Integrating Goals & Objectives Into Voting
Exploring how goals and objectives can be integrated into the voting process along with other areas
We’ve outlined how goals and objectives can be more flexible and dynamic by using an independent goal and objective setting process separate funding categorisation. How goals and objectives could be integrated into the voting process alongside other factors should be taken into consideration.

Goals and objectives with proposal ranking

Goals and objective based ranking
  • Proposals ranked based on priority - An independent goal and objective setting process would invite the community to upvote and downvote the goals and objectives submitted so they it is clear what the community believes is the highest priority. Voters could then see a ranked list of these proposals based on the priority of the goals and objectives. As long as a proposal meets a quality threshold and is focussed on the most important goals and objectives as voted on by the community it could be placed at the top or at least higher in the proposals list. This helps proposals that the community believes are of higher priority will get increased exposure and likelihood of being voted on.
  • Weighted rankings - When integrating goals and objectives the approach for how they are ranked could be a simple ordered list based on priority with proposals in the groupings or it could be weighted with a number of other factors such as the proposal quality, reputation of the proposers or due to expert reviews.
  • Integrating community feedback - Goals and objectives that are attached to proposals could have a feedback process that allows the community to provide opinion on whether the objectives and goals attached to the proposal are achievable and sensible. This feedback could come from assessors, experts or the wider community and then be presented as other accessible information for the voters.
Advantages
  • Flexible to changes - An independent goal and objective setting process allows for the priorities to dynamically changed based on the votes of the community. This allows for the ranking of proposals in the voting experience to change more dynamically based on these priority updates. A scenario where this is useful is if an objective has been met, such as the release of an open source library, which then means that objective can be removed or deprioritised.
  • Scalable - Keeping goals and objectives separate mean that proposals are able to attach reference which ever goals and objectives are relevant to their proposal which makes it more scalable to the handling a variety of focusses. An independent process that just deals with goals and objectives from community input requires less moderation and oversight than challenge settings as they don’t require the same depth of information or include budget weighting and categorisation complexities.
  • Low effort - An independent process for goal and objective setting is optional. Voters do not have to participate in setting objectives or goals if they do not want to and also can even choose not to consider a proposals goals and objectives when making voting decisions if they wanted. Voters ultimately decide how much effort they want to put into this part of the ecosystem. For proposals they also have less effort as attaching objectives and goals to their proposal would be optional. The proposer would determine whether adding this information is valuable and get the choice of what effort to put into showcasing how they match up with community priorities.
Issues
  • Assessments require more time - Assessing proposals would take at least slightly more time as proposers would be able to attach multiple objectives or goals that are relevant. Assessors or experts would need to take these into account reviewing them. This extra cost however does result in giving the community far more insight in what a proposal is looking to achieve which leads to more informed voting decisions..
  • Changing proposal focus or objectives - Once a proposal team reaches certain milestones there is always the chance that their goals and objective change or that the community has marked existing objectives as lower priority. This does not reduce the usefulness of finding proposals that try to achieve community set objectives but does highlight the point that this environment would be ever changing and the communities priorities could change in a short notice which proposal teams would need to consider and potentially respond to.

Other useful areas for voting

There are a mixture of factors that could be useful for voting, some of which could be used for improving how proposals are ranked in the voting process.
Quality assessment or threshold
  • Proposals assessment reviews - Proposals are currently only ranked by assessments in Catalyst. Assessments currently focus on a proposals potential impact, feasibility and auditability. The scores generated from these assessments produce the final ranking result.
  • Quality threshold - Another approach that could be introduced could be the used to influence ranking or the inclusion of a proposal into the voting stage is using a quality threshold. This could look at ensuring certain information is present or certain qualities about the team and background being suitable are there. Both assessors or experts may be suited to this task.
  • Expert reviews - Having experts in certain fields review relevant proposals could be another factor that influences proposal rankings to help promotes proposals based on these reviews.
Reputation
  • Proposal completions - Integrating data about a proposal teams completed proposals helps to highlight their current track record in the community. This could be used to influence the ranking of proposals based on percentage of completion or be part of a quality threshold to ensure a certain threshold is met.
  • Objectives achieved - Data could be collected on whether proposals met objectives set out in the proposal or if the community reaches consensus on the impact of a completed proposal. This can be integrated into the voting experience to highlight historic impact in the community.
Community feedback
  • Community reviews - Outside of the assessment process a review process could be integrated to allow anyone in the community to add reviews about proposals with recommendations, concerns or thoughts they have about a proposal. This may not be integrated into ranking proposals but would add more information that could be useful when voting.
  • Community sentiment - The community members could be given the opportunity to vote on their overall thoughts on a proposal with a simple sentiment vote. This could be useful data just as extra information but also could be integrated into the ranking process.
  • Question and answers - Allowing the community to ask questions and receive answers from proposers would be a beneficial addition to the voting process. Proposers answering these questions could even be considered as part of the quality level of a proposal due to the importance of communication and transparency with the community.

Summary

  • Goals and objectives set by the community produce an effective source of data to help rank proposals in the voting process.
  • An effective algorithm for ranking of proposals could integrate goals and objectives as well as many other factors such as proposal quality, reputation, historic team information or expert reviews. The combination of these approaches can help to lead to an effective way to identify and highlight some of the most promising proposals in each funding round.