Procedural governance refers to the processes, rules, and procedures that organizations follow to make decisions, implement policies, and ensure accountability.
What is Procedural Governance?
Soft governance refers to processes, procedures, standards of conduct, and rituals of governance systems that are extrinsic to their onchain code deployment.
Many protocols have improvement proposal (IP) frameworks for ideating, discussing, and enacting key changes. While ecosystem actors will typically hew to these agreed norms to retain support of the wider community, the relevant updates can generally be made with a simple onchain vote even if the proposer didn't follow proper etiquette.
Protocols Using Procedural Governance:
Weekly vote bundles
Maker Improvement Proposals (MIPs)
Suggested proposal process
MakerDAO has highly developed soft governance frameworks for curating weekly vote bundles and facilitating Maker Improvement Proposals. Elected facilitators play a key role in judging proposal coherence and validity via an offchain submission process, while series of non-binding poll votes determine whether specific initiatives can advance to a full onchain vote. These procedural norms have strong backing from the Maker community, but the core system will recognize MKR vote results regardless of adherence to these rules.
Uniswap published a suggested process for making governance proposals, from initial conception through to implementation. While any user with greater than 10 million UNI voting power is able to submit a proposal, Uniswap's soft governance procedure involves several preliminary polling and discussion steps to build consensus before calling an onchain vote.