We delegate making governance decisions affecting multiple Workstreams to representatives of those domains. We call these representatives Delegates. The Delegates form a Delegate Circle.
Active participation is mandatory for the Delegates of all teams. Not participating would mean leaving your team out of the Decision Making process. This would ultimately lead to decisions being made that could harm your team.
Delegate Circles aren’t to be confused with Initiative Circles, which have the concept of voluntary participation.
Delegate Circles learn and define how they deal with the general duties to address the topics within the domains for which they’re accountable:
- Handle Decisions that the Delegate Circle is accountable for.
- Handle discussions and find out what the next step will be.
- Make decisions transparently visible company wide.
- Create accountability by coordinating and assign operational work to members (and teams) so that agreements are actually implemented.
- Announce decisions via the correct channels to the amazee.io employees affected.
- Plan and ensure efficient communication and collaboration between all members:
- in the asynchronous ways, for example chat
- via (recurring) meetings
Some Delegate Circles might have additional duties, defined in domain descriptions they’re accountable for.
From Discussions to making Governance#
A Delegate Circle has many members who are obligated to participate actively. This in mind, discussions in meetings or in the official chat channel would cause a high burden on all members and would not serve the actual purpose of making decisions.
There is a thin line between discussions and making decisions: Decisions without discussions are hardly possible, discussions without decisions (action points) are usually ineffective.
So we need a way to find out if something needs to be discussed in the big round or if a smaller group of people should discuss the topic at hand first and then present a concrete proposal to the big round to reach consent.
Spontaneous Working Groups#
Instead of having discussions in the big round (chat or meetings), propose your topic in the chat and invite a limited number of people to address the issue. This group is committed to identifying what the next steps are. When they’re unsure they will ask concrete questions in the big round, such as Do you have objections if we continue like this? (giving enough time for people to respond).
In the Delegate Circles there are usually some larger, ongoing topics. Here it makes sense that we’ve a permanent or semi-permanent Initiative Circle that invites people from the Delegate Circle and also considers external members to bring in a different perspective and expertise.
Spontaneous Working Groups and Initiative Circles should produce concrete proposals in various forms that enable the Delegate Circle to make informed decisions. Such a proposal can also be one simple and concrete questions in the chat, so that a direct operational action can be done or planned. Requesting decisions can happen in various ways
- Simple, concrete questions in chat that members can object against directly in the chat thread.
- Present a proposal in the chat.
- Present any other form of proposal in the chat or an official Delegate Circle meeting.
Governance versus Operations#
Delegate Circles are there to make Governance and not to do actual work (Operations).
Members of the Delegate Circle shouldn’t have work to do for the circle, besides preparing for meetings, reading and commenting on Proposals
The actual work that usually follows governance decisions happens in the individual Workstreams or Initiative Circles. Delegate Circles therefore never have tasks and therefore no operations backlog.