Home Decorating Statement of Governance

Home Decorating
Statement of Governance

(Quick note: This document is a tongue-in-cheek way of demonstrating the real issue of how to create a SharePoint, intranet, or portal statement of governance.  See my blog entry for more details)

I. Goals

The idea of this governance document is to agree on a conflict-free mechanism for designing our new house.  We want this to result in the most attractive and livable house, with the least time and expense, and with pride of ownership for all involved.

To do this we will use the following definition of governance from Craig Roth:
Governance uses people, policy, and process to resolve ambiguity, manage short- and long-range goals, and mitigate conflict within an organization.

Resolve ambiguity: Make it clear who is in charge of buying things or making decisions so we don’t both assume we’re supposed to do something (or each of us assumes the other is calling the gas company to start service so we wind up freezing!)
Manage short- and long-range goals: We can spend infinite amounts of time and money on this house to make it perfect, but we need to be realistic and decide what we need to do now, what we can do in quickie fashion and improve later, and what we can just wait on.
Mitigate conflict within a family: Target: zero nights sleeping on the couch.  And zero minutes taken away from watching movies on the couch.

II. People

A. Roles

Each room must have at least one “designer” and “user”.

A designer gets to make the decisions on the layout and purchase of items in the room within the bounds of the policies below. “Co-designer” is possible too – no decision made without both spouses.

A user shuts up unless an opinion is asked for, in which case it is given gently and with no assumption of abdication of the designer role.

A consultant is an expert on one particular aspect of the room.

B. Assignments

Roles are assigned to actions as follows:

  • Living Room: Mrs. Roth is designer, Mr. Roth is user and “audio and cabinetry consultant”
  • Dining Room:Mrs. Roth is designer, Mr. Roth is user
  • Kitchen: Mrs. Roth is designer, Mr. Roth is user and “mini-TV and toaster oven consultant”
  • Rec Room: Mr. Roth is designer, Mrs. Roth is user
  • Master bedroom and bath: Mr. and Mrs. Roth are co-designers
  • Office: Mr. Roth is designer, Mrs. Roth is user
  • Baby’s room: Mrs. Roth is designer, Baby Roth is user
  • Deck: Mrs. Roth is designer, Mr. Roth is user and “audio, furniture, and barbecue consultant

III. Policy

The people heretofore mentioned have pre-agreed on these policies, leaving each person free to make decisions within the bounds of that policy.  So they have freedom to act, but within a given structure.

A. Pricing: Anything too expensive should be approved by the other spouse before purchasing.  Rule of thumb: over $200 (total for all items of that type) or anything that is at the high end for items of that type.
B. Permanence: It’s easy enough to live with something for a while and then change it later if someone doesn’t like it – as long as it’s not too permanent.  If it’s permanent or difficult to change, check first before pulling the trigger on that purchase.
C. Gender equality: We want a house that both genders can feel comfy in, so no pink lace curtains or wallpaper with football helmets.
D. Baby friendly: The rooms in the house should be babyproofed so that we don’t have to worry about the baby causing harm if we don’t watch him for a few seconds.  Exceptions are as noted in the “off limits to baby” appendix and determined by the “baby-free” process

IV. Process

Check first: Call, IM, or e-mail and wait for response.
Periodic informative status reviews: Each day as needed
Baby-free: A discussion between both spouses
Veto: If the other spouse absolutely hates something the designer picked out, the designer needs to try to return it or get rid of it


Rooms off limits to baby

These rooms are not baby proofed.  The baby may be here at times, but will require extra vigilance:

  • Master bedroom and bath
  • Office
  • Living room
  • Dining room


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