Skip to main content

Agile Australia 2011 Series - Agile Governance

If you are in an industry that is heavily into governance you need some structure and process around your projects or you could find your Agile projects getting usurped by the culture of command and control. So it’s important not to shy away from the topic but to work with the entities that enforce and monitor governance. In this way you can create something that is fast and easy and not laborious to work with.

I work for an Apra regulated organisation and we made keenly aware of our obligation under Apra to evidence documented change when audited. However in all organisations I’ve ever worked in, there are boundaries that bend quite a bit, ways to change things and ways to get by that satisfy governance process without crippling your agile process.

There’s almost two alternating schools of thought here which are ‘work within process’ and ‘decide to change the process’.

It’s actually pretty easy for my team to work within process. Project approvals, mandates and PIDs that are important to enterprise project offices, happen at a PMO level which is pleasingly another layer away from my hot software development team. Whilst I’m astonished by the lack of information and substance by which you can get a project approved, I’m also grateful that the process is clear and uniform and is something that can support the way we approach our project delivery. This is also where I think a nifty picture can paint a thousand words, I’ve included mine here. This picture has been a great ‘talking board’ for how we execute our mandatory PMO governance at the project level. Note: it’s meaningless without the chatter that goes with it; you will need to go and speak to your project ‘governators’ as a first step.

Deciding to change the process altogether is an approach that requires senior exec buy-in to agile, and not just a buy-in but a deep appreciation of the differences between agile and waterfall delivery. Ask yourself if you really want to go and poke this bear, if you are not supported by your senior exec.

Finally in order to be believed and trusted by senior exec and PMO’s and not raise the hackles to the point that you demand closer inspection, it’s always a good idea to be achieving good predictable delivery and great results for the customer. How can you argue with a process if it’s churning out good predictable results again and again?

Comments

Benjamin Cain said…
They are the people who feel like growing or in the same way agile consultants are good enough with their own ways.

Popular posts from this blog

Business Requirement Documents are just no good and should be abolished from the world of creating software

I had hoped the world could have wholeheartedly rejected Business Requirement documents by now. For too long I’ve seen the repeated scenario of only commencing the creation of a new initiative with a requirements document.Unfortunately most organisations that have teams developing software still use these flawed anathemas to creativity as the status quo. Despite agile approaches maturing and customer-centric modes of design emerging, requirements documents still persist. 
If you work in an organisation that doesn’t use business requirement documents any more, read no further. You are lucky; sense has prevailed at your place however in my experience, you are still the minority.
Let's face it; addressing this issue is not always the point you want to start your improvement work when there's much that could be dysfunctional with how a team is delivering software. But now, I find myself as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take business requirement documents anymore. I want to …

My take on SAFe - Scaled Agile Framework for the Enterprise

Something I’ve observed recently amongst this agile/lean/start up/digitally disrupted community that I’m in, is there are a lot of‘SAFe haters’ dissing on SAFe out there.
Well I’ve just come from a giant organisation that is actually making a good fist of ‘doing SAFe’, so I feel like I’ve got an experienced based perspective on SAFe which might be of interest to some.
I’ve been chatting to people on this topic, it astonishes me the amount of opinion that is being shared on SAFe. The criticism and the eye rolling and statements about what it is and isn’t. There’s a growing anticipation over how it will be received and perceived at up coming Lean and Agile conferences, the sense of controversy is palpable. I’ve been soul searching over my own recent experiences. Digested into one sentence my opinion is: “SAFe – it ain’t so bad, but it’s not the answer either.”
So, in what ways do I thinkSAFe is good and can help?
Lining up iterations amongst several teams.
I’ve observed and executed a few…

Gamify your children

Inspired by James Ross’s LAST conference talk on The Shamification of Lamification and the Reclaimification of Gamification I was motivated to try and “Gamify” the school holidays for my three children, Leo aged 8, Chloe 9 and Max 10.
Buy-in is everything, so the first thing we did was a quick workshop to extract the kids ideas. I asked them to write their ideas for good rewards on sticky notes, with a few examples for context, such as ‘trip to the movies or ‘play date with a friend’ . They had 5 minutes to come up with their ideas – one idea per sticky note (as always).
They then read out their ideas for all of us to hear, there were a few duplicates and also a few comedy suggestions. Even though we had ruled out crazy stuff, such as rewards of a million dollars, Leo had written down ‘A unicorn for the back yard’ reading it out with gleeful giggles.
Then they spent 5 minutes writing down tasks that they could do to earn rewards. By now they had the hang of it and quickly came up with t…