our most recent budget passed with 100% support and no delegates have expressed concerns to me since these were posted, I haven’t felt it was appropriate.

With regard to the points that have been expressed around OKRs/KPIs/etc., what CU has published these in a detailed manner? I remember there being discussion around this around the time that some of the early CUs were getting off the ground and got the impression it went unresolved because no CU wanted to be the first to make a commitment: “Why should I take responsibility if nobody else is going to?”

This isn’t to say that CUs shouldn’t take responsibility or be strategic in their operations, but it’s worth taking into account the places where incentives make it systemically difficult to do so. If anyone has ideas about how CUs should collectively navigate this issue, we’re happy to help work toward a reasonable solution.

To clarify a couple of points here, Jerry and I both worked on grants from the Community Development team that was funded by the Foundation but neither of us have ever been employed or contracted by the Foundation. We participated in several calls coordinated by @twblack88 to try and communicate with the Foundation’s MarComms team but legal restrictions kept them from sharing anything of substance.

As far as transparency goes, the Content team does just as much any other Core Unit to provide transparency and offer opportunities for community members to learn more about what we’re doing, ask questions, and make suggestions. We will continue to address any concerns or constructive criticism when raised in a reasonable manner.

1 Like

what? :exploding_head: if govalpha goes dark govcomms could still survive i hope?

how many quarters do you propose to get into groovy mode? by estimate over 1MM has been given to MKT-001 to find groove

this screems like corporate hr for underperformer core units if maker wants to be a social club or charity than yes

thank you for your comments @seth and clarify that you weren’t employ

imo this attitude summarieses the attitude maker can’t accept

this is not personal other core units aren’t perfect and i’ll rise awarenes if this vote pass if vote doesn’t pass i know that it is not wanted by community

i want to formally submit the 2 subproposals @blimpa

1 Like

I think it might be helpful to articulate some of the ways this unit has overcome being set up for failure from the beginning, due to the decentralization of our particular initiatives. Some of which lies squarely on my shoulders and most of which was actually circumstance/timing.

This is the part that’s my fault. We put almost a year into designing a git-based CMS portal for community-generated content that required significant overhead. This would have been great for this team with the adjacent support: tech ops fully running, a marcomms team owning makerdao.com/blog, and gov comms fully humming along with twice the staff. That’s the environment the portal was designed to function in. I lead the creation, build-out, launch, and curation of the tech and content really polished the thing into a useable website.

Had we nailed the transition, the portal would have served and been a resource for the community to create content; specifically aimed at growing and speaking from/to the community.

Wha happen?

Sadly, we moved a little quickly closing the department and in that grinding process stuck content with an almost unusable tech stack, a lead engineer who quit, and a designer who moved on. I’d be remiss if I didn’t admit that my failures to transition that project doesn’t weigh heavily on my shoulders. Yet, this team took it in stride. Because its completely revamped version isn’t ready they just keep getting called out, which is annoying, to say the least.

Supporting Our Teams… not roasting them

I think this thread has some wake-up calls and should the content team wish to become the marketing team there is some hand waving at possible metrics to show the community that they can execute in that capacity ( I’m really stretching here trying to be polite). This would require so much more facilitator work, and that really needs acknowledgment. Facilitating is SO MUCH WORK, pivoting your team’s mandate?!?!? Yeesh.

I’ve spoken with this team at length about work visibility, they’re well aware and have been working to make their initiatives and progress more obvious. Maybe try reading their updates?

Again… they got hamstrung by many different forces, yet continued to soldier on in their mandated capacity for much cheaper than any agency, department, or team would have. Meanwhile, our community did little to nothing to support them along the way. Who here can say they have provided actionable feedback? subscribed to their newsletters? Shared wild ideas for new content streams? Reached out to partner around their Core Unit activities? Sent them ideas to post on twitter? Or even followed their accounts? Looks like not many, which is a shame and that’s on all of us.

You could steelman that argument and say it’s on content to ask for this engagement, and that would be somewhat fair… Yet, it’s a pareto principle if we all want this project to grow. I’m seeing where the 80% lands, are you anon?

Let’s define offboarding better.

Both of our offboarding threads so far have been poorly handled (well, until @bainpm came in for a graceful handover…) I’m quite disappointed I have to waste gas and my time on this offboarding.

3 Likes

My observations from reading through this thread and hearing rumblings around the DAO re the Content Production CU – people are upset because, as they believe, there have been little, if any, “impactful” results reported on the CU’s activities or accomplishments. For instance, there’s no blog with updates; there are no coordinated campaigns on Twitter (Content CU is not involved in Maker Growth’s tweets afaik); there are no conference focused campaigns that I know of; and there seems to be a black hole when it comes to what exactly it is this team does all day. Couple these impressions with the considerable funds allocated for the CU, and, accordingly, it’s easy to understand why some people may be angry, frustrated and ready for change.

This is correct.

Scientific Governance and Core Unit Management

Maker has always distinguished itself in its desire to manage through science or scientific governance. Science itself is the pursuit of understanding. In the natural sciences, science focuses on acquiring an understanding as the empiric. The empiric uses empiricism, which is built on the idea that knowledge is valid and can be acquired through observation, or direct sense experience that can be agreed upon mutually by numerous observers (consensus).

What this looks like in MakerDAO is an agreement to using Data or more “objective” measures to arrive at an understanding to support decisions and action. The interpersonal benefit of the empiric is that it helps us all align on common bases of information, potentially leading us all into agreement and more natural conclusions. The benefit to management is that it helps groups navigate, coordinate resources, and avoid conflict. Data and scientific governance also provides us a way to make sense of disagreements and in the event of disagreement, come to a mutual understanding of respective positions and the reasoning/logic. This helps create a polis or a common center for discourse. Of course, data does not always lead us perfectly to our conclusions, data itself is subject to interpretation or story by the scientist and their unique individual perspective. We will put that aside for now.

Scientific governance was a novel idea in crypto. Maker first applied it to peg management. The various community members would convene and evaluate where the peg is (under/over), what the end goal is (to get on peg), and then agree on chain to implement the various levers with an anticipated outcome ( supply or demand adjustments via SF Rates/ DSR/ etc) . If the outcome was not as desired or expected, another attempt could be made the following week to help bring the peg back to par. There was agreement and disagreement, but everyone would understand the logic and recommendations made by each party. The experience was fundamentally collaborative and all incentives were aligned (keep the peg!). This was scientific governance in the sense that, “knowledge is tentative and probabilistic, subject to continued revision and falsification.”

Again, the objective of science here was to use available information and reasonable predictions to evaluate an outcome. A hypothesis was made and either invalidated, or not. The benefit of this process is that it helps us understand what we expect, and if things do go as planned, to interpret the results and revise our hypothesis.

In the same way, KPIs are scientific governance, they allow us to negotiate what we expect ( a hyopthesis) and if things go as planned, okay, if not, they allow us to look at results, revise, draw inferences and conclusions, and then direct our next course of action.

A major issue is that these support core units have failed to establish clear mandates, objectives, and KPIs, hence evaluating their performance is near impossible. With an issue like content production, it is serious because the spend is high and the absence of a strategy and metrics, problematic.

KPIs and Core Unit Management

KPIs are data. They are “key performance indicators.” What does this mean? They are objective metrics, either quantitative or qualitative, that can be agreed upon and observed. A set of different observers can arrive at a consensus and agreement as to whether or not they were met.

For example, a KPI could be : Launch a Dai bridge to Starknet. This goal, can be defined, a milestone and date can be assigned, and we can agree if it happened as planned, or not.

By the same token: Have 10mm Dai use the stark bridge this year allows us to easily review the KPI. Did this happen, did we hit our mark? If not, why not? KPIs provide data, and data provides common ground for discussion and the evaluation of performance and scientific governance.

Said again a different way: KPIs allow for an agreement and understanding of performance and expectations. It allows for analysis as to the source of underperformance or failure, or in positive cases, allows management to evaluate overperformance.

KPIs are negotiated. There are two stakeholders, one performing the work (the core unit) and one requesting the work (community/DAO). The CU pushes to make sure they can deliver, the community is responsible for negotiating ambitious KPIs, pushing the teams to be more aggressive (while also creating risk they fail to deliver).

Once the KPIs are agreed upon, they can be evaluated. Some less ambitious ones may be met, some more ambitious KPIs may fail. This is part of the negotiation between the management and the team. Both sides are responsible for selecting reasonable and communicating expectations on each KPI to each other. After the performance cycle, scientific governance may then occur. A CU may be retained or dismissed, KPIs may be adjusted for next cycle, etc.

Content Production KPIs

While content production has been delivering work and various events, AMAs, etc. The work, in practice, is for naught, which adds to their frustration. The main reason is the absence of a strategy and KPIs. Without understanding what they are moving toward and how they will be measured, their work is unable to be sold as clearly progressing their program. A program which should be agreed upon and negotiated between CU and DAO. Now, the DAO is unable to ascertain their performance (or under-performance) because they did not set a strategy or KPIs and the DAO did not accept and agree with their proposed plan and benchmarks.

It would be appropriate to review and discuss what Content Production promised to do upon funding and what KPIs they established at their Core Unit inception:

Roadmap
The primary focus of our first three months will be to [sic]
During this period, team members will continue lending support to projects like:
• Maker Relay (Written 4 and Audio 4)
• The Community Portal
• The Community Blog (coming soon)

Month 1: Setup and Coordinate
• Incorporate and set up administrative operations (payroll, etc.)
• Implement a Request For Content (RFC) process
• Work with the Legal Core Unit to determine legal limitations on content and needs with regard to IP (copyright/trademark/TOS).
• Work with other Core Units to surface content-related needs and coordinate the management of MakerDAO’s digital properties, including, but not limited to:
o MakerDAO.com
o Maker Blog
o Youtube
o Twitter

Month 2: Strategize, Execute, and Renew
• Develop a content strategy based on organizational goals, define KPIs to measure the effectiveness of our efforts, and determine staffing needs
• Hire content creators and onboard them with Opolis
• Start producing and distributing content
• Report on our progress submit a budget proposal to continue our work

Month 3: Produce, Report, and Renew
• Provide feedback to RFC on the budget proposal
• Continue producing content and reporting results

I have not done an in depth review on each line item. To be fair, few of the support core units have clear strategy and KPIs. However, content production explicitly promised to produce KPIs and a strategy as a central deliverable. Further funding was to be contingent on this strategy and the costs were supposed to be tied to the explicit delivery of this strategy and its milestones. This was a reasonable path forward amidst uncertainty. Unfortunately, it does not look like negotiation and acceptance of a strategy and KPIs occurred. Both the community and content production forged ahead with funding despite lacking an understanding and agreement as to what was to be delivered.

Ideally, the concerns raised above regarding KPIs would have been addressed by the end of month two as proposed (June 2021) and agreed upon at the renewal of funding (July 2021). Though no KPIs were produced and agreed upon, the budget spend was approved and significantly increased through May 2022.

It is now January 2022, and we find a recurring large budget spend (~140,000.00/month with contingency) with no strategy and no way of measuring the success or utility of the spend. The core unit has been operational since May 2021, with approximately 8 months live. From a management perspective, operating a group with no strategy nor KPIs is problematic, regardless of the whether content production is retained or dismissed.

At the same time, the community must hold itself somewhat responsible for failing to press on content prod for KPIs and a clear strategy prior to renewing the funding. The best course of action seems to fund content production through February, with the expectation they deliver on all the deliverables originally promised at “Month 3” at time of funding (Originally June 2021, Now February 2022). This would provide them two months of funding, as was done on inception, to deliver on work products previously promised, most importantly:

• Develop a content strategy based on organizational goals, define KPIs to measure the effectiveness of our efforts, and determine staffing needs.

At that time, a further budget proposal could be approved for March and April to support executing on the strategy until May 2022. This proposal would include, objectives and KPIs agreed upon by both the DAO and the community. This would allow the community and Content Production to measure their performance.

First, it would allow for DAO to determine if content production performed through February and be confident funding its next proposal. Is there a clear and coherent strategy with clearly measurable KPIs for Content Production?

Second, It would also allow the DAO to determine performance for the following quarter (Q2 2022) using the agreed upon KPIs in the strategy.

This format would allow for the DAO to approve a new budget proposal in Feb 2021 for additional funding to cover Q2 2022. Under such a structure, it would be clear whether this is a good fit, and both sides could squarely carry their own responsibility. At the same time, the DAO gets valuable experience negotiating KPIs with core units and holding them accountable for their performance, regardless of a positive or negative outcome.

By doing the above, we could re-align incentives and avoid any future conflict as there are no surprises or emotional reactions, and everything is instead data driven as the empiric.

In short:

  • By Feb 2022, content production either has the capabilities to produce a strategy and clear KPIs, or not.

  • If they are able to produce the KPIs and strategy, they can make their case for funding to execute on them in Q2 2022. If not, they were well paid the entire time for their work, no hard feelings and everyone has been treated fairly with no surprises.

  • If content production is funded through Q2 2022, prior to approval of a Q3 2022 budget there would be appropriate measures to evaluate performance, which remedies the current unfortunate situation.

At the same time, during this process, Content Production may realize Maker is not a good fit for them or their skillset and capabilities, or maybe that the increased accountability in the DAO doesn’t work for them. They could always opt to restructure their core unit, join another CU, or even decide Maker is not the best place for them and find work elsewhere.

The goal is to be fair, charitable, and responsible. Conflict is to be avoided, as is waste. Transparency and accountability are vital.

Let’s go.

6 Likes

Excellent. I like responses like this. Forward-thinking, objective, and solution-focused. Thank you for the metered and well-articulated response @MadShills . A bit of accountability on all ends and recognition of learnings is the best outcome. I think your response strikes a happy medium of getting all three directions articulated. The DAO needs to speak up earlier about things in an objective way while moving back towards the scientific governance that we’ve built this community on. We’ve lost our way, myself included. Your post strikes this amicable path forward, which is much preferred.

Plus one on this approach, what do you think @ElProgreso? just saw your thread and I think this strikes a happier middle ground.

Hello Tim,

After some deep soul searching and thoroughly thinking about the individuals of MKT-001, Flip Flop Flap Delegate has already made the decision to Vote YES to off-boarding because of the reasons posted here. Assuming more MKR token owners vote in the same direction, we continue to support the individual team members and urge them to talk to SES and seek a path forward. However, there are MANY MKR token owners that can still vote in the opposite direction.

We believe MKT-001 is composed of team members that have an abundance of talent. But at the moment we believe their talent is not being showcased correctly. And believe me, we know that we could be totally wrong and MKT-001 members will go on to become some of the most talented & productive Content producers & Marketing influencers on planet Earth. But when thinking in bets, we are betting that the moment is not right now.

Again, if MKR token owners decide to off-board MKT-001, we recommend that team members of MKT-001 consider incubating via SES, or consider reinventing the team that they originally had envisioned and help MakerDAO exceed and excel beyond greatness.

1 Like

@ultraschuppi can u provide insight in your vote please it’s not sarcasm