VSHN’s Culture - Frequently Asked Questions

This page is a collection of questions and answers around how VSHN works, our culture. Make sure to read VSHN’s Culture first, to have some context. To add a new question, you can open a Merge Request by clicking the Edit-Button in the top right, add the question at the end.

Practical, Real Questions

  1. Who cares if no one else does?

    We no longer have top management as described here. This might sound dangerous if you’re not accustomed to such a work environment. However, our approach is that we have enough people who take responsibility on their own. We have defined domains that clarify responsibilities for the major aspects of a business and an organization. Most decisions and issue handling should remain with the teams and roles at the forefront. Read more about how this works here.

  2. What if I just want to do my operational work (engineering stuff for example)?

    As long as your team fulfills their purpose and responsibilities, and organizational issues are addressed in a timely manner, that can be perfectly fine. The key is to have people (for instance, defined roles like a Team Facilitator) who care about the most important things. They will involve you in finding solutions and decision-making, and you will need to participate to the best of your abilities. This requires some basic understanding of how VSHN works, which isn’t optional.
    Read more on Leadership and Decision Making.

  3. We agreed to a problem, prioritized it in our team, and nothing has happened for months. What’s going on?

    This is most likely an issue of lack of Leadership. Either the person responsible for driving the topic forward is blocked or struggling to do so, or isn’t taking action, or it’s unclear who is responsible and "in the lead". Bring up the issue again in the team, find out who is currently driving the topic or define it. Remember to check in at short intervals to see if progress is being made.

  4. I don’t like a proposal to a problem that was presented to me. What can I do now?

    Work together to understand why you don’t like it. It’s about identifying potential risks for the organization that we should avoid, or finding ways to improve the proposal right now. If it’s really just your personal preference, put away your ego and think in the bigger picture, commit to trying the proposal for a while. You might change your opinion. Personal preferences or opinions alone aren’t directly relevant, and they can’t block progress. Consent isn’t about making it perfect for everyone.

  5. What if we don’t have time in our team to fix our organization?

    You don’t need to drive addressing VSHN’s overall strategy or issues from other teams for example—responsibilities should be clear, yet collaboration is essential for collective problem-solving. However, if an issue falls within your team or role, allocate time to resolve it. A Semi-Autonomous Team is in charge of their operational tasks, planning, coordination, and governance, which involves setting agreements on workflows and organization. While everyone can contribute to various tasks, specific roles like Product Owner, Scrum Master, Facilitator, and Tech Lead generally boost efficiency. The Facilitator’s role is particularly vital in helping the team prioritize work and manage time effectively, especially for addressing meta-work.

  6. I see a problem that we should take care about, but where do I start?

    It starts with you: Bring up the issue within the team, strive for a common understanding, and document it. If it’s urgent and impeding your work, mention it in the daily stand-up and ask for help. If it’s more related to organizational processes, it might be better discussed in a retrospective. In any case, the Team Facilitator or Scrum Master should be able to guide you on what to do next.

  7. If anyone can lead, what if no one leads?

    In short: That’s a big risk and that’s not acceptable. At this point, it’s the role of the Delegator (see Semi-Autonomous Team) to notice this and intervene. However, this does not mean that the Delegator will start leading your team, but rather that they should listen, advise, support, and enable your team to resolve this fundamental issue - your lack of leadership. The specific approach will depend on the situation.
    Read more See here.