What is Agile Governance?
Agile is here to stay for some it may look like a fad, but there is clear momentum around the need to adopt a more flexible mind-set when initiating innovation projects, especially in IT and fast moving technology-driven markets.
The Governance SIG is developing a new (slim) guide to 'Agile Governance'. At our 3rd monthly 'sprint' development meeting I explained our approach.
Here is a video of me explaining what we are doing:
The reason we are developing this guide is because organisations may jump without looking or understanding what they are taking on. Additionally, some organisations have jumped on the agile bandwagon and have proudly trumpeted their adoption of the latest thinking without really understanding it or its impact.
Herein lays the key question what is agile? After attending a few recent APM SIG Governance sessions it is clear that agile needs to be seen as a mind-set as opposed to a model. Automated models can help but a great deal of agile is around people (interaction) and ways of thinking not only within the teams but also the board room.
What are some of the early themes to be considered for successful agile adoption and management?
1.Agile needs to be sponsored from the top.A top heavy and inflexible management team, and associated red tape, will not enable successful Agile adoption. Like any major transformation top management must be seen to be behind agile adoption and be able to remove blocks and foster creativity throughout the organisation. It is critical that the role of the sponsor understands their role and demonstrates the core agile principles in their behaviours.
2.Agile means empowerment. Good agile teams take ownership of their work and ensure objectives can be met.Trust and good communications are key for this to succeed. Cooperation and pragmatism are also vital.
3.Agile needs some traditional controls. A bad agile project is equivalent to a bad waterfall project and there is understandable concern that chaos will reign in a flexible-empowered world. Agile projects need to present themselves in ways that everyone can understand (especially for point 1 - top management). Traditional metrics and controls such as roadmaps, value mapping, earned value analysis and simple activity reports are still key to ensure agile projects are clearly visible and can deliver.
It is still early days in trying to map out how we can all manage agile projects more efficiently and effectively, but the basics of agile governance are becoming clearer with each APM session onto the next one!
To get involved in these monthly meetings please register your interest here.
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With pressures on costs and efficiency, the trend appears to continue for ever increasing instances of co-owned projects - whether it is government-to-government, government-to-industry, industry-to-industry or other forms of joint projects. If you are involved in one of those, then the Governance of Co-Owned Projects is for you!
Directing Agile Change is the first ‘how to’ agile guide published by APM. It seeks to recognise that agile is not limited to software development but can also be applied to many aspects of an organisation. This webinar launched the guide 'Directing Agile Change: Guidance to the governance of Agile Project Management', and presented its rationale and highlights.