Delegate Circles

If there is no more specific Domain we do the governance affecting multiple Domains (and therefore Teams) in Delegate Circles, consisting of Delegates.

delegate circle

Active participation is mandatory for delegates of all teams. Non-participation increases the chance that your team will miss an important decision.

Current Delegate Circles



Accountable for


1 Delegate and 1 stand-in per Team and from Management

VSHNeer Success


1 Delegate and 1 stand-in per Team and from Management,
all Service Managers

Customer Solutions
Assignment of new customers to Solution Teams

The Products Delegate Circle became obsolete with the new Product Management Work Group.


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 VIPs that the Delegate Circle is accountable for.

    • New VIPs

    • Review of VIPs

  • Handle discussions and find out what the next step will be (for example create a VIP).

  • 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 VSHNeers affected.

  • Plan and ensure efficient communication and collaboration between all members:

    • in the asynchronous ways, for example chat

    • via (recurring) meetings

  • Ensure the Link to Management via a delegate:

    • Reporting of ongoing and done governance in the weekly management meeting.

    • Remind to get involved in decision making, especially on major organizational topics that carry a foreseeable (financial) risk of harming the company.

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 how they understand a driver, or concrete proposal to the big round to reach consent.

Other Groups

In the Delegate Circles there are usually some larger, complex and ongoing topics. Here it makes sense that we’ve a permanent or semi-permanent Work Group that invites people from the Delegate Circle and other affected people and experts to bring in a different perspective and expertise.

Some working groups are designed to permanently relieve Delegate Circles from dealing with complex issues, for example organizational development. Coordinating complex topics across multiple Delegate Circles (or their teams) is otherwise often inefficient and places a heavy burden on all delegates.

Making Decisions

Permanent or semi-permanent Work Groups produce concrete proposals in various forms that enable the Delegate Circle to make informed decisions using our Consent Decision Making Process or more specifically the VSHN Improvement Proposals. Such a proposal can also be one simple and concrete question in the chat, so that a direct operational action can be done or planned.

Requesting decisions can happen in various ways
  • Simple, concrete proposals in the chat to which members can raise possible objections directly in the chat thread.

  • Present a Proposal (as part of a VIP) in the Decisions Making status in the chat.

  • Present Proposal in the chat or an official Delegate Circle meeting.

When ever time allows, we should make Consent Decisions in meetings and not in a written way. It’s much easier to get a common understanding and come up with valuable Objections.

Handling VSHN Improvement Proposals

All Circles and especially Delegate Circles have to handle VIPs they’re accountable for. Every Delegate Circle can organize this themselves as long as VIPs are handled and it’s documented, for example:

  • Make it part of recurring meetings.

  • Have a person that has the duty to facilitate decision making outside of meetings (per VIP or in general).

Governance versus Operations

Delegate Circles are there to make Governance and not to do actual work (Operations). See Governance Meeting.

Members of the Delegate Circle shouldn’t have work to do for the circle, besides preparing for meetings, reading and commenting on VIPs and being Tuners for VIPs.

The actual work that usually follows governance decisions happens in the individual Teams or Work Groups. Delegate Circles therefore never have tasks and therefore no operations backlog.