Holacracy Community of Practice Archive, 2015-2019 Community Holacracy Web Site

Policies for Roles rather than Circles

I notice that the Constitution provides for both Circles and Domains to create Policies to control their functions and activities. But I don't see that Roles have this ability. If a Role wished to document the processes they use within their Accountabilities, would this simply be done as a Note in GlassFrog? Or would it make sense to create a Domain within the Role first so that there could be an official Policy? Are there pros and cons here that I'm missing? 

Many thanks,


3 Replies


My interpretation of the Constitution is that, at policy can be created within a Circle (if the Circle have been delegated the said domain by the super-circle) without the domain being delegated to one of its role, but so every role in the Circle wishing to impact this domain, they'll have to follow that policy (article 2.1.3).

After, there are multiples scenarios possibles, for example a role X own a domain, and multiples roles ask everytime to impact this domain, in that case, the role X can create a policy (without going through Governance and if he have a tension) which would regulate the way other roles can impact the domain (you have to go on the role on GlassFrog, and click on the little “+” next to the name of the domain), so for example “Hey roles, you may impact my domain, but you'll have to follow that process which I put under the form of a policy” (article 1.4). Or another role have a tension about the domain of Role X, and so bring to Governance a point to the agenda (article 3.2.1), and create a policy for regulating this domain, may be also possible, it entirely depends after of the tension (and there are always multiples ways to solve a tension).

Another example may be just a role having an accountability and a process so in order to put energy within that accountability, so following what is your tension, generally I just put the process in capacity (so within notes of the role) so like that I know where to find it, or if I am no longer within the role, the new person filling the role can have all the important stuff of the role within the notes. For example I got a role named R2-D2, and if I was removed from that role, the new person would technically not even need me in order to make the transition as I've got everything in the notes to do the job.

After all of these are just my interpretations of the Constitution.

Hope it gives you some ways to continue your reflexion,

Andrei Miron

Hi [@mention:499377108816417086],

A policy is not a procedure. A Policy is a way to control the access to a Domain by allowing or restricting access of the Roles.

Angela Spaxman

Thank you [@mention:449974511354699742] and [@mention:544274267266420910]. Between the two of you I have my answer. So what I will do then is create a Note in the  Role which gives more information about how the Role is performed, but is not technically a Policy since it does not control a Domain or restrict other Roles across the Circle. 

So efficient. Many thanks.