Ratified Doc 100 - Guide Election and Removal Process - V1.1

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I think that reducing the guide terms to 6 months and maybe getting some new blood in that also is cognizant about what their focus areas will be from the start is a good way to improve the current situation. Personally I am doing a lot of work as a guide and I see a lot more stuff that would be highly beneficial to do; but I don't have the bandwidth. With a shake-up of the team and some more defined responsibilities I think we can move the guide role in the right direction and get some better results.
 
I think the situation we are in was somewhat meant to happen.

Last election, some guides described their mandate as being "gate keepers" while others were ready to expand the governance for the same FCT payout.

Would our governance be flexible enough to have all guides tasked with the same basics tasks (Guide Meeting, votes, etc) for a lower FCT payout and then add a backpay grant for successfully accomplished task tackled by a guide during its mandate ?

What I'd like to see during an election would be something like :

  • Guide 1 Proposes to tackle XYZ governance problem and produce governance documents during its mandate and offers to do it for XXX FCTs paid at the completion of the mandate ?
  • Guide 2 Proposes to tackle no problem and only be a gatekeeper (thus accomplishing no extra task) and only be paid the basic guide minimum
  • Guide 3 Proposes to Travel during the year to XYZ conference, meet ABC enterprises for XXX FCTs paid at the completion of its mandate ?
  • etc

And then let the standing parties decides what is best for their needs and the needs of the protocol at that point in time ?
 
I think the situation we are in was somewhat meant to happen.

Last election, some guides described their mandate as being "gate keepers" while others were ready to expand the governance for the same FCT payout.

Would our governance be flexible enough to have all guides tasked with the same basics tasks (Guide Meeting, votes, etc) for a lower FCT payout and then add a backpay grant for successfully accomplished task tackled by a guide during its mandate ?

What I'd like to see during an election would be something like :

  • Guide 1 Proposes to tackle XYZ governance problem and produce governance documents during its mandate and offers to do it for XXX FCTs paid at the completion of the mandate ?
  • Guide 2 Proposes to tackle no problem and only be a gatekeeper (thus accomplishing no extra task) and only be paid the basic guide minimum
  • Guide 3 Proposes to Travel during the year to XYZ conference, meet ABC enterprises for XXX FCTs paid at the completion of its mandate ?
  • etc

And then let the standing parties decides what is best for their needs and the needs of the protocol at that point in time ?
I think that doing something like this a bit informally might be the way to go.

Right now the guide pay is decided collectively by the ANOs via a vote every 3 months.

We could change this in the following manner:
1) Do individual renumeration votes for each guide; there could be a defined baseline based on the price of FCT, and the guide in question argues if they should be paid more or less than this baseline based on their past, current and planned activities in the period covered.
2) Individual guide grants so the standing parties can veto a payout if they deem the guide to not have delivered upon their promises.
3) Switch to only backpay for Guide-grants to facilitate point 2 above.

I do believe we could switch to the above system without actually having to amend any governance as well.
 
I agree with David that Factom needs Ambassadors to champion Factom to a wider audience but I'm hesitant that this would come at the expense of the work that guides are doing already. Niels has said that he is weighed down with paperwork as a guide. I think we need to better understand the work that is required of guides and how we can reduce this burden before we consider dropping or changing the role.
 

Alistair McLeay

RewardChain
I think that doing something like this a bit informally might be the way to go.

Right now the guide pay is decided collectively by the ANOs via a vote every 3 months.

We could change this in the following manner:
1) Do individual renumeration votes for each guide; there could be a defined baseline based on the price of FCT, and the guide in question argues if they should be paid more or less than this baseline based on their past, current and planned activities in the period covered.
2) Individual guide grants so the standing parties can veto a payout if they deem the guide to not have delivered upon their promises.
3) Switch to only backpay for Guide-grants to facilitate point 2 above.

I do believe we could switch to the above system without actually having to amend any governance as well.
I really like this, but I am concerned about the complexity that is being introduced into the system. Tracking 28 ANO's and keeping up with what they're all doing requires a huge amount of time. Tracking grant performance requires a huge amount of time. Tracking individual guide performance on top of this adds to it. I worry ANO's will be spending so much time tracking other ANO's performance, grant performance, and Guide performance, that is will hurt their capacity to get other meaningful stuff done that will directly relate to the protocol becoming successful. Maybe if the FCT price was higher this would be easier, as each team could have a member that primarily tracks all of this. I don't know what the answer is, but I'm concerned about the tracking of everything for all ANO's becoming a burden. I know decentralized governance is super hard no matter what.

A possible solution: What if ANO's voted on Guides every 6 months. ANO's track what Guides do carefully and hold them to account publicly. In turn, Guides have a responsibility to vote on support for ANO's, replacing what ANO's are doing in the current system that Factomize has just built. Guides could also be responsible for determining grant success—as I point out above it's a lot of work for ANO's to do proper due diligence on every grant to make sure it was delivered successfully.

Most importantly this idea allows ANO's to focus on delivering value for the protocol and puts the job of tracking the delivery of everything in the hands of Guides. We compensate Guides properly, and they are effectively the Executive Team of the Factom Protocol. Democratic elections. 4/5 Guides need to remove standing for an ANO to be removed etc.

This could really make us more efficient and effective as a protocol. What do you guys think?
 

Valentin Ganev

Factomatic
Factomatic will support the suggested changes as they stand.

I would also like to say that in principle I would be interested in a focused Guide responsibility for transitioning aspects of our governance on-chain, in particular for moving forward with a staking and/or voting system for token holders, as well as for implementing on-chain voting for critical processes, such as the voting on Grants or the Standing system (especially if we automate distribution of rewards based on it).

As this would require a non-negligible reshuffling of time allocation, before I would consider it more seriously I would like to see a strong agreement among Standing Parties that the above is a priority, an agreement on a very well defined set of tasks to accomplish and commitment from the stakeholders in the ecosystem whose time & resources will be necessary in order to successfully execute those tasks.
 
Factomatic will support the suggested changes as they stand.

I would also like to say that in principle I would be interested in a focused Guide responsibility for transitioning aspects of our governance on-chain, in particular for moving forward with a staking and/or voting system for token holders, as well as for implementing on-chain voting for critical processes, such as the voting on Grants or the Standing system (especially if we automate distribution of rewards based on it).

As this would require a non-negligible reshuffling of time allocation, before I would consider it more seriously I would like to see a strong agreement among Standing Parties that the above is a priority, an agreement on a very well defined set of tasks to accomplish and commitment from the stakeholders in the ecosystem whose time & resources will be necessary in order to successfully execute those tasks.
I support for now as well and also look forward for more governance on-chain. I’d really like to see more substance and longterm direction from the community to include guides (I appreciated Niels willingness to share his vision write ups) and a reduction of the day-to-day churn. Our current implementation of decentralized governance is not producing a direction for the protocol that the ANOs can support and unite behind.
 
This update to specify seems to fit well with the recent vote on priorities, and takes a first step towards pre-defining what guides are going to do. I do kind of see this a campaign promises though, so it is unclear how this is going to be much different than some of the QA sessions that happen during the guide elections.

I also welcome the 6 month term. I think it will help bring in new people and will shorten the time commitment that newcomers will have to plan for. It will increase the overhead, but not to a unwieldy level just yet. It will also provide more points for guides to decide that it is a safe time to step away and let a new person take up the burden.

I think we will be lucky if we have 5 qualified candidates this round. Adding different levels of overhead at this point will only reduce the incentive to join.

This proposal has my vote.
 
We support the current proposal mainly for the 6 months term.

Yet we see that the issue seems much deeper. Here are the different questions I have noticed based on the discussions from this thread in order to get an overview of the debate:

  • Do we really need Guides?
    • For what?
    • Do we need them for basic governance processes?
  • What is the scope of the Guides, if needed?
    • Gatekeepers and facilitators of the processes?
    • Leaders planning the development of the protocol in long-term and promoting it worldwide?
  • How to keep Guides committed to their work?
    • Should we vote for individual guide remuneration?
    • Should we increase their remuneration?
    • Should the Guides be able to propose their own remuneration grant?
  • How to attract good profiles?
    • Through remuneration/financial incentives?
    • Through the scope of their activity?
    • Through an extended term (looks in contradiction with the current proposal but not really as this also depends on all the questions above)?
There are plenty of possible answers. There is one more question that we did not explore: do we still want guides able to vote just like the ANOs? I think this should be part of the questions above for several reasons. Depending on their final role, you may or not want that. For example, when I presented our governance processes to the lawyer I know she was quite surprised by the fact Guides were conducting the governance (~executive power) and still able to participate to all the votes (~legislative power). To be honest, I have also considered this as a bit strange.

I think we really need to address these questions before coming with a consistent proposal for defining the next guide role. I need to think more about this but below are some preliminary thoughts.
Two ways have already been mentioned in this thread:
  • Either we keep going with the current scope but try to adjust some parameters to ensure guide commitment
  • Or we go to the next level by electing a team of leaders pushing forward the protocol for 1/2/3 years with dedicated resources
I feel like the 2 roles are really different and complementary, not opposed.

The first role is needed nowadays but should be replaced (or at least reduced) over time through governance process automation.

The second role really looks like what we wanted to achieve through the non-profit organization: a team of promotors of the protocol leading the technical/marketing development.
 
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Thank you everyone who provided feedback during this discussion.

There was a lot of thoughtful responses and I think that many items brought up are well worthy of further discussion. That discussion is however a broader subject matter than the approval of these rather small changes, so I will go ahead and put the those up for approval now, and create a new discussion covering the other subjects in a little while.
 

Chappie

Factomize Bot
The final poll is available for Guides to vote on now for 3 days. If Guides pass the vote with 4 "Yes" votes then ANOs will be able to vote. If Guides fail to pass, there will be no further action.
 
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