Governance Decision Examples

A list of governance decision examples with different things to consider

Creating an effective governance process is inherently difficult because of the need to involve participants that have different amounts of knowledge, skill and also different perspectives and cultural backgrounds. There are usually always trade offs with governance. A starting point for making a better governance systems is by thinking about the complexity of decisions, participants involved and actual governance process itself.

There are a number of decisions that will need to be made within the Catalyst ecosystem. The following factors could be considered for each decision:

  • Complexity - How complex is the governance decision? What knowledge do the participants need to have?

  • Timeliness - How fast should a decision be made? Is the decision time sensitive?

  • Accountability - Should those participating in governance for this decision be accountable for the decision made? Can participants be anonymous?

  • Participants - Who does the decision impact? Which people should be involved in the decision? How should participants verify they can vote?

  • Feedback required - What level of feedback is required and from which participants? How much information is required for any governance participants to make a well informed decision?

1. Request for $2,000 of extra funds to support a hackathon event that received an unexpected amount of increased popularity nearer the event date

  • Complexity - This decision is of low complexity, those that participate in voting need to understand the track record of the event and event organisers and how the money would be spent.

  • Timeliness - As the decision is time sensitive this is more suited to a rapid governance process from trusted community members who can manage some portion of the treasury for this type of purpose.

  • Accountability - Using less participants to govern the decision more quickly increases the need for accountability over the decision. The community benefits from seeing who made this decision and why.

  • Participants - As complexity is low and speed is important the governance will be most suited to a smaller circle of participants such as full time contributors to the ecosystem. Voting participants should need to verify they are full time contributors selected by the community.

  • Feedback required - The community would benefit from being able to provide feedback to this decision before it gets approved in case there was any missing information or negative feedback. Negative feedback could lead to increasing the number of participants that should be involved in the governance to increase confidence over the result.

2. Implementation decision for a Catalyst service to use either React or Vue as a frontend framework

  • Complexity - This governance decision requires a certain amount of knowledge from the participants about the implications of using either frontend framework. For those relevant participants involved the complexity is moderate.

  • Timeliness - The decision does not need to be executed immediately, adding enough information to support each option in the decision will be needed to produce a more well informed decision.

  • Accountability - As this decision is more suited to a smaller group of contributors with the required knowledge it is also suitable to have accountability towards the decision made by the contributors and reasons they chose that path. This puts accountability on them to the wider community and allows the community to respond in the future if they believe that process needs improving or the contributors did not make a well informed decision.

  • Participants - The governance is less suited to a wider proposal process and instead the usage of an internal product development workflow along with content around the pros and cons for each option may make more sense. Participants suitable would be those contributors who have the required knowledge that can provide valued input into the decision. Voting participants should need to verify they are full time contributors selected by the community.

  • Feedback required - This decision requires lots of feedback from the participants involved due to the amount of variables that will influence which option is a better choice. You would expect the decision to leave plenty of time for voting participants to add data and feedback to each option to help create a well informed decision.

3. Request for funds to build out a new AI tool to automatically assess proposals

  • Complexity - This complexity of this decisions is at least moderate too high as those who govern the decision need to understand the implications of how the AI tool would work and whether it would actually be effective. A proposal process could work for this decision but it could also be governed by contributors if they have their own managed treasury to maintain the ecosystem.

  • Timeliness - Decision has no immediate pressure to be executed quickly.

  • Accountability - If the decision is performed by the wider community in a proposal process no accountability is needed from the voters as it was performed with the maximum participants. If the decision was instead executed by full time contributors that maintain a separate treasury the accountability would be important with transparent exposure to who voted on the decision and their reasoning.

  • Participants - This is a good example where contributors in the ecosystem should seek for feedback from the wider community on their thoughts of the suggested idea. That feedback can help lead to whether this decision just uses full time contributors to make the decision or the wider community should be involved.

  • Feedback required - This decision requires feedback from both those with the knowledge on the idea itself but also the wider community as it would be a bigger decision to govern. In most cases it will need to go through a proposal process and get enough wider feedback and governance from the community.

4. New parameter changes

  • Complexity - This change could be of any complexity however the implications of the change are important to the whole Project Catalyst community. The implications of this are that the information behind the change need to be very well documented and for that information to be shared to the community who would be voting on the change. This decision is well suited to a proposal with supporting information on the change.

  • Timeliness - This change could have time constraints under a sudden severe adversarial attack. However in most cases this decision should not be time sensitive and plenty of time should be made available due to the implications of the change.

  • Accountability - If the change impacts the entire community it should generally include the wider community as participants. In this instance there would be no accountability on the voters. However there would be accountability on any full time contributors to ensure all the information required is available to the community about the implications of the changes being made so that all the facts are known.

  • Participants - The wider community should be involved as parameter changes will usually directly impact them.

  • Feedback required - Full time contributors in the ecosystem will need to collate information around the change and allow for the wider community to give feedback and then iterate and improve this information until an informed decision can be made.

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