Implementing change to the Guides as Standing Parties

Public: Only invited members may reply

  • Viewed Bedrock Solutions Bedrock Solutions Blockchain Innovation Foundation Blockchain Innovation Foundation Blockrock Mining Blockrock Mining Brian Deery Canonical Ledgers Canonical Ledgers Consensus Networks Consensus Networks CryptoLogic CryptoLogic Cube3 Cube3 DBGrow DBGrow De Facto De Facto Factable Solutions Factable Solutions Factom Inc Factom Inc Factomatic Factomatic Factomize Factomize Factoshi Factoshi Federate This Federate This Go Immutable HashQuark HashnStore HashnStore Kompendium Kompendium LayerTech LayerTech Luciap Luciap Matters Matters Mike Buckingham Nic R Niels Klomp Nolan Bauer PrestigeIT PrestigeIT RewardChain RewardChain Stamp-IT Stamp-IT The Factoid Authority The Factoid Authority VBIF VBIF
  • Not Viewed None

Timed Discussion

Discussion ended:

Status
Not open for further replies.
Factom's governance may not be a popular subject but it is the way in which we steer this protocol. It has been acknowledged to be one of the best blockchain governance systems around. It serves as a major demonstration of our decentralization.

The guides have historically performed a strong multi-faceted role which has covered governance, administration and importantly leadership. The vote to remove the guides is acknowledged to be the single biggest change since M3. So at this point we should consider how we substitute all these functions.

We need to move quickly and decisively in making this significant step but importantly we need to get it right. It needs to be right for the standing parties and right for potential users who need to have confidence in the way the protocol is run.

This change is about removing one standing party but we should also look to the future and take this opportunity to consider how a change to the number of standing parties such as adding token holders (and possibly things like vote delegation) can work.

To get this right we probably need a plan. The plan does not need to take forever to create but it would seem sensible to move forward with a plan rather than without one. This discussion is about how we work together to create a plan and needs to consider:

  1. Whether or not we have a plan and we just execute the last decision (to remove the guides)?
  2. What role do the incumbent and possible future guides play in developing or implementing such a plan?
  3. Can the existing standing parties (ANOs) coordinate themselves to produce and implement a plan, thus demonstrating an ability to operate without guides, if so how?
  4. What should the scope of a plan be (is it changes to governance docs, leadership, administration…)?
  5. What is the impact on and from other areas (elections, grant rounds… etc)?
  6. What timescales should we work within?

Your contribution to this discussion is welcome and should enable us to move to one or more polls to make decisions.

Should the parties disagree about the value of this discussion or wish to accelerate it, we can of course vote to end the discussion early..
 
Last edited:

Chappie

Factomize Bot
This thread is a Major Timed Discussion and I am designed to help facilitate efficient communication.

Guides and ANOs may take part in this discussion and vote. Unless this discussion is ended early or extended, it will end in 8 days after which a vote may take place. After 18 hours from the start of the thread or any point up until 24 hours are left in the discussion, you can make a motion to end the discussion immediately or extend the discussion beyond it's initial time frame by selecting the pertinent button at the top of this thread. If someone "seconds" your motion, a poll will take place and if a majority of voters vote yes by the time the discussion is scheduled to end, the time period will be extended for 72 hours.
 

Chappie

Factomize Bot
We are now 18 hours into the discussion. You may now make a motion to extend this Major Discussion by an additional 72 hours or end this conversation by selecting the pertinent button at the top of this thread. This option will end when there are 24 hours left in the discussion.
 

Chappie

Factomize Bot
HashQuark has made a motion to extend the discussion. If someone seconds this motion by selecting the button below, a vote on the motion will start.

A majority voting yay will pass the motion and the discussion will be extended for 72 hours. This motion will remain open until the normal discussion period ends or a motion to end the discussion is passed by a majority.
 
I have been working on creating a spreadsheet for our governance documents, processes as well as informational/template documents. The spreadsheet has 3 tabs for these 3 categories. I created a color scheme to highlight what needs to change and how complex/important that is.


If we want to take this on, I suggest to go through this spreadsheet roughly tab by tab, as the documents become "less" important.

I am also very interested to see how this plays out. Because I have been doing this as a guide, because I felt obliged from my function to make the transition transparent with regards of our documents. But on the other hand I also very much wonder who would take on this exact task without guides? It took quite a few hours to go through and think of the actions to take. I still need a few more hours, as not everything is contained in the document right now. So my main concern here is, that yes we might want to automate quite a lot, but in the end there still is quite a lot of manual work to be done and some people have to do that in the interim period.

At the same time I am also questioning how much we can rely on remuneration and the new guide election. We have no candidates as of yet, and there is disagreement whether the past vote was to be implemented immediately or whether a plan needed to be drafted. In that climate current guides and potential future (interim) guides are very uncertain. I would like to point out with regards to remuneration, that the last grant payout was until the end of last week. So given the status, at this time it is unclear for both current guides and potential candidates whether guides would see remuneration. Of course the remuneration is not everything, but if we expect people to take on this tedious work I think it is naive to think people will step up (interim) without it.
 
Also nice that some people have liked your post @Mike Buckingham . I am however of the stance that beside giving the spreadsheet, if would be good for me to see whether people will step up or not. Because IMO that either proves/disproves the guides are needed. Unfortunately I am of the opinion that guides are still very much needed, to keep our process up in a sustainable way until everything is automated. Not the way the guide positions was filled in up until now, but with people in specific areas, responsible for that area.
 
Is there major objection to the notion of holding this next guide term, and having it be specifically focused on tidying up all these loose ends to enable a clean and strategic removal? IMO that seems like the safest way to go about this, if we are able to fill the positions of course.

I'm doubtful we will be able to depend on volunteers to get through the interim period with all the associated work we are continuing to uncover.
 
Hi Niels,

Thank you for doing the governance doc review. It looks very thorough and well thought out. I have not compared this with David's yet which needs to happen in order that we can have one control document.

We then need to work through these docs in an agreed to sequence and I like your suggestion that we start with the most important, on this basis we would go in the sequence:
1st Governance
2nd Processes
3rd Information and records

From your work there seems to be two in each of the first two categories that require more work. In total there is quite a lot to do, some of which is straightforward, but with this we could make a start.

My concern is that to go through this will require:

1 Coordination and
2 Hands-on work with the individual docs.

We will also need a good QA process and suggest it may be useful to get one or two people to do a first cut before the community ratifies via Factomize.

So in terms of volunteers… I'm happy to work on Doc 007 which I have some recent experience of although others are very welcome to join me.

None of this addresses the “unknown unknowns” and it is quite possible that things will emerge that we have not thought of. Having read this I'm even more convinced that we need a structured approach. We will need to be stringent because given our experience it is very easy to end up with small defects in docs causing significant problems.
 
As we make the changes to the Governance Docs we should try to ensure compatibility with future standing party changes.

Can I suggest that instead of direct references to a particular standing party such as ANOs that we reference all standing parties? Assuming we have more than one standing party and that each type of standing party would need a majority vote then for a vote to pass the words could be: .."subject to all standing parties passing a majority vote in favour". This accounts for more than one standing party and different majority requirements by standing party.

I'd value thoughts on this please.
 
The acknowledged difficulties with this guide term have become a burning platform to motivate a change. The protocol has used our great processes and tools such as Factomize to agree to make a change. The change we have agreed is to remove the guides, which we all respect. However, this is potentially like having a problem with the ship's rudder. Do just remove it or do we create a better way of steering the ship? The challenges therefore are: what do we move to, how do we do it and within what timescale?

So before we go much further in creating a plan shouldn’t we decide exactly what it is we want to achieve?

Below are some suggested objectives:
  1. Improve how our governance works so that we do the right things to foster the protocol its usage and adoption.
  2. Reduce unnecessary governance costs (e.g. cost of guides at 3000 FCT/month).
  3. Automate processes that can be sensibly automated (with the right checks and balances).
  4. Demonstrate to the world that we are improving this ecosystem in a responsible way.
  5. Be agile and responsive (both in the way we do it and the outcome we achieve).
  6. Make the transition as seamless as possible.
  7. To do the above within a specific timescale (e.g. by 30 April 2020).
Can we briefly debate these and agree our objective?
 
Last edited:
Thank you for putting the spreadsheet together @Niels Klomp and others who have contributed. This quite nicely sums up the necessary changes.

Agree with Mike's points and I think to some extent all those objectives are at least secondary. I think the first three stand out the most to me.
1. Improve how our governance works so that we do the right things to foster the protocol its usage and adoption.
Governance with a strong foundation is absolutely necessary. These early days are so important to lay that foundation.

2. Reduce unnecessary governance costs (e.g. cost of guides at 3000 FCT/month).
We need to be lean and reducing unnecessary costs wherever possible and be able to do it efficiently

3. Automate processes that can be sensibly automated (with the right checks and balances).
Again, improve efficiency and remove human error. Factomize is a great example of resources well spent on automating and improving processes.
 
What processes need automating most urgently? A fair bit of the role requires a human touch.

Auto-announcements and transcribing meeting notes could be some low hanging fruit but don't seem overly important.
 

Alistair McLeay

RewardChain
Is there major objection to the notion of holding this next guide term, and having it be specifically focused on tidying up all these loose ends to enable a clean and strategic removal? IMO that seems like the safest way to go about this, if we are able to fill the positions of course.

I'm doubtful we will be able to depend on volunteers to get through the interim period with all the associated work we are continuing to uncover.
I'd like to second this. It sounds like the right move—not doing this exposes us to major risk that critical things don't get done by volunteers.
 

Alistair McLeay

RewardChain
What processes need automating most urgently? A fair bit of the role requires a human touch.

Auto-announcements and transcribing meeting notes could be some low hanging fruit but don't seem overly important.
I know David C said he could automate a number of core processes currently carried out by the Guides, but I also saw he was no longer planning to do so on Discord as he wasn't happy with how things had gone down.

@David Chapman is this accurate? As a key player in the ecosystem that manages the forum and has led a number of initiatives lately—I'd be interested to know where you currently are on the issue of how we move forward with removing Guides etc. I know you have been frustrated with how things are playing out and it'd be valuable to hear your position/thoughts if you don't mind? Thanks!
 
I know David C said he could automate a number of core processes currently carried out by the Guides, but I also saw he was no longer planning to do so on Discord as he wasn't happy with how things had gone down.

@David Chapman is this accurate? As a key player in the ecosystem that manages the forum and has led a number of initiatives lately—I'd be interested to know where you currently are on the issue of how we move forward with removing Guides etc. I know you have been frustrated with how things are playing out and it'd be valuable to hear your position/thoughts if you don't mind? Thanks!
1. We were planning to further automate various governance processes but were hit with Standing removals as soon as we lowered our efficiency in order to do so. We have since gone back to our old efficiency.

2. We're holding a Guide election despite voting to remove Guides.

As such, Factomize will let this play out as the ecosystem sees fit. We:

A. Won't be lowering efficiency to do any work but can do some work under our existing Core and General Development Grant.

B. Will be putting the forum up for sale to the community this coming grant round and thus will of course welcome other developers to work on it.

C. May apply for future grants to perform needed work.
 
1. We were planning to further automate various governance processes but were hit with Standing removals as soon as we lowered our efficiency in order to do so. We have since gone back to our old efficiency.

2. We're holding a Guide election despite voting to remove Guides.

As such, Factomize will let this play out as the ecosystem sees fit. We:

A. Won't be lowering efficiency to do any work but can do some work under our existing Core and General Development Grant.

B. Will be putting the forum up for sale to the community this coming grant round and thus will of course welcome other developers to work on it.

C. May apply for future grants to perform needed work.
I am disappointed that you don't plan to automate various governance processes under a reduced efficiency but can understand your reasoning.
 
I would tend to think that a vast majority of the standing parties who voted to remove the guides could have been under the assumption that the task could be automated and would be automated in the near future.

I am surprised too that because 2 or 3 ANOs voted to remove standing to anyone under 10% that you backed down. You would need a lot more ANOs to have to fear anything. And from what I understood, the changes to automate the governance would have been quick ish?

I'm starting to believe that we might need 1 more term of guides (Guides with the sole purpose of phasing out their role) if we want to see the light.
 
I am surprised too that because 2 or 3 ANOs voted to remove standing to anyone under 10% that you backed down. You would need a lot more ANOs to have to fear anything.
David explained that in this post:

And from what I understood, the changes to automate the governance would have been quick ish?
We never really got far enough into the planning stages to know whether it would have been quick, before Factomize's reputation started to take a hit for entirely arbitrary reasons.

The most important change related to guides would have been the improvements to the document amendment process flow. It's my understanding that it's currently guides who initiate document amendments by creating a new Google Doc, and I believe it is possible to leverage the forum's posting system (with its edit history feature) to handle this on-site.

Whether it would have been done and tested 100% in time for the current guide term expiring is impossible to say, as no code ever survives contact with users or production servers. What I can tell you is that with (nearly) a full month of design & development, we would have been a lot closer than we are right now, because any % is closer to being finished than 0 :)
 

Beta@HashQuark

HashQuark
To some extent, I'll go with Mike's points as well. Here i want to underline the last point " To do the above within a specific timescale". It seems not very much related to our topic here but always deserve our attention since we will never really improve our governance work if we don't execute our plan efficiently and timely.
 

Chappie

Factomize Bot
PaulSnow has seconded the motion to extend the discussion.

A motion is now active at the top of this thread to vote if you want to extend the discussion. A majority voting yes will pass the motion and the discussion will be extended for 72 hours. This vote will remain open until the normal discussion period ends or another motion is passed.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top