VDP-102 [Governance]: Portfolio Management Process

One liner

A set of practical tools to manage the growing portfolio of the VitaDAO projects in an effective and efficient way, helping to execute them and to support all decision-making required.


Since its foundation VitaDAO has organized itself to source and assess opportunities to fund longevity biotech ventures, with a collection of deal-flow processes, which span from the entry of an opportunity into our funnel, to an on-chain vote on our platform and a decision to fund.

Thanks to these processes, VitaDAO has funded (directly or with partner organizations like Vitality Healthspan Foundation, VHF) over 19+ projects, including some of the most promising interventions in the longevity space.

As the number of projects in VitaDAO’s portfolio increases, so does the importance to track and control their execution with a structured portfolio management process.


This proposal aims at initializing this process with a few best practices implemented with practical tools.

The following tools are proposed:

  • Project Portfolio Register (PPR)
  • Quarterly Project Reviews (QPR)
  • Milestone Tracking File (MTF)
  • Budget Contingency File (BCF)
  • Project Portfolio Dashboard (PPD)
  • Project Portfolio Mapping (PPM)
  • Projects Summaries (PS)

These tools are detailed in the next sections.

Project portfolio register

This is a list of the funded projects, with all their relevant features, useful to have a view of the full portfolio at a glance. Each line in this file shall include the following objective information:

  • VDP number
  • Name of the project
  • PI/CEO
  • Type
  • Entity
  • Country
  • Funding Amount
  • Payment: whether it has been made, or if is committed
  • Deal: whether the terms are IP-NFT or equity
  • Application: therapeutics, diagnostics, digital health
  • Indication: go to market indication
  • Hallmark of aging: DNA repair, metabolism, …
  • Mechanism of Action (MOA): how it works in one line
  • Product: small molecule, mab, cell therapy, supplements, app, …
  • Stage: preclinical in vitro, preclinical in vivo, clinical phase 1, …
  • Start date
  • End date

Other subjective information can also be useful:

  • Opportunity class: high, medium, low
  • Risk class: high, medium, low
  • Lifespan extension potential: high, medium low
  • Healthspan extension potential: high, medium low

These subjective assessments could be asked and extracted from senior reviews.

Each shepherd is responsible to fill in this file once her/his project is funded.

This file is already available here.

Quarterly Project Reviews

This review takes place at the end of each quarter.

A representative from each funded project is invited to join and present their progress according to an agreed agenda, where each project is assigned 15-30 minutes.

A panel of senior experts is also invited to join the review. This could be people from VitaDAO senior reviewers pool and people from a future VitaDAO advisory board.

VitaCORE members are also invited and empowered to make decisions during the meeting, within limits, in particular in terms of budget (see below).

The number of people should be sufficient to have relevant feedback, recommendations, and decisions but not too high as to hamper the process and burden.

Each funded project shall provide a minimum of two slides, according to a VitaDAO template:

  • 1 summary slide including
    • Budget allocated, budget spent
    • Achieved milestones, and upcoming milestones forecasts
    • Any outstanding issues to be discussed
  • 1 results slide with
    • Recap of achieved results
    • Achieved results since the last QPR

The format includes a 10-20 minute presentation followed by discussion, tracking any recommendations, actions, or decisions taken during the meeting.

Key decisions, including scope changes are tracked in minutes of meeting. Actions are registered in the milestone tracking file below. Budget changes are tracked on the budget contingency file below.

A different cadence, for example 6 months, could be considered for some projects.

This process would be coordinated by a project portfolio administrator.

Milestone Tracking File

This file includes all the milestones of all projects in one place.

Each project typically includes at least three milestones, kickoff, mid-term progress, and closure.

Each milestone shall be identified with:

  • Project name
  • Milestone name
  • Milestone criticality (from minor to go / no go)
  • Due date
  • Forecast date
  • Actual completion date
  • Status: whether work towards the milestone is not yet started, or is ongoing, or completed, or canceled.
  • Status: including any blocking point and outstanding action to unblock

This file can be used as an input to produce portfolio planning KPIs, such as number of milestones completed vs forecast or average delay.

This process would be taken care of by a project portfolio administrator.

Budget contingency file

The budget need of each project might evolve as it is executed. One project might run into issues, which require extra funding in order to reach the targeted inflexion point to raise the next tranche. Another might fail a critical go / no go milestone, and therefore be canceled, therefore freeing funding that can be used for other projects.

Therefore it is useful to foresee a portfolio contingency pool of order of 5-10% of the total reference budget of all projects in the portfolio.

Each quarter, as project report their status, or occasionally when major budget events, as in the above examples, require attention, the funding available in the portfolio contingency pool needs to be updated. This can be done with a file where each line includes:

  • Project name
  • Reference budget
  • Delta budget
  • New budget
  • Reason for delta
  • Approved by who

Large project budget delta, for example above 25% of the reference budget would need to be governed. Medium deltas, for example between 10% and 25% would need approval by VitaCORE, which meet weekly. Small deltas, for example below 10% could be decided with lower-level mechanisms.

This process would be taken care of by a project portfolio administrator.

Project portfolio dashboard

Each project is associated with three green/yellow/red status color flags along the classic project management dimensions of budget, planning, results.

Each of the color flags should be motivated with a one-liner, based on the outcome of the latest QPR.

This dashboard should be available to the broader community to engage with. Ideally, anyone within the DAO should be able to a) see what’s going on; b) find projects they think they can contribute to; and c) reach out to whoever(s) is leading that projects.

Project portfolio mapping

This includes graphics that synthetically represent the portfolio composition based on key variables. For example:

  • Risk/opportunity mapping: is the portfolio balanced or skewed?
  • Longevity/healthspan potential mapping: is the portfolio balanced or skewed?
  • Hallmarks of aging coverage: do we have a balanced coverage or are some areas over/under represented
  • Companies vs spinoffs
  • Geography
  • ….

This mapping is based on information from the project portfolio register.

It can be made available to token-holders to help inform their decisions on new projects, for example to rebalance the portfolio, or to focus on an area of interest.

Project Summaries

Each funded project shall have a non-confidential project summary that can be shared publicly. This already exists for many VitaDAO’s project, as a project webpage, which should be generalized: https://www.vitadao.com/projects

In each of these webpages, the “Latest project updates” section gives information on project progress. The slides from the quarterly reviews for a given project could be tapped into to populate this section, or the slides themselves could be uploaded, pending confidentiality constraints.

These web pages could also be converted in a VitaDAO portfolio booklet, for example in PDF format, downloadable from our internet site.

  • Agree
  • Revisions Requested (Detail in Comments)
  • Disagree

0 voters


Thanks @Paolo It’s great to see process evolve around introducing documentation and structure. 1. Are there any costs associated with these tools? if yes, how are they covered?
2. It seems like the

has a lot to do here. What are the logistics around this role?


Hi @jengajojo, thank you for the feedback.

Concerning the tools and their costs:

  • You can implement these tools with classic Google , or equivalent free software. Concretely:

    • PPR, MTF, BCF, PPD can be done with Sheets (for data) and Slides (for data visualization)
    • QPR can be done with Mail & Calendar (for meetings organization), Slides (for the presentations), and Docs (for MoMs)
    • PS are web pages, or equivalently Docs or Slides
  • This requires a little work to prepare templates, but otherwise no software development or licence costs.

  • Some of these tools could be also be implemented with more modern software, such as Asana, which might be more efficient but perhaps require licences.

  • We have people in the organization who are familiar with different options, so I am confident we can quickly select the best options and deploy.

  • Costs would be covered by VitaDAO budget.

Portfolio administrator

  • Indeed, operating the tools, and in general performing portfolio management administration will require effort. Concretely, administration could have a yearly cost of about 1% of the budget of the running projects. For example, assuming 15 projects with an average budget of 200k for an average duration of two years, therefore a total budget of 3M, that would mean about 30k per year. If this does not seem much, keep in mind that each project has a dedicated project manager or CEO, which is already covered by the project budget.

  • The administrator can be a very well organized person with a strong focus on execution and quality, accountable towards the Longevity WG, for example. Because we are a DAO, this work could also be fractionalized to different contributors, each one having a clear perimeter.

  • However, do note that this process does not only imply administrative work, but also the contribution of senior experts and advisors, that would be involved at quarterly reviews. Some of them would come from VitaCORE members, who already have a general compensation, but others would need to be specifically compensated, representing an additional cost item, which I estimate at another 1%.

Concerning the coverage of these costs, it would require a dedicated budget to be approved.

Finally, all this is open for discussion, as the rest of the proposal.

Do these elements address your questions? If they do, I think it would make sense to include them in the proposal. If this approach works for you, please feel free to update your vote accordingly. It if does not, let us iterate.


I have updated the proposal correcting some typos and by renaming the Project Management Cockpit as Project Portfolio Dashboard (PPD) and adding elements on its nature and purpose.

Thanks @Paolo. Who will be the boss of this management process? You and @gweisha ? Just think this proposal needs to list who will actually implement it.


Thank you for your question @timrpeterson. Indeed, I think that @gweisha could take the portfolio administrator role, I would be happy to support her based on my experience, and other people could contribute to tasks that are easy to segregate. Also, some tasks are already partly covered, such as project summaries by the comm-awareness WG.
Another important role is who makes decisions based on projects progress, typically at quarterly reviews, but not only. I am in favor of a small committee of people who know the projects well, who have competences and experience to bring to the table, who have sufficient time availability, and who are empowered: this could be a subset of VitaCORE members. The administrator would report to this committee.


Thank you for the clarification @Paolo I agree with you on your suggestion to include these points in the proposal

1 Like

Love it! Thanks for bringing in proper structure and organization Paolo!


I would like to share some potential concerns and areas for improvement

  1. Appointing and Removing the Project Portfolio Administrator: The proposal presents a range of tools for managing the project portfolio, with a project portfolio administrator mentioned in multiple instances. However, there is no process defined for appointing or removing the administrator. This is crucial as the person occupying this role will have a significant impact on project management. I would suggest developing a transparent procedure for appointing and removing this administrator. This should include the criteria for selection, the duration of the tenure, and the grounds for removal.
  2. Budget Management: While the proposal includes a budget contingency file, it doesn’t provide a clear process for the budgeting of the projects themselves, beyond “reference budget.” Greater detail and transparency in budget allocation will be beneficial, including the process for determining budget amounts, and how potential budget overruns will be managed.
  3. Validity of the Process: The proposal does not clarify the duration of the proposed processes. Is it intended to be ongoing, or does it have a specified end point? Clarity in this area would be beneficial, as would guidelines on when and how the process could be reviewed or revised.
  4. Success Metrics: While the proposal does mention various KPIs and status tracking, it does not define concrete success metrics for the portfolio management process itself. How will we know if the new tools and processes are working? I suggest adding defined success metrics, such as achieving milestones on time, staying within budget, successful project completions, returns on investments, and others that align with VitaDAO’s mission.

while the proposal has a lot of potential, it needs to provide more clarity on several key points.


To address point 2, projects are budgeted via VDPs in a separate process. For example: VDP-103 [Funding]: Mutation-Specific Codon Suppression for Aging and Longevity - #16 by Shift

Projects that are funded are funded for a set amount. If they need more money for whatever reason, that will be a new VDP. In some cases, they are funded with a milestone-based approach, wher they have to hit the first milestone to get money for the next milestone. So budget overruns are controlled at the level of initial funding.

To address point 3, I think project management will be ongoing since the projects are ongoing. We can revise almost anything via VDPs.


@SimiKol, thank you for your post.

@bowtiedshrike, thank you for addressing points 2 (Budget Management) and 3 (Validity of the Process).

Concerning point 1 (Project Admin), in a previous post I proposed a rough description of the criteria and gave my opinion on @gweisha for the role. As suggested by others, I plan to explicitly include this in an update of the proposal to be governed on snapshot in the coming days. In my view, tenure should be for as long as we are happy with performance, but I admit not having given this much thought. Initially, we could set a 3 month period starting from the snapshot approval, and confirm or not based on process deployment status, but other ideas are more than welcome.

Concerning point 4 (Success Metrics), fully agreed, and the KPI you list (or variants) are what I have in mind to cover the classical OTOCOQ (on time, on cost, on quality) project management expectations. Other metrics for the process itself could be: the actual cost of the process; stakeholder satisfaction, including project managers or entrepreneurs, ensuring that we do not uselessly burden them; etc. As for return on investment, it’s a crucial KPI, but it’s probably at higher level, because it will not only depend on project execution, but also on project choice and structuring, which is beyond the scope of this proposal (it’s covered by all the deal-flow processes from deal sourcing to approval).

I plan to take these points into account in the updated proposal, as well as the other feedback expressed here or received via other channels.


Thank you, @Paolo !

holding a position in the top 10 from the genesis auction and presently among the top 25 stakeholders, I express my sincere appreciation. I am particularly impressed by the level of community engagement and the consistent advancements in our shared endeavor.

Given the noteworthy progress, I am earnestly contemplating increasing my stake in Vita.


@SimiKol thank you for your feedback and for your support!

Hello, the proposal has been published on Snapshot, after taking into account the feedback received here and at the June 6th deal flow sync call. Voting will open in 12 hours.

Thank you all for the feedback!