Powerhouse: Operations and Transparency Research Proposal

Powerhouse: Operations and Transparency Research Proposal

The following proposal describes a research grant to support Arbitrum Incentive Program operations (STIP/LTIPP). It covers operational research and the deployment of a transparency dashboard to improve incentive data accessibility.

Who is Powerhouse?
Powerhouse began as MakerDAO Sustainable Ecosystem Scaling (SES) Core Unit in the MakerDAO supporting the incubator program and building the operational infrastructure of one of the largest DAO experiments to date. As SES, Powerhouse team members helped teams to organize operations and connect them with relevant service providers. We learned a lot during the two years of operating this incubator and are now working at translating our best practices into open-source software for DAOs.

Powerhouse Builds Open-source Operations Platforms
We translate business workflows, processes, and information systems into software to power large on-chain organizations. Powerhouse retains a full stack operations staff and technical staff, including Business Development, Business Analysts, Marketing, and a Full Stack Software Development team. Powerhouse focuses on modular open source systems as public goods. This modular approach reduces implementation time and accelerates the growth of DAOs. The objective of Powerhouse is to help DAOs scale by overcoming coordination failure.

Powerhouse Uses Embedded Project Teams
Powerhouse retains a complete project team to fulfill the proposed Research Bounty scope. The team will manage and implement the SOW described below: the workflow analysis in Milestone 1 and the delivery of a transparency dashboard in Milestone 2.
The workflow analysis will review and map the current LTIPP workflows with recommendations for improvement. Independent of this analysis, the grant also delivers a transparency dashboard to permit easy access to LTIPP incentive data.

LTIPP and STIP are Complex

STIP and LTIPP are ambitious initiatives designed to rapidly increase the adoption of Arbitrum through liquidity incentives. The LTIPP strategy involves a broad distribution of ARB tokens within a short period. Due to the large scale and complexity of this distribution, stringent operational practices are necessary to ensure the program’s success.

Powerhouse Software as the Solution

Powerhouse provides several software products that together form the Powerhouse Platform. Teams begin by using software to structure and implement their operational workflows (Powerhouse Connect). These workflows capture data which provides the information to an analytics backend enabling data availability (Powerhouse Switchboard) which is presented and interacted with publicly via a dashboard (Powerhouse Fusion). Access and roles in workflows are managed using Ethereum addresses on Arbitrum to provide identity and authentication (Powerhouse Renown). All Powerhouse Software modules are open-source to build on and extend the public commons. For more information regarding each product, please see a recent keynote here, with Powerhouse Product Lead, callmeT.


Figure 1. An Overview of the Four Powerhouse Products

ArbGrants.com: Live Operational Software for Arbitrum LTIPP

Powerhouse partnered with Stablelab to prepare a software proof of concept. First, we performed a requirements analysis and examined the current critical path blockers for Arbitrum LTIPP and STIP Program Management. We identified the largest pain point was organizing ongoing incentive reporting. Powerhouse then designed an ideal workflow and reviewed the proposed user experience with the Grants Council and Program Manager. The workflow was intended to replace the current incentive reporting workflow on the Arbirtum Discourse Forums.

Powerhouse then developed and implemented this reporting workflow as an open source software module. The module is currently hosted at https://www.arbgrants.com and supports the reporting and organization of bi-weekly incentive information. This workflow makes accessible information for use by the LTIPP Program Manager, the Grants Council, Incented Projects, and the community at large.

The software captures information that was previously hard to consolidate. It offers the 100 protocols a reliable and standardized way to report their biweekly metrics. At a later point in time, Powerhouse may prepare a proposal to provide Arbitrum an option for retroactive funding if they desire.

Today, in this proposal, we present an opportunity to continue the momentum and extend this work through further business analysis and a transparency dashboard to improve presentation and accessibility of this LTIPP incentive data.

Next Step: Visualizing Incentive Data and Preparation for Full LTIP
Now that we have a workflow to report data, the next step is to prepare a custom dashboard to make this data accessible. Using Connect, Fusion, and Switchboard, we will prepare a dashboard to report relevant metrics. Attached below are two example screenshots of a grantee directory and dashboard. This first scope of work establishes a dashboard to view LTIPP information reported and will be forward compatible with additional Connect data streams should Arbitrum desire.

In order to prepare Arbitrum for LTIP, we will proceed in parallel with a deeper workflow and business analysis on the existing STIP and LTIPP program implementations. Through this analysis, we intend to map existing workflows and identify opportunities to leverage software to improve program efficiency and transparency.


Figure 2. An example of the LTIPP grantee directory.


Figure 3. An example of the LTIPP Overview Dashboard.

Statement of Work

Term

The statement of work is anticipated to span approximately 12 weeks from June 10 to September 10. Both Milestones will run concurrently and conclude no later than 12 weeks from initiation. Powerhouse will meet weekly with the LTIPP Program Manager, who will act as the Arbitrum interlocutor, to provide status updates and report progress.

Milestone 1. STIP/LTIPP Workflow Business Analysis and Report

Milestone 1 prepares a workflow analysis to map and describe the current LTIPP process, identifying areas for improvement. The scope of the report will include an analysis of the following phases:

  • RFP preparation and presentation;
  • Proposal Creation, Submission, and Review;
  • Project (Grantee) onboarding; incentive reporting;
  • and Performance Reporting and Evaluation.

The focus will be to identify opportunities to improve existing processes, with the express goal of later translating these processes into scalable open-source software modules. The process will include planning and qualitative interviews with key stakeholders (e.g. Program Manager, Grants Council Members, and Grantees). This workflow analysis and research will help Arbitrum establish a calibrated operational budget for the full scale LTIP to support both the requisite operations as well as the necessary software to facilitate scaling and transparency.

Deliverables

1.1 Project Roadmap and Gannt. Powerhouse scopes the high level research phases in collaboration with key stakeholders and prepares a project roadmap.

1.2 Qualitative Stakeholder Interviews. Powerhouse will identify key stakeholders and perform qualitative interviews in order to identify outstanding issues and potential remedies.

1.3 Final Report. Powerhouse delivers a final report which includes a visual mapping of existing workflows and stakeholder actions, a review of identified issues, and proposed technical solutions and improvements where available.

Milestone 2. LTIPP Transparency Dashboard

Milestone 2 supports LTIPP transparency through an informational dashboard. The project involves connecting the information provided from the grant reporting workflow into a software product for use by key stakeholders and the community. The dashboard will display all data captured by ARBgrants, including the biweekly ARB distributed, each incentivized contract, and the total ARB distributed. It will feature graphs plotting ARB distribution against each two week incentive term. The dashboard will dynamically update as incented projects submit new data allowing for near real-time display.

Deliverables

2.1 Project Roadmap and Gannt. Powerhouse scopes the high level grant phases in collaboration with key stakeholders and delivers a project roadmap.

2.2 Qualitative Stakeholder Interviews. Powerhouse performs qualitative interviews in order to identify requirements and stakeholder preferences for dashboard metrics and UX.

2.3 Dashboard Development. Powerhouse develops the required dashboard frontend to connect to the existing backend for arbgrants.com and the Switchboard API. Implementation will be similar to the mocks and video provided.

2.4 Dashboard Live Operations. Powerhouse delivers and hosts a live dashboard for use by Key Stakeholders and the community.

Grant Terms

Grant terms and conditions are delineated in the RFP here. The transparency dashboard software project will be available as AGPL. Powerhouse will continue to independently develop the underlying infrastructure and future platform updates will benefit this ArbGrants transparency dashboard and the Connect Product.

30,000 ARB due Upon Completion of KYC (June 10 Expected)

30,000 ARB due upon Delivery of Milestone 1 and 2 and all underlying deliverables (Sept 10 Expected)

3 Likes

I like your desire to structure reports under the LTIPP program.
A couple of things confuse me:
1. Reports are provided by the projects themselves and can provide any information that is convenient for them.
I would like to be able to automate the process of obtaining a report with minimal influence of the human factor.
2. There are several programs: LTIPP, STIP, STEP.
Why do you use only one of the programs?
I would like to have the same approach to all Arbitrum programs.

1 Like

Thanks for your reply, cp0x. We would agree with all of your points and appreciate you raising them.

Powerhouse Enabling Automation

You first state that by allowing projects to submit their own information, it increases the likelihood of operator error or the submission of false data. You suggest that automation would help reduce these errors.

We definitely agree. The aim of our Powerhouse software platform is to structure and automate processes as much as possible, including the import and export of data. As a proof of concept, we started with a constrained scope. This means we focused on demonstrating a simple use case: operationalizing the forum-based self-reporting process and replacing it with a standardized software workflow.

Moving ahead, the objective of this proposal is to first map the existing workflows and processes of STIP and LTIPP. Next, we will design a roadmap to help us arrive at a streamlined workflow that includes more automation with external data providers and researchers, such as OpenBlock or similar.

It is worth noting that each data submission is tied to cryptographic signatures. This means we are able to monitor who or what submits each piece of data. Any input provided into the documents by humans is also available to an API or bot, so the current architecture and document are already ready for automation.

Powerhouse Consolidating Grant Data

Secondly, you note the multiple Arbitrum grant programs (STEP, STIP, LTIPP) and would like to consolidate grant information in one platform.

As we have partnered up to support StableLab, we began focusing on LTIPP. This was primarily due to its large scale, which requires a scalable solution, as well as the modest lead time we had to design and implement the proof of concept.

As the STIP bridge begins, we also hope and expect these projects to use the same workflow and software, which can be easily adapted. You will note the dashboard example has a “type” column, which indicates LTIPP or STIP, allowing for filtering or separate dashboards across projects. With regards to STEP, there is always the ability to iterate and integrate additional workflows for these projects. Our objective is to allow DAOs and other organizations to consolidate information and workflows through open-source software and decentralized infrastructure.

1 Like

Hi @Lumen,

thanks for putting forward a Research Proposal! We certainly think there is value in the product and review you are offering, however, we are unsure how relevant the scope of the work and deliverables are to the goals of the research bounty and/or the questions provided by council members here. Personally, we are looking for something a bit more prescriptive in its deliverables and findings which we can use to then improve future incentive programs primarily on the incentive side. We would also like to see a more defined scope as to what questions you plan on answering and why this will be beneficial to the DAO.

3 Likes

Thank you for the application @Lumen. While we appreciate the product and dashboard you have proposed, we’d like to echo similar thoughts as @WintermuteGovernance around the scope of the LTIPP research bounties. We are looking for more conclusive analysis and recommendations from the research. Your application in the current form fails to address this critical aspect of the research bounties. Pulling from the Council’s proposed questions may help provide some direction to your proposal.

1 Like

Hi @404DAO @WintermuteGovernance,

Thanks for the feedback. We are formulating a response at this time to clarify the proposal. We believe the proposal meets the requirements and objectives of the program but does require more concretization. Specifically, it was clear the portion that constitutes business analysis and research merits further explanation and expansion.

We appreciate the time and hope to have a reply posted by EOD Friday June 14, Pacific Time, for further consideration.

1 Like