ONBOARDING 2.0 (Request for feedback )

Hi everyone,

Been an absolute pleasure getting to know many of you over the past few months. So many intelligent, wonderful folks, really grateful to be part of the Index movement.

I’ve spent the past few months reviewing the onboarding process, reviewing internal feedback, speaking with new joiners, working group leads and workshopping with other DAO’s (Bankless, GitCoin, FF etc) who are also rebuilding their onboarding processes.

We have a great onboarding process at the moment. However, predicting a large growth rate in contributors and the expansion of new working groups, I believe we should start designing a new onboarding process accordingly. Sooner or later, we’re going to have to have a conversation about maintaining quality by creating membership levels and high impact contribution zones.

I wanted to run some proposed changes past everyone for feedback. I believe the onboarding process is incredibly crucial for the growth and success of the COOP. Hoping to get some feedback from existing members to help design onboarding 2.0.

To make this work, some of the proposed changes are going to require a small amount of coordination and participation across all the working groups. I’m mindful there’s a lot going on at the moment, ideally someone from each WG could browse through the proposed updates (8) and flag if there are any concerns. I’m then available to help implement the suggested updates for each working groups onboarding process.

A number of reasons for proposing these changes:

  • We can improve transparency, clarity and consistency. I reviewed over 200 form responses and have conducted calls with a number of new joiners. The biggest concern is a lack of understanding - how to get involved, how to navigate and how to progress. We have potential high value contributors falling through the cracks, as @BigSky7 articulated well https://twitter.com/BigSky_7/status/1441490630295777282?s=20

  • Documentation and navigation (Discord, Notion, GitBook, Forum) is confusing and overwhelming for new members. There is a flood of information. As discussed in the recent POC meeting, @Pepperoni_Joe , @seb and Eric flagged the need to audit current tools and management systems. I’ve taken notes here: https://www.notion.so/POC-Leadership-Meeting-3c030689b40c481388f6c756cc128975

  • We can improve identifying and expediting the onboarding of key talent and contributors who will fill crucial skills gaps (engineering for example). @Cavalier_Eth is doing epic work building product, we want the onboarding process to support him and the coop to identify key engineering talent as soon as possible without too much input.

  • We can more clearly articulate the COOP vision and mission, goals and product roadmap in onboarding. @MaryQ and @helmass have done huge work identifying this (What we learned from the survey). There is clearly a demand for (1) clarity on how to contribute (2) clearly defined mission, vision, (3) product roadmap. This was from 200+ new joiner submissions I reviewed:
    68b5faf8e80f4d888c4735da32a49218124c014b_2_690x423 @nic also has some great ideas for building sustainable culture which i think should be embedded in the onboarding process.

  • There is a lack of consistency between the documentation for each working group. While each working group will have its own unique content, onboarding process and information, we should strive for a base layer consistency. Many new joiners have told me they avoided specific working groups because of the clarity of documentation and direction.

  • We need better data and KPI’s. How do we measure the effectiveness of the onboarding process? I like the thought train in this post from JD, it should be applied to onboarding Request for Feedback: Index Coop KPIs v2.0.

Here are the immediate implementations I’m suggesting to start addressing the above challenges. We’ve already implemented some of these things.

1. Small restructure of the Discord
No major changes, just some small shifts to make things easier to navigate. Working groups sit under each other in the Discord, the addition of read only channel and community/contributors.

2. Small Restructure of Notion
Each working group has a start here WIKI/navigation public page which includes:

  • Onboarding information
  • A filtered bounty board
  • Person directory
  • Sub-working group and verticals
  • Link to Google Drive and documentation
  • Meeting notes

You can see the example here:
https://www.notion.so/People-Organization-Community-POC-7e81142a2cb34f0ebfc4a1a805005429

@pujimak_in is also really good at structuring Notion and organising the project management side of things, so I’d be keen to get his feedback and guidance here if different ideas arise. Hammad also made some really good suggestions around having people from each working group trained in Notion.

3. Bounties
Here is the new master bounty board.
https://www.notion.so/Jobs-Bounty-Board-509b3e7c56f64f93a592d8ba0612a908
This is an easy and efficient way for new joiners to get involved and complete less autonomy heavy tasks. This bounty board can be filtered through to the individual working groups Notion. I’m hoping we can:

  • Have a small allocation of index, example: 100 Index for tipping/rewarding bounties per WG each month. Will need to confirm how we best implement this from a financial perspective, potentially a separate proposal?
  • Each working group adds bounties to their board.
  • The talent scout (below) coordinates with the working group/working group lead to set, review and reward bounty completion.

4. Talent scouts/WG co-ordinator
Each working group has a talent scout/coordinator. This should be someone who co-manages or heavily supports the WG lead. The job includes the following:

  • Review WG onboarding submissions
  • Identify key talent to fill skills gaps
  • Act as WG specific community person
  • Host a weekly/fortnightly informal tea-time call for the WG
  • Work with group lead to fill bounty board, manage requests and tips

5. Informal WG tea time calls
Informal short calls, meet and greet where new joiners can get a feel for the group and what they’re up to without being thrown headfirst into more context dense calls. Internal contribution calls should only be attended once a new joiner has attended several informal calls, or has expressed specific interest, or been identified as key contributor.

  • A new joiner should attend several informal calls and submit a WG specific form (below) before joining the contribution zone calls

6. Bronze owl quest update, owl level restructure
Currently the Bronze Owl quest is very long, encompassing everything from the new joiner call to downloading and filling a contribution sheet, voting and completing tasks. And I don’t believe it necessarily filters for key talent. We should shorten the initial quest and form so that once the initial form is submitted and the New Joiner call attended, copper owl role is achieved.

  • To progress, the new joiner should then attend at least three informal WG calls, and complete bounties specifically set by the WG. Bronze owl is then processed by the WG and WG talent scout.
  • It should be more strenuous to achieve Bronze Owl status
  • The new NFT initiative proposed by @DevOnDeFi and Static should be part of this process where working groups have the ability to apply and celebrate Bronze owls who’ve earned this with an NFT
  • Obviously this entire process can be expedited should a new joiner have the immediate skills to contribute

7. Small changes to the GitBook and Notion welcome information
We need to clearly define which documentation belongs where. I’m proposing all task driven documentation (how to get involved, bounties impression mining etc) belongs in Notion. Values, mission, welcome, product information goes, quest, belongs in GitBook.

8. WG specific onboarding process
Each working group will have its own onboarding process and form which will be reviewed by the groups talent scout. I think we should transition to using TypeForm as long term it provides a more seamless user experience, conditional paths and integrations.

  • Short WG specific onboarding page + form (reviewed talent scout)
  • Notion landing page/directory for each working group (mentioned above)
  • Read only Discord start here (mentioned above)
    POC example here: POC [ONBOARDING]

Some of these updates are going to be more or less relevant to different working groups.

A bit of grat:

Thanks to @Pepperoni_Joe and AfroMac for stewarding the initial onboarding iterations and all the incredible work you do. Mitz and Eric CM crew.

All the Bronze Owls who booked a call with to provide feedback :pray:

Working group leads who made the time to chat to help identify the challenges and skill gaps. Could only mention ten people in the post.

The other DAO’s we’ve been workshopping with :pray:

Would really appreciate any and all feedback on this.

Thank you!

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This is one of the best posts I have read in months. Incredibly well-written and thought out. This is exactly how you make big things happen in the DAO!

All the proposed steps make sense. I believe a number of the working groups are already taking big steps in this direction ( @LemonadeAlpha has been a huge leader here with Growth). This has also been a big focus of ours in BDWG and @Mringz has been doing awesome work getting our process built out.

Thank you for providing clarity and analysis on how to structure these changes.

BDWG is all in :muscle:

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Appreciate the feedback, glad to hear we’re on the right track.

Attended the Growth call this morning and recently connected with @caf and @marshmellow. Growth has already implemented a number of the ideas above, thanks @LemonadeAlpha and @MrMadila.

Looking forward to connecting more and further supporting growth through these onboarding updates.

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Excellent post @bradwmorris. DAOs can look like absolute chaos to newcomers and continuing to refine our new contributor experience is a must.

I would just second that if WG’s pay attention to bounties now, it will pay dividends in on-boarding talent over time.

Bounties immediately make sense to people; they are a low commitment / low context vehicle for potential contributors to get their feet wet. A good bounties board lets newcomers see at a glance if their particular skillset is in demand, and if they don’t see any related bounties might assume there isn’t room for them.

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Hey Brad - can you please send a discord dm to myself, @Mringz, and @bax86. Very keen to get started working through many of these steps for BDWG. :rocket:

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Thanks for the feedback @Static121 ,

Agreed on the paying dividends long term. It’s a tough sell in the short term because we are product focused, so a big priority is onboarding engineering talent, and it’s harder to bounty for engineering talent.

But I think if we balance the bounties with 1-1 talent scouting, we’re on the winning ticket.

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Sent friend requests in Discord. Once accepted we can create a group message.

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@bradwmorris your work to help APAC develop onboarding tasks will absolutely prove its worth and I have no doubt you will continue to grow from strength to strength, as this proposal clearly outlines. I will DM my response to the offered task.

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I’m going through the Bronze Owl quest now (to give myself some context for the DAO onboarding alliance). My sense is that for Index, the folks in charge of Onboarding is… around 3-4 people?

Do you find that it might be too much load/ responsibility especially at the scale Indexcoop is growing?

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QZ!

Thanks for the response.

We’re hoping to branch talent, onboarding and recruitment into a separate working group at some point in the not so distant future as many other DAO’s have done.

For the moment, it’s mostly me onboarding full-time. But there is a lot of support from others in POC, probably 5 or 6 other people contributing and helping. @Pepperoni_Joe @afromac @0xMitz @emault @pujimak_in and @Cavalier_Eth dev/engineering.

To answer your question, we definitely need to grow. I also think that each working group should have its own onboarding process and talent/scout acquisition co-ordination person. We’re going to start rolling this out in some working groups.

Really glad to have you in here QZ and your expertise with Tribe. Looking forward to our chat today.

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@bradwmorris great proposal! As someone who has only recently joined the community, I can see the immediate benefit of this onboarding 2.0.

A suggestion I have is to introduce mentors in the new onboarding process. New joiners have a lot of questions and documentation can’t always cover everything. I think 1:1 with some seasoned members is extremely helpful to understand the vision, passion, and opportunities in the community. Also, the mentor can steer the new joiner in the right direction on what is the best way to make a contribution.

Happy to share more on this topic if you find it relevant :slight_smile:

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Hey @alerex , thanks for the feedback. Can I ask how far you are through the onboarding process.

I love that suggestion and we’re thinking the same thing. I think the immediate implementation is going to be a talent scout for each working group. Then the next iteration would be a buddy/mentor system.

I had a conversation with a new joiner yesterday and she mentioned exactly the same thing.

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I guess at the end of the onboarding process. I have recently submitted the Bronze Owl Quest Completion form and waiting for feedback :crossed_fingers:

It’s good news that other members shared a similar input. It means that there is an appetite for it. I am really excited to see this buddy system implemented in the future.

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This is such a great post, Brad - thanks for putting it together. Removing onboarding frictions/bottlenecks is critical to help the COOP scale.

I think the 4. Talent scouts (TS) is a particularly helpful addition to the current structure.

Admittedly, I have not experienced the onboarding flow as a contributor, but as an “outsider”, I do struggle with understanding (1) what are all of the WGs currently live / proposed and (2) who to talk to (and for what) in each WG

I could imagine the TS as a “micro-community-manager” or “HR partner” for each WG, sourcing & guiding contributors through the onboarding flow and being the touchpoint for them as they look to increase their involvement with the COOP. It would help if they were highly visible (e.g. on Discord, forums, calls, Notions) so potential/current contributors know who to reach out to. They could also be the WG representatives of the talent, onboarding, and recruitment WG once that’s formed.

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Thanks @Dmitriy_Berenzon , great feedback.

100%. We’ve created a master directory board and we will filter this into each Working group. We just need to enlist the support of all working groups to update their details.

This is exactly what we’re planning. Great minds.

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This is a great idea, as a new member to the IC it can be overwhelming trying to get up to speed on what the WG is currently working on and how I could potentially help

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I agree with @Dmitriy_Berenzon, having a point of contact person in each WG would be very helpful to answer general question and get up to speed on a project. I want to be respectful of peoples time and I don’t want to ask basic questions in a call

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Thanks @skaha , this is underway. I’ve created a tea time call for the POC group and business development are moving ahead with an ‘office hours’ call. Hope to see this in all WG’s soon. And it will be publicly updated and shared in the calendar and provided to new joiners soon.

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@bradwmorris this is awesome. Would love to see this codified as the “WG Schema” or similar.

I’ve kicked off steps 1 and 2, and will be working through the rest - so any support from POC would be greatly appreciated.

For PWG and EWG the onboarding path has lots of opportunities to improve, and this is exactly what we need.

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Thanks @Cavalier_Eth , I really like the idea of codifying this as a schema or blueprint. I think once we have clarity on the Owl levels, we will be able to document something for all WG’s to follow, while still having room for flexibility.

We will pull ideas from your skills matrix and I will connect with you for some guidance/input.

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