Blockchain For Tracking Employee Reputation
Blockchains and Distributed Ledger Technology are not only in their infancy and therefore new to most organisations, they represent a paradigm shift in how you use them. For example most cost reduction business cases are predicated on the removal of exceptions i.e. when an action is done it is final and cannot be fixed up later even if you have made a mistake. On top of this most DLT projects are at the POC or low volume stage and they have not gone through to production.
This project aimed to address these challenges of how do you educate an organisation about the technology and what does it take to put a DLT all the way into production and operate it.
The use case was selected based on constraints that it should be non mission critical and should have volumes that are appropriate for the platform selected. As such functionally the system was a reputation tracking system. Every participating employee is given 3 coins a month. If a colleague does a good deed then you can give them a coin detailing in the transaction what the coin was for. Come the appraisal, the employee can show all the coins they have that year and it is some measure of what kind of year they have had.
The platform selected was Quorum due to the maturity and the requirement to have private transactions with a node.js and react based front end.
The system was successfully deployed covering 1000 users in four countries. Along the way we learnt the following lessons
The technology is relatively straight forward, getting it into production is difficult. The platform had to pass the security, HR compliance and GDPR committees. These are not trivial hurdles and required platform compromises along the way.
The employees themselves learnt four valuable lessons:
The transactions say as much about the giver as the receiver. For example if you give your coins away for making tea that might be judged differently to someone who gives them for a piece of thought leadership.
Not every coin has the same value. Coins that come from the CEO potentially carry more weight than from a junior employee.
You should not lie or try to "game" a blockchain. Immutability means until the ledger is reset whatever you post is recorded there.
If you lose your private key of the wallet the coins are gone for good and there is not some sysadmin you can appeal to to recover it.
Lastly upgrading the network (fixing bugs in the smart contract or adding new logic) is not trivial. This has big implications for Continuous delivery and Devops.