A Holacracy app is an extra application in the Holacracy operating system. It is a ready-to-use approach for issues that are not described in the Holacracy constitution (such as, for example, hiring people). Apps are complete sets of proposals for governance meetings, with a ribbon around it. They are short-cuts, because you can just copy a complete set or use it as a foundation and make some changes for yourself.

Use an app to build onto Holacracy

All the rules related to Holacracy are described in the Holacracy constitution. In other words: Holacracy doesn’t tell you how to deal with hiring people, compensation models, evaluations, integration with other methodologies, such as, for example, Scrum. Any organization can build such a process onto Holacracy as they see fit.

What does an Holacracy app like that look like?

The actual form of Holacracy apps is not software but governance. If you look at Holacracy as an Operating System, you can see these solutions as ‘apps’.

With an app, you build onto the foundation of Holacracy, just like you build onto the system of Windows, using the program Word. Or like the Apple app store. Here, you can download software to add new functionalities to the operating system IOS: apps. The same applies to Holacracy. You can develop countless apps and run them on the system, as long as they meet the conditions for the operating system; the ‘programming language’ must fit the system.

A Holacracy app is a ready-to-use proposal you can use at a governance meeting. This proposal may be a regular governance policy (or several). You can adjust an app yourself and apply it to the specific situation of your tension and organization. You don’t even have to be too detailed in designing it. Because, if you have gained practical experience with a workable app, you will be able to adjust it to your specific situation later during a governance meeting.

Develop apps in collaboration with partner organizations

Together with partner organizations, we want to interact about the content of all kinds of subjects and how this can be secured in the form of governance. Within the Energized.org community we share apps, so that others can have a quick start.

Example: a compensation app

One example of an app is this Badge-based Compensation App.

The badge system is a system where the compensation of all partners is determined by badges. Badges are usable skills for the organization (such as talent, knowledge of a subject area, capacity, etc.). It is a transparent model and the compensation is determined through mutual evaluations. It is a flexible system that can continually be adjusted to reality.

For this system, you can use the Badge-based Compensation App from HolacracyOne’s app store. It has various roles in it, such as badge librarian, administrator, compensation of architect and guard. Those roles are described with purpose, accountabilities and domains. Policies are also described around, for example, acquiring or losing badges.

So, even though the subject of ‘compensation’ is not mentioned or explained in the constitution, you can use Holacracy style with a Holacracy app to help you.