It is important to note that some groups may need far more off-chain interaction and support with coherence building to achieve their objectives than others.
Soft governance refers to the off-chain processes that build trust and collaboration between the people involved in the DAO.
Hard governance can be thought of as actions that happen on the protocol level outside of soft governance or human relationships. For example, when using Alchemy in a DAO; hard governance looks like agents carrying out actions like submitting proposals, staking on the proposals of others and voting.
In the Genesis Alpha DAO, for instance, many aspects of “soft governance’” are important, because we are small in number (188 people with about 40 active members).
Example: The Culture of the Genesis DAO
Our culture is welcoming and encouraging and yet communication between members is direct. Our values and principles have emerged organically - they are not fixed or set, different people and subgroups influence the culture of the group. Things move fast (updates to the technology, the blockchain world in general, our understanding of what a DAO could be) and people are expected to to be dynamic and agile enough to respond to change, to be accountable for delivering, and for taking action. Robust discussion on asynchronous, online channels is fast moving and yet we still have a culture of welcoming in newcomers. One challenge we have is engaging the wider organization (150 people) beyond a small active group of 25 "Pollinators" (the name we've given to community members and a larger active group of 40-50 people). We’d like to see the majority of the group engaged.
In contrast, many open source projects need little more than kanban boards and github tickets with tasks and budgets to be able to develop software together.