Your Guide to Operational Governance: Part 1

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What is Operational Governance? 

Every company, regardless of its size, already has a governance structure in place. Even if the words ‘operational governance’ have never come up, even if it wasn’t intentional, it’s there. This is because ‘governance’ is really just another word for the strategy and structure around how decisions are made and operationalized within your organization. 

Real talk: it’s not the most exciting term, but it has a far reach when it comes to how your company operates. Especially during periods of fast growth, things are constantly changing and evolving to meet the business’ needs. Implementing an intentional and efficient governance structure is how you bring order to the process. When people across your organization understand how decisions are made and who has the power to make them, things start happening faster. 

The Governance Model 

An effective governance model covers three core areas of your business: 

North Star: The infrastructure to help us decide what and what not to work on 

Meetings: How we collaborate as a team 

Workflow: The way we get work done and communicate with other teams 

The Goals of Governance

The goals of governance can be broken down into three categories:  


  • More efficient decision-making
  • Prioritize the highest impact initiatives and work
  • Protect prioritizes and align to strategic goals
  • Balance global and regional initiatives
  • Ensure compliance and mitigate risk
  • Guide business architecture 
  • Respond to operational, competitive, and regulatory initiatives more efficiently


  • Drive more efficient collaboration between teams and departments
  • Keep internal and external stakeholders aligned and informed
  • Guide decision-making
  • Resolve disagreements or escalations pertaining to work
  • Maintain a defined structure that employees and stakeholders understand


  • Create clarity and visibility around operational change across the organization 
  • Ascertain, accept and absorb change into the organization
  • Define a waterline so employees have clear decision rights and understand the limit of authority associated with their positions
  • Prioritize adoption and rollout strategies for change

What’s Next?

In part 2 of this guide, we’ll discuss the governance intake process, what it means to give and share authority, and the two categories work can fall into.