Domain: A distinct area of influence, activity and decision making within an organization.

We use Domains from Sociocracy 3.0 to understand and describe the responsibility and autonomy of people. This allows for greater efficiency, effective collaboration and agility throughout the organization by enabling people to know what they (for example as a Team) are responsible for. In turn everyone can find out who is responsible for a particular topic or makes decisions on a particular matter.

Current Domains

The handbook documents all defined Domains within VSHN and is actually structured around our domains. Start exploring them at the the Overall Domain of VSHN or the domain of your Role or Team.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation is the the grant of authority by one party (the Delegator) to another (the Delegatee) to account for a Domain, (that’s to do certain things or make certain decisions) for which the delegator maintains overall accountability.

Read more about this in Company Alignment.

  1. The Board is accountable for the overall domain of VSHN and delegates the domain Business Operations to the Management.

  2. The Management describes and delegates the domain Product Development to the Work Group Products.

  3. Products delegates the domain of a certain Group of Products to Product Development.

    This way the Product Team can semi-autonomously (within the constraints of their Domain) work on the development of the products they’re responsible for.

Every Domain has a Purpose (its Primary Driver) it serves. When defining Domains (Driver and Domain Description) in retrospect for existing Domains, this is usually done together with the current Delegatees and the Delegator. When defining new Domains, it’s done by the Delegator.

Domain description

A simple way to clarify domains is with a domain description that contains for example:

Being clear on and documenting the Purpose is absolutely mandatory. The rest of the Domain description evolves and grows over time, still try to be clear on what you already know.
  • Purpose (Primary Driver) (the organizational need the domain is designed to respond to - why do we need this domain).

  • Key responsibilities (key deliverables, core tasks, any critical risks to manage, other essential work and decision making being delegated)

  • Constraints to the autonomy and influence of those the domain is delegated to, usually related to the organization itself (dependencies, involvement of the delegator, reporting etc.)

  • Dependencies

  • Resources (time, money, facilities, privileges, tools)

  • Evaluation criteria and frequency of evaluation.

We see describing domains as a continuous process that’s tracked in a VIP for each domain. We know that for some domains essential parts of a domain description might still be missing - We’ll find out as we go and review the VIPs.