Starting the Project Management Guild Education and Talent Flywheel - Week 3

DAO Contributor Interview

This week’s entry came from an interview I was part of with a group of graduate students from Western Kentucky who are putting together a survey for BanklessDAO on DAO compensation. The work they are doing is also helping fulfill their requirements for their graduate degrees as well.

That got me very very jealous. I wish I had gotten to study DAOs when I was in school!

It’s always interesting when you talk about DAOs because so much of working in a DAO for me is driven by intrinsic motivation and values alignment. I don’t take enough time to crystalize my thoughts (which is precisely what this newsletter/Web3 Journal in public has become for me).

I’m learning and experiencing so much every single week at such a rapid pace that I want a way to capture, reflect and share this journey.

What is BanklessDAO, and Why Am I Here?

The first question I got asked was what BanklessDAO was.

I even impressed myself by reciting it (pretty closely) from the heart!

The mission:

Onboard 1 billion people to crypto. The nodes in our growing ecosystem collaborate to create user-friendly onramps for people to discover, use, learn and enjoy the benefits of Web3. Everyone falls down the rabbit hole a different way—we provide all the ways.

What do you do to support the mission?

As the Project Management Guild Coordinator, my number one goal (at least as I would define it for Season 6) is working with and through the guild to build educational materials on the tools, practices, mindsets, skills, and methodologies needed to run a project in DAOs, Web3, and a distributed way.

This educational goal is the most important step in a longer-term vision of becoming:

The mecca of web3 project management by providing education, excellent project management talents, and thought leadership.

Ideally, we want to become both an educational hub and a talent hub. It’s a classic chicken and egg problem. We can’t supply talent to projects without educating and upskilling individuals, but we can’t create educational materials without skilled and experienced talent.

We must build the educational materials and a learning ecosystem to become a talent and education hub within BanklessDAO. However, why stop there? There is no reason we can’t become that across all of Web3.

This season, we are on a mission to build the foundation of our Web3 PM educational materials.

From there, we want to have talent be able to earn on-chain credentials and build their resumes from the courses they take and the hands-on experience they gain.

Just this week, I was issued my credential for the apprentice cohort I was in working with Bounty Board to ship new features.

PM Guild as a Cost Center Model

If we think about the PM Guild from a profit and loss perspective, our guild is a cost center.

If bDAO were a fiat company, the PM Guild would appear in the expense column.

If we stick with that analogy, this means that as a cost center and as we exist today, everything we do should focus on taking cost out of the DAO. I realize this sounds black and white and somewhat cold and lacking vibes, but it’s how we do it that matters.

Let’s start with the hypothesis that we all can agree on: our current ways of working in DAOs are not optimized for effective and efficient value delivery.

The PM Guild has a clear value proposition to create educational materials and learning journeys that can up-skill DAO contributors in the tools, techniques, skills, mindsets, ways of working, and mental models to optimize efficiency and reduce coordination failure following Web3 PM's best practices.

Suppose the PM Guild can create this value. In that case, we will be in a strong position because the demand for these educational materials and learning journeys already exists inside the DAO and in the external market.

All we have to do is build and then supply the demand.

We can provide credentialing in these skills to enable contributors to build their on-chain resumes. Eventually, we can evolve to grow those skills into the competencies required to become a full-blown Web3 PM.

The educational material is what propels the flywheel.

This is the first draft of the fly-wheel.  I'll add some steps for walkthroughs and personas in the next version.
This is the first draft of the fly-wheel. I'll add some steps for walkthroughs and personas in the next version.

The action of up-skilling DAO contributors in bDAO alone should start reducing the cost of doing work and coordinating across the DAO.

Having a solid and attractive foundation of educational materials attracts more learners, curiosity, and excitement from both inside and outside the guild and DAO.

The more talent we up-skill, the more talent we deploy across the DAO, the more educational content we create, and the more attractive we become to the external market.

The flywheel keeps on turnin, and turnin, and turnin…..

Of course, to build this educational content, we need the experienced, curious and willing talent to do so.

Active Membership Values Alignment Is Key

This week we ran an ideation and brainstorming session on the differences between Web2 PMs and Web3 PMs.

The participation was, well, underwhelming and sparked a discussion in our governance channel around criteria for active membership.

It led us to the proposal that our active members must be value aligned to the guild’s vision and intrinsically motivated to ideate, create, and build the art of the possible in Web3 project management.

Showing up for a meeting is not enough if we hope to succeed in fulfilling our mission.

I remember vividly the words of a contributor I see as a mentor; Links once said:

“In any decentralized org, contribution is the true currency, and long-term assets bring value to the guild. Aim to bring long-term value if they result in some long-term asset being created for the guild”.

Designing Web3 Project Management education materials is no easy task. We are creating learning material for ways of working that are in constant motion and for where there is no, and should never be, “one right way” of doing things.

Insert cheeky “changing/building the engine of the plane mid-flight analogy.”

As a guild, we need to attract and retain active contributors who want to put their thumbprints on building educational materials for this new and exciting future, all while it evolves in real time.

Dream with me for a second…..

What if this was your chance to sit around the virtual round table just like in the spring of 2000, when a group of 17 software developers, including Martin Fowler, Jim Highsmith, Jon Kern, Jeff Sutherland, Ken Schwaber, and Bob Martin met in Oregon to discuss how they could speed up development times in order bring new software to market faster and Agile was born.

What if this was your opportunity to be one of the key thought leaders defining, creating, building, and teaching the future of work?

TLDR: Our flywheel value proposition:

  • Acquire and onboard talent:

    • Already talented PMs can start contributing to education and thought leadership in the guild now.

    • Anyone with other talents and interests beyond project management can contribute meaningfully to or learn from other guilds and projects across the DAO.

      • Gain breadth and depth in Web3/DAO work.
  • Up-skill talent

    • Deploy up-skilled talent across DAO.

    • Build more educational materials.

    • Attract more talent (internally and externally).

  • Reduce the cost of work

    • Increase effectiveness and efficiencies of work across and within projects and guilds.
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