Governance and Operations

To understand how we’re organized and work, it’s important to understand the difference between Governance and Operations. Governance ends when we made a decision and starts again when we review the driver to check that the situation changed as intended in regards to the driver. Governance influences how we work and behave in the future and organize day-to-day work, which is Operations.

  • We made a Governance decision on the organizational driver to have a 40h week instead of a 42.5h using a VIP. People Operations will now implement this agreement for example by changing all VSHNeer contracts to be based on a 40h week, this is Operations, as chaning contracts is within the domain of People Operations.

  • We defined what the terms Product and Solution mean for us (Governance). Now we’ve to change this in a lot of places, like product naming, documentation, sales processes, etc. and actually stick to this definition when we for example create new products, offer solutions to customers - doing all that’s Operations, our day to day work.

  • We set bringing OpenShift 4 on cloudprovider X to a usable state as our top priority Product Bet (Governance). Now the Product Development Team will organize their work (Operations) to win (reach) this Product Bet.

  • We decided to create the first Solution Team (Governance), setting up the team in all VSHN systems and documentation is Operations.


Governance is the act of setting goals, and making and evolving decisions on policies, processes and definitions that guide people towards achieving those goals. Decisions can be made in day-to-day work or regarding future behavior.

Making decisions usually happens in a group of people using our Decision Making Process either in meetings or as implemented in a written an asynchronous way with the VSHN Improvement Process. Special Circles like the Management or the Board use other decisions making methods.

Reviewing made decisions is also part of Governance and ensures that decisions actually have the effect we intended. This is the reason why Governance doesn’t implement an agreement, this is left to Operations in the affected domains.

Governance is usually organized using a Governance Backlog, for example VIPs or Product Bets.


This is where the actual work happens and how teams or individual VSHNeers organize their day to day activity withing the Domain description and under the set constraints.

Organizing operational work is organized and happens as tasks in Jira using an Operations Backlog

We’re used to the term Operations also to differentiate planned work (for example projects) from daily-business work like handling Interrupts, Changes, etc. For example the duties of Responsible Ops - this isn’t what we mean with the word Operations in regards to organizational structure and decisions making.