Founding a Project Management guild 2.0

Title: Founding a Project Management guild 2.0
Author: 0xRene
Squad: links, Swol Chasse, DSide, fi_bo, Bo I Bankless, 0xJustice
Date Created: 5th April 2022
Date Posted: 10th April 2022

FIND US HERE IN BDAO DISCORD:

SUMMARY

The Project Management Working Group proposes to found a project management guild (PM guild) within BanklessDAO.

The mission of the guild will be: The PM Guild is the Mecca of web3 project management by providing project management education, excellent project management talents and thought leadership.

The guild will provide talent to projects and serve as an upskilling base for project management in Web3. In addition, the PM guild will be the landing pad for new project managers in the DAO and the home base to all those project managers already working in the DAO thus addressing the need of the DAO for talent acquisition and long term retention.

The guild will have some independent funding models and asks for additional funding from the Grants Committee of 220,000 BANK in Season 4.

BACKGROUND

Professional project management is a critical element of successful projects. Projects benefit from project management because it facilitates smoother execution, which leads to happier, more effective, focused teams. For the DAO, project management creates transparency on project progress. This can help reduce administrative work like Seasonal budgeting.

With DAOs growing massively, the number and size of projects grows as well. Within bDAO as well as in the DAO space as a whole, project management skills are scarce. Bankless Academy for example had a vacant project manager position for months.

At the same time we do not know a lot about our project management capabilities in bDAO. There is no natural home for project managers. There is no structural onboarding specific to this skill set. And neither do we have data about who our project managers are nor are they in any way curated. This means that projects need to rely on word of mouth to find project managers.

The project management working group was founded in Q4/2021 to understand more about the needs of projects in the DAO, to create best practices and to support projects in questions of project management. With bDAO growing, we believe there is a need to have a more structured approach to project management. This will be a critical cornerstone to the future success of our projects.

We believe this is best achieved through a project management guild.

MISSION & VALUES ALIGNMENT

BanklessDAOs mission of creating user-friendly onramps for people to discover decentralized financial technologies can only be facilitated through effective delivery of its projects. Professional project management is a vital component for the success of projects and therefore directly serves to accomplish our mission.

SCOPE OF WORK

We believe that a project management guild will bring value for the DAO through direct services but also indirect effects. While direct effects can be priced easier and can hence be used to fund the guild, indirect effects take more the character of common goods and therefore a part of the funding will be requested from the Grants Committee. The following section outlines the value the PM guild will bring to the DAO and how funding could be achieved. A more precise planning per Season is part of the section SPECIFICATION of this proposal.

How does a project management guild create value?

Talent curation, retention and cohesion - keeps the DAO alive

  • Place that attracts and binds project managers to the DAO through quality signaling

  • Homebase team of likeminded for project managers working across projects in the DAO

  • Space for networking (also outside of the DAO through external speakers)

  • Talent pool of curated project managers for DAO projects

  • Coordinated and structural upskilling of project managers

  • Cross pollination of professionals in the PM space

→ Potential funding through paid project manager recruitment requests.

→ Potential funding through GC. It is a public good that the DAO actually attracts and retains project managers. This stabilizes projects and increases the surface of luck that the invested BANK has a positive ROI.

Success enabler - makes the DAO successful

  • Link between projects to reduce silos through regular exchange with other project managers. This way we can identify common challenges in the DAO and reduce the costs of developing solutions multiple times in parallel.
  • Success amplifier tool of the DAO for projects in a critical phase
  • Safe space for transparent conversations about projects

→ Potential funding through project management consulting engagements within the DAO (like Retrospectives).
→ Potential funding through specific project management consulting engagements for Bankless consultancy (e.g. giving a new project manager in a DAO just a crash course on the best practices or shadowing them for some time).

Center of competence for project management - makes the DAO important

  • Center of competence for web3 project management in the DAO space
  • Knowledge base for projects within the DAO
  • Creation of guardrails (templates guidelines) for project management in the DAO

→ Potential funding through web3/DAO project management certificate. This could be just a two days course that coaches about the differences between traditional project management and project management in the web3 space. Maybe this could also run under the brand of Bankless consultancy or even a traditional project management certifier.

SPECIFICATION

In Season 3, the PM working groups main service to the DAO were agile Retrospectives. We performed eight Retrospectives with the main projects of the DAO and received excellent feedback from participants.

In Season 4 we want to keep offering Retrospectives to projects, which are funded through the projects themselves. A poll resulted in eight projects being interested in this service. In addition, we want to build services in two work streams:

  1. Talent

This workstream will develop methods to create transparency on project managers in the DAO, their skills and what is needed to retain them for the DAO. It is successful, if:

  • We have a way to guide new joiners to the project management guild
  • We have a method to give the DAO transparency, who our project managers are
  • We have a method to signal the skills and experience of each project manager to the DAO.
  • We defined a pricing logic for talent recruiting from PM guild to projects
  1. Education

This workstream will develop a model to promote education of project managers within

the DAO as well as explore options to offer a project management certificate as external

source of funding. This workstream is successful if:

  • We have method to continuously train project managers
  • We have performed an analysis of potential ways to create revenue through offering a project management certificate. The analysis should outline a realistic timeline, the prerequisites that are needed to offer this service and the main obstacles that need to be tackled.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

Funding request to the Grants Committee:

Tl;dr: we request 220000 BANK from the Grants Committee.

Aligned with the widely agreed forum proposal of SamanthaJ on a new funding model for guilds here, Guilds As Professional Associations: a new funding model, we are asking for 10000 BANK per active guild member. We define an active guild member as:

  • having attended at least 50 % of all weekly calls.
  • having engaged in at least one of our two work streams ‘talent’ or ‘education’
  • having completed at least three small or two large item of our Kanban board during the Season

As per this definition the PM guild has seven active members. We are assuming that this will grow in the coming Season by another four members. This means we request 110000 BANK for our members. Should the members count be below, the respective excess BANK will be returned to the treasury.

In addition we request funding for three roles in the PM guild, the PM guild coordinator and the coordinators for the two work streams ‘talent’ and ‘education’. We assume that each of the roles will need three hours of work each week of the Season. We therefore ask for another 110000 BANK for these three roles.

Self-funding through offering of Retrospectives as a service to the DAO:

The PM team offers Retrospectives as a service to projects. Retrospectives are used in agile project management to continuously identify potential for improvement of the project. Retrospectives as a service have the advantage that the team including the coordinator of the project can completely focus on analyzing the situation and no one needs to worry about moderation, time keeping, documentation etc. This service is offered to projects for 6000 BANK per Session.

SUCCESS METRICS OR KPIS

The success of the two work streams of the PM guild in Season 4 is defined in the SPECIFICATION section of this proposal. In addition, we measure the success of the PM guild as a measure of retaining and growing active members of the guild (as defined in the section FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS). We aim to have an increase of active members to the guild of 50% in Season 4.

NEXT STEPS

  • Renaming of Discord channel
  • Formal funding request to Grants Committee
  • I can work with the above post
  • This needs fundamental rework

0 voters

3 Likes

Wonderful proposal! However, imo I view this as a Project rather than a Guild. I support the idea and can definitely see the value, but I see this as an Op’s Guild workstream.

1 Like

Hello,

Thanks for drafting this @0xRene; I am part of the Bankless Academy project - and while we were in need of mainly a product manager - I feel a project manager would have aided us in propelling the project further; supporting the UX, Dev and Content work heads.

That said, I’d be interested is seeing a clear guide/roadmap for the proposed vision of " the Mecca of web3 project management by providing project management education, excellent project management talents and thought leadership" - to keep such a guild accountable to its initial mission and value add to the DAO and the web3 space.

Will be on the wings supporting as much as I can. Eager to see this succeed.

Hi Joey,

thanks for taking the time to comment. We were actually quite involved in the situation of Bankless Academy and it was an important driver for pushing to get a project management guild.

When it comes to a roadmap to a mission I am a huge fan of iteration. In my view a mission works as north star that helps to align all activities in that direction. In the Scope of Work section we defined the areas that we want to develop to move in the direction of the mission. At the same time, there are may unknowns on that way and it is the strength of the approach we are taking, that we can put our focus flexibly on what proves to be most effective. When it comes to accountability we defined KPIs for the coming Season. Does that make sense?

And to make this a success come join us in the discord in the pm-working-group channel!

1 Like

Thanks for this proposal frens. I have been elected as the Translators Guild Project Manager and we really need standard processes for our projects. Education in project management is also a great idea. I believe this guild will help fill our gaps in pm.

Hi @Berg - can you tell me more about what the difference between a project and a guild is?

The popular definition around here seems to be that guilds are talent pools. From that lens, this proposal seems like a guild, but I’m interested in your thoughts.

TBH I don’t think Ops “Guild” is actually a talent pool either…it’s a separate kind of entity that keeps the lights on at BanklessDAO.

1 Like

I think that the distinction in between a Guild and project is still loosely defined, but I would agree with Talent Pools for lack of a better description. When I think Project Management, I just think Op’s naturally. Is it common for a Project to be started and to not already have a Project Manager? Guild or Project it really don’t make a difference as long as measurable value is being created. I’d like to see what you guys are up to and gain a better understanding. Looks like your meeting is on Friday’s tho and I work meat space all that day. Any plans on creating a second meeting time?

It’s not clear what this feedback graph is showing. is it a rating 1-7 how much value added (that scale doesn’t make sense)?

I agree more PMs very much needed and supportive of the proposal.

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@Berg (why is your name different in discord vs forum vs notion :sob::sob:??!?) I hear what you’re saying about it seeming like an ops workstream but I foresee this guild as having its members spread between many separate projects and it serving as that working definition of the “talent pool” for PM-skilled ind.s in bDAO. If it doesn’t take off and they want more administrative support then maybe we fold it in in S5, but I’d leave it separate as of yet.

1 Like

Yikes, lol I know it, I’ve been pushin off fixin it . Its a headache, but yes. I agree. I would like to see how it plays out.

What time zone are you living in? We haven’t had demand for a second meeting but I am definitely open to solutions that allow everyone to be active.

The scale is rating from 1-7 how much value the retrospective added. Granted, a more narrow scale would have been fine :smiley:

I’ll DM you via Discord

1 Like

Seems pretty common around BanklessDAO. Also common is to have the project champion inherit all project management tasks without realizing it, despite being untrained as a PM

4 Likes

Also common is to have the project champion inherit all project management tasks without realizing it, despite being untrained as a PM

plus 1M to that

3 Likes

The two retros I participated in, one led by @0xRene for the EPA and one led by @SwoleChasse for the Newsletter Team were actually waaaay beyond my expectations. I was totally skeptical of their value - that naive skepticism was put to rest in the first minutes. I actually think retrospectives should be mandatory for all projects that receive GC funding (if not requested, the GC should add the 6K BANK in), and that the GC should enforce that to receive further project funding. There’s just huge value there, and you need to really participate in one to understand the nuanced brilliance of the process. So straight forward, but it’s like an archeological expedition of a project - uncovering both gems and broken pots. And then you create action items to help dial in the parts that are weakest in the project.

Bottom line - A dedicated PM Guild will 10x+ whatever resources it consumes. No brainer approval. If we are trying to build revenue-generating projects, a funded PM Guild would be a huge catalyst and value-add to that.

I challenge anyone who has participated in a retro to not extol its value.

5 Likes

Thanks for the kind words @hirokennelly! Retrospectives are used to incrementally identify where an organization can improve and more importantly where it needs to adjust because the environment has changed. I believe especially the latter one is something that our DAO needs to embed into its DNA. The community and the environment are changing every day a slight but so probably every stone that is left unturned for a while will lie at the wrong place.

I am therefore convinced, that Retros should be performed on the project level but also on the DAO level. Things like the L2 vibe check could be transformed into regular Retros, where we sense need for small changes and decide, which ones are executed.

If you want to spread the word in your DAO network, so this post gets pushed past the line this would be awesome!

BTW, since you are active in other DAOs - we for sure can offer this service for other DAOs as well :wink: just saying!

4 Likes

This proposal is a material shift in the organization, including creating a new cost Centre and consequently affects the strategic direction of bDAO.

As someone who sits on boards here are the types of questions the CEO would be expected to answer to.

Q/Could you articulate how this proposal and each element that diverges from the status quo aligns with both the mission and vision statement of bDAO?

Q/Second, which are the identified internal weaknesses or external threats that each of the proposed changes address ?

Q/ third, which risks , if any, do the changes mitigate?

Q/ fourth, what are the new risks associated with the changes? And the likelihood and impact of each?

Without risk there is no reward. If we we cannot clearly identify the risks, it’s difficult to be persuasive that there is an opportunity present.
Ultimately, changing strategic direction is for long term.

Q/ Can you demonstrate a measurable outcome like efficiency, profit, revenue, retention, expected in several years as a result of the new cost Centre?

I would ask if you could respond to these same questions here.

Part II

I have been thinking about this a little more and can offer some thoughts on this as well rather than just probing.

In the meat space , not all projects , have project managers, smaller projects are self managed by the project owner.

The closer you move along the business spectrum to government , the more likely , a mandatory project management qualification will be present or imposed on that industry . It’s both part of the bureaucracy and due diligence of handing out our tax payer moneys in the corporate nation state model. As a generalization , if one wants to be a vendor to government, the business has to qualify in size and scope and practices before they are qualified to bid on a contract. This ripples through to sub contractors an so.
Similarly , the corporate character of a public company of a certain size, will have a similar control in place on the efficient and predictable use of funds to be accountable to the shareholders for their profits.

Not withstanding the above, not every build project or procurement in those spaces must have a project manager. For example, upgrading and replacing the existing passenger seats in an airplane , despite the complexity and regulated nature of aerospace , is unlikely to have have a dedicated project manager on the project, even in the govt space mentioned above. It will be self managed by operational manager because it has a small risk of cost overrun, adverse operational impacts, or to draw Human Resources away from other areas. The decision to add the cost of a dedicated PM is risk decision.

In contrast , refitting that same aircraft or a fleet of aircraft will demand a dedicated manager to assist the operational management of the project. So scope matters. Little projects with little risk vs big projects with big risk.

The little projects that are self managed don’t just happen on time and on cost. The operational management does the project management concurrently. They follow a blue print process and take some training to a minimal level.

I often speak about how the different organs of bDAO need to holistically dove tail into one another. It is doubtful, in my estimate, based on our experience this far that a project of the size that requires a dedicated project manager will ever materialize in BDAO which to me casts doubt on the creation of an additional cost Centre.

What I see is we may have correctly identified that project management education might be deficient , and there could be a need for internal training to assist the project teams to manage their own projects within project management principles.

How this dovetails holistically might be the Grants Committee. For example that a project will receive a lower qualification score to go before the grants committee if the team has not done some PM training, or the proposal does not come with the PM outline from the pm guidance .

One of the principles of strategy is to leverage organization strengths to resolve a weakness. We have shown strength in the pm group and education guild and a weakness apparently, though not demonstrated specifically here, in pm at the project level.

An alternate to creating an ongoing cost Centre Would be on guidance by the PM group, working with education guild, to build out a 2-5 page bDAO project process manual , and maybe a 2-3 hr course on pm. And then to integrate the qualification into the grants process , which we have with certainty identified as deficient and needing improved outcomes.

Sorry for typos , typing on a cracked tiny screen.

Part III - in the taxi!

One way to holistically leverage and resolve deficiencies is to curate a list of deficiencies , and then prioritize them.

Save Editcancel

3 Likes

Thanks for your thoughts, and for bringing the language of risk to the DAO. I’ll try to answer with the same language, but I’m curious as to why you believe that this changes the strategic direction of the DAO? From my perspective, project management is a skill like development, design, etc. Creating a guild for this skill like any other fits snugly into the current strategic direction, doesn’t it?

Second, it feels like your questions are saying that it’s less risky to stick with the status quo than to invest in a PM Guild (correct me if I’m wrong). I actually feel founding a PM Guild would REDUCE RISK by allowing projects to make better use of their resources. I come from the world of startups, where the “do nothing” approach is typically more risky than moving forward, so perhaps I’m missing something here? Do the boards you’re sitting on have an established revenue model, or are they “pre-PMF” like BanklessDAO?

The change from the status quo is to create a talent pool and education center around project management. Over the last 3 seasons, projects have been created in pursuit of BanklessDAO’s mission: to help the world go Bankless by creating user-friendly onramps for people to discover decentralized financial technologies through education, media, and culture. During this time, it’s been identified that there have been issues with project management. In fact this issue has come up multiple times, to the point where the Season 4 spec has heavy language indicating the need for project accountability.

This lack of project management expertise has been confirmed by the PM group, both through project “ride-alongs” in S2, and a comprehensive retrospective process for the DAO’s top 8 projects (by funding amount) in S3.

Put simply: by creating a talent pool and education center around project management, we hope to allow projects to make better use of their resources through providing project management talent for those who need it, and educating our DAOmates in project management best practices.

We haven’t identified external threats, but for internal weaknesses:

  • The DAO has a limited runway, and burn rate is higher than spend. This means we need to make effective use of our resources
  • Most projects don’t have ANYONE in charge of project management, and consequently cannot share how they are faring from an executional standpoint. This is seen every seasonal funding cycle, when project coordinators and the grants committee have mutual stress in submitting and approving funding requests
  • Asynchonous project tooling and process has come up as a cross-project weakness of the DAO during retrospectives, and is something that falls squarely in the realm of project management.
  • Projects who search for PMs have difficulty finding one. PMs who introduce themselves in Discord often leave silently. There’s no “place” for PMs at BanklessDAO, and consequently nowhere to turn when their talents are needed.

Creating more availability of project management reduces the risk of the treasury running out of BANK before we can figure out how to make our revenue > burn by helping us make more effective and transparent use of our resources.

The risk to the DAO is wasting 220,000 BANK with no appreciable difference in project effectiveness. This amount would make us the guild with the smallest funding request, according to the S3 spec.

The likelihood of this risk is small. The PM Group has already spent S2-S3 making positive impact through interaction with the DAO. The feedback on our retrospective effort yielded literally 0 negative feedback scores (graph is above), and 10 projects have signalled they’d like to use our retrospective service in S4.

We can’t - but TBH this feels like an unfair question given that BanklessDAO is less than a year old. Difficult for us to project a few years into the future when so much is unknown.

This question is a good example of a question that makes sense for a company that has established product-market fit, but in a pre-product org like BanklessDAO, are these really the best questions to ask?

To be clear, this guild is not about create “dedicated project managers” (i.e. 40-hrs a week specialist) just as design guild’s purpose isn’t to create “dedicated designers”. We simply feel that there is a gap in project management education and talent that could be filled to help all projects. Perhaps that means “hiring” a project manager for 5hrs/wk. Perhaps that means that project coordinators can have access to educational material to help them manage their own projects.

Also important to reiterate that we’re asking for 3 roles at 3hrs/wk…much less than most other guild coordinators (capital efficiency FTW!)

Good catch, and I wanted to address this. We’re creating an output of the retrospective process now that will highlight the issues stated. We’ve also the previous posts I linked to above on why the PM group was founded and how PM issues are apparent during the seasonal funding process.

First of all, the PM group has no authority over the grants process, so it definitely doesn’t make sense for us to try to fix this process. If the grants process needs to be fixed, one would expect the Grants Committee or treasury multisig to be responsible for this.

Your proposal takes into account some education, but not talent retention and growth. If there’s no PM Guild, there’s no place for new PM talent to go. There’s no place for projects looking for PMs to look. There’s no node which can help us get better at PM as a DAO consistently, over the long term. A process or course can be out-of-date the moment it is released - a living body of contributors is much more resilient.

In fact education will be one of our main priorities as a guild, and we’ve already started creating educational material. Talent is one of our other pillars, as evidenced in our role ask.

I’ll bring up another reason why I prefer founding a guild rather than try to gain consensus for individual efforts - it’s just less fun for me. For many people, project management is boring, and so gaining consensus is an uphill battle. As a guild, we are empowered to continually make improvements. As a loose collection of individuals chasing proposal after proposal, we aren’t really empowered at all.

The PM group didn’t ask for upfront funding - we provided value and then asked for funding. We created a method of value generation within the DAO that has proven useful to the projects that use it. We’ve always wanted to help sow the seeds of project management and accountability by holding ourselves accountable as much as possible. We’ve spent 2 seasons making sustained, consistent progress through providing value for others. If you can’t trust us with this modest ask then I wonder what WOULD it take for you to agree that opening a new cost center would be worth it?

6 Likes

Well said @links - I’m looking forward to sharing the meta analysis of the retrospectives my self and @fi_bo have been developing as I feel it will highlight ALOT of cross-dao PM weaknesses

I am definitely in support of creating systems to educate our members and develop skills that result in more successful projects, and in turn a more successful organization. Regardless of if this exists as a project, guild, or some new term we make up, I think this model of member development is needed. I’m actually working on a forum post related to this.

I would really like to see this skill development happen across the DAO. Most guilds have educational initiatives and I’d love to see those built out. In order to really make this work, though, I think funds need to be moved around. Skill development is important, but this is still another cost center. One thing we are looking at as part of the GSE work is a look at all our lines of business, revenue, cost, etc so that as a DAO we can make smarter strategic decisions like whether or not a PM group is the right move. So while I support this, and I will have content coming out soon related to it, I’ll need the information that we are gathering as the GSE first to feel 100% about it

1 Like