To account for Domains there mainly are Roles and Teams. A team is a group of people who account for a Domain.


There are different types of Teams, the most important one at VSHN is the Circle. This is also, why we usually talk about Circles when we say Team.


Circles (a pattern from Sociocracy 3.0) are semi-autonomous (self-governing and self-organizing) groups of equivalent people who collaborate to account for a Domain.

  • Self-governing: Within the constraints of their Domain, a team makes governance regarding how to account for their Domain. This includes decisions about sub-domains (Roles, Sub-Teams, etc.)

  • Self-organizing: The Team autonomously organizes their work within the constraints of their Domain.

Futhermore at VSHN, we basically distinguish between "Fixed Teams" and other forms of circles.

Fixed Teams

This is what we’re used to call a "Team." All of our VSHNeers are member of a fixed Team, usually because of their Main Role, even if some are mostly working Work Groups for example.

See Teams at VSHN for an overview of all Teams and VSHNeers.

Other forms of Circles

  • Work Groups - Mixture of fixed members, representatives for Governance and flexible members helping with the operational work.

  • The Management (a group of representatives) of VSHN, accountable for Business Operations

  • The Board of VSHN (a group of representatives), accountable for the overall Domain of VSHN.

The Board and Management might use Democratic Decision Making (majority voting) instead of Consent Decision Making.

What any Team does


Every self-governing team (Circle), has to do make and evolve Agreements that guide future decisions and their Operational work and how they account for their Domain. All members of a circle are equally accountable for governance of the circle’s domain.

Especially when different Teams account for similar Domains (for example Customer Solutions or Product Teams) it make sense to make Governance (involving the Teams) in the parent Domain, helping all similar Teams instead of reinventing the wheel in every Team.
  • What sub-domains do and how to account for them (Roles and Sub-Teams)?

  • How do they handle and manage our dependencies to other Domains or externals?

  • Any policies, work agreements or processes that guide how they work.

  • Periodically or when there are Objections review everything that was agreed on earlier.


Every team has to self-organize their actual operational work (as defined by their domain.)

  • Filter incoming work.

  • Create or align existing work items with their (or parent domain) objectives.

  • Refine their backlog.

  • Planning work items.

  • Manage Team capacity.

  • Reviewing iterations with stakeholders.

Operations (Actual Work)

Do the actual work, according to you Domain description, your work organization and the relevant (usually your own) agreements.