Founding a Project Management guild 2.0

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

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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


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


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.


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!


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


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?


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

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Hi Manuel,

thanks for your supportive posture and I can see how the GSE are also reviewing the way the DAO spends money.

I believe one thing we need to bear in mind: ultimately, passion and vision take our all incentives just so far. Everyone wants to be financially compensated for doing work. And educating people, curating talent and creating a community of say project managers is work and hence should be rewarded. The money will need to be spent and whether this happens in the existing guilds, a new guild or whatever structure is maybe a question of taste.

What I can sense is that the cohesive effect of the PM team has been very strong. This team has worked for two Season with minimal budget and people have been calling the weekly meets as their favourite session of the week. I am not sure if the same effects also appear if pm education corners of education guild or somewhere else.

Finally, I believe founding a guild is an experiment like many others, too. If it doesn’t bring the desired benefit let’s close it again after one Season. If we all are clear that a new cost center is not something that is there forever but also needs to bring its value on a constant basis to justify the cost, then we should be good, shouldn’t we?


I vote in favour of experimenting with this new guild and the size of funds risked to test it. I think that the debate between @rotorless and @links is highly instructive to how this guild should focus on education and enhancing agility / capability within the DAO and avoid some of the classic pitfalls of traditional (and highly bureaucratic) PMO as cost-centre. Especially like the idea that PM Guild, Grants Process (and possibly #dao-cartography workstream) should watch for ways to be complementary and enmeshed VS. driving separate and unrelated agendas surrounding improved accountability and efficiency in funded projects.


Hi all, newbie here
@0xRene I would love to participate and share my knowledge.
Haven’t gone through all of the comments as I’m on the go at the moment, but I will.
Long story short
Lately we’ve been trying to setup around 8 independent development teams blockchain/Dapps product-focused (1) without PM; (2) with PM; (3) with PO and appeared that without a solid policies, agile culture (that has to be taught) and servant leadership it seems unrealistic.
I do see a big challenge here, what I personally like and would love to know more and participate in case more hands and brains are needed.
My notion is wrapped up around Product & project management (shifting from web2 to web3). Was successfully scaling IoT product team from 25 to 90 people with a combination of scaled agile/scrum of scrums/nexus/lean.
My Discord karts#5122

Hi there!

Are you able to join us on Discord? You can find us in #pm-general

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Yes, I did join Discord and even passed verification, however, #pm channel is showing me this

Haven’t got enough time to investigate why

This one is still in built :smiley: you have to click the little arrow to the up and left to expand the group. Therein you will find PM general, which is our main channel for conversation.


Thanks for guidance!
However, as you may notice on my screenshot, group is already expanded and #pm-start-here is the only channel I see unfortunately.
For instance I rolled up education guild (marked in blue).
Probably something is wrong with my verification, but I’ve also checked it one more time but nothing has changed =/

I support the use of Project Managers 100%. Each major project and guild should have at least 1 project manager operating as a COO. I’m also on board with an education program to train more project managers, especially from international regions so that there can be global coverage for major projects.

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