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Governance In An Agile World


Jim - March 3, 2020 - 0 comments

Can Agile Governance Add Value?

  • With processes that work for your world
  • With rapid decision-making at minimal cost
  1.               Reduce the time, effort of making decisions
  2.               Make them more frequently
  3.               Think Lean Start-Up: Less time spent making plans, quicker test of  your hypotheses
  4.               Have more opportunities to experiment, learn, change direction
  • With high visibility for priorities, status of work

Why Do We Need Agile Governance?

  • Things that take too long
  1. Time-to-market: 18 months instead of eight weeks
  2. Integration test cycles: too many, too many months
  • Things that often fail
  1. Coordination across Business Units
  2. Dependencies
  3. Handoffs
  • Confusion
  1. Lack of clarity around authority to make decisions
  2. “Too many cooks in the kitchen”
  3. Lack of understanding about what can be meaningfully estimated
  4. Inadequate determination of ROI to support portfolio decisions

Where To Begin

  • Imagine a large company that produces technology products
  • The most important question to answer about the continuing development of these products is not
  1. What features to build
  2. What technologies to use
  3. What infrastructure to develop
  4. How to manage development
  • The most important question is
  1. How do we decide what to do?
  • … because this covers everything else

It is About Decision Making …

  • Is often mentioned, but seldom defined
  • Is commonly seen as being about control
  • Is really about decisions that lead to actions
  • Our definition:
  1. “Governance is the formalization and exercise  of repeatable decision-making practices
  • In other words, Governance is how to decide what to do

Decision Making Detail

  • Agile Governance is an Agile style of decision making
  • Enables rapid decisions, based on lightweight artifacts developed with minimum effort
  1. Is applicable to any process (Agile, Plan-Driven, Hybrid, etc.)
  • Agile Governance reflects the values of the Agile Manifesto
  1. Emphasizes interaction, collaboration, results, adaptation to change
  • Over: Processes, tools, internal documents, contracts, plans
  • Agile Governance is adaptable, not rigidly prescriptive

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