Agile Governance
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Presented by Dr Robert Firth, Senior Member, Software Engineering at NUS-ISS at the ISS Seminar - Agile Software Development: Swift the and Shift on 18 July 2014.

Presented by Dr Robert Firth, Senior Member, Software Engineering at NUS-ISS at the ISS Seminar - Agile Software Development: Swift the and Shift on 18 July 2014.

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  • 1. Slide 1Copyright © 2014 National University of Singapore ATA/TUS-Agile Governance V1.0 Agile Governance Robert Firth robertjf@nus.edu.sg Copyright © 2014 NUS. Total slides = 17 Agile has a light side and a dark side
  • 2. Slide 2Copyright © 2014 National University of Singapore ATA/TUS-Agile Governance V1.0 Outline of the Session  How did Agile happen?  What are its key ideas?  What is appropriate Agile governance?
  • 3. Slide 3Copyright © 2014 National University of Singapore ATA/TUS-Agile Governance V1.0 A (very) brief History of Agile  Takeuchi Hirotaka & Nonaka Ikujiro: The New Product Development Game (1986) – introduced the SCRUM concept  Jeff Sutherland & Ken Schwaber (1990s) – brought the ideas to the West  Alistair Cockburn: Crystal Family (1990s)  Kent Beck et al: Extreme Programming (1998)  Group of 17: The Agile Manifesto (2001) www.agilemanifesto.org
  • 4. Slide 4Copyright © 2014 National University of Singapore ATA/TUS-Agile Governance V1.0 What are the Key Ideas of Agile?  Agile is a way to conduct IT projects  It uses small teams with diverse skills  It is focused on a single mission: – to produce innovative functions and features, that deliver the best possible value to the customer  It is incremental, user centred, and reflective
  • 5. Slide 5Copyright © 2014 National University of Singapore ATA/TUS-Agile Governance V1.0 Agile Methodologies  There are many Agile methodologies – SCRUM – the Crystal Family – Extreme Programming (XP) – Lean Development – Evolutionary Development Model (EVO) – ...  They evolved out of earlier practices – Spiral Model – Joint Application Development (JAD) – ...  One common thread is that the customer is part of the development team Agile is about People Processes Things
  • 6. Slide 6Copyright © 2014 National University of Singapore ATA/TUS-Agile Governance V1.0 Traditional versus Agile - People  hierarchy synergy  seniority competence  directed autonomous  managers coordinators  workers collaborators  trained mentored  appraisal reflection People are trusted: to do the right things, at the right time, in the right way
  • 7. Slide 7Copyright © 2014 National University of Singapore ATA/TUS-Agile Governance V1.0 Traditional versus Agile - Processes  plans tactics  linear iterative  rule based goal based  scheduled time boxed  quality assured peer reviewed  task based rôle based In an Agile project, quality is not tested in: it is designed in
  • 8. Slide 8Copyright © 2014 National University of Singapore ATA/TUS-Agile Governance V1.0 Traditional versus Agile - Things  requirements needs  content context  deliverables value  documentation communication  critical path priority list  baselined evolving  reports events  cubes workrooms Things that do not deliver value to the customer probably need not exist
  • 9. Slide 9Copyright © 2014 National University of Singapore ATA/TUS-Agile Governance V1.0 Recapitulation  Agile is not a great new invention; it is the consolidated result of a lot of experience, experiment, thinking, and lessons learned  It succeeds as much because of what it does not do as because of what it does do  It requires a change in the way people at all levels and with all competencies think about, perform, and guide projects  We shall now move on to the issue of governance
  • 10. Slide 10Copyright © 2014 National University of Singapore ATA/TUS-Agile Governance V1.0 Agile Governance - Issues  An Agile project is subject to the same “people risks” as any other IT project – teams focus on difficult problems, not important ones – they adopt innovation because it is “cool” even when inappropriate – they revisit solved problems to effect dubious improvements that are costly and disruptive – they sometimes fall into technical conflicts that become personal conflicts – they build what they would like to use, not what the customer needs to use  Managing these risks is the main purpose of Project Governance
  • 11. Slide 11Copyright © 2014 National University of Singapore ATA/TUS-Agile Governance V1.0 Key People  Product Owner – the person responsible for all delivered value – maintains an up-to-date, prioritised list of customer needs, expressed as tasks that will deliver tangible value – the Product Backlog  Scrum Master – the mentor and coordinator of an Agile team, but emphatically not a manager or giver of orders  Skill Owner – everyone else – each team member maintains a skills inventory: what they can do and how well they can do it
  • 12. Slide 12Copyright © 2014 National University of Singapore ATA/TUS-Agile Governance V1.0 Agile Governance - Techniques  Agile governance is needed at three levels – internal to the team » the responsibility of the Scrum Master – between team and customer » the responsibility of the Product Owner – above both developer and customer » the responsibility of higher management  The internal measure of success is simple: how often are issues escalated from one level to another? The fewer, the better
  • 13. Slide 13Copyright © 2014 National University of Singapore ATA/TUS-Agile Governance V1.0 Internal Governance  The Scrum Master must ensure – all development work addresses a specific customer need – the effort expended is proportional to the benefit – the correct skill sets are present in all team members – alternative technical approaches are evaluated using objective criteria – work done and accepted by the Product Owner is not redone unless so requested – user feedback from deployed increments is accepted and acted upon without dispute  Making this happen is perhaps the hardest part of being a Scrum Master – at times you have to be a demon
  • 14. Slide 14Copyright © 2014 National University of Singapore ATA/TUS-Agile Governance V1.0 Relationship Governance  The Product Owner must ensure – the Voice of the Customer is accurate, comprehensive, and agreed to by all stakeholders – the Product Backlog is traceable to the VoC at the necessary level of detail – the Product Backlog is prioritised based on customer need, and this prioritisation is accepted by the team – deliverables accepted are fielded without delay, and real-world feedback is collected and communicated – changes that affect the Product Backlog are costed and again prioritised – any user experience testing is based on user stories or scenarios, and ad-hoc testing is deprecated  The Product Owner is the guardian angel of customer value
  • 15. Slide 15Copyright © 2014 National University of Singapore ATA/TUS-Agile Governance V1.0 Higher Governance  Higher Management must ensure – both Scrum Masters and Product Owners are exercising due diligence at their level of responsibility – value delivered is measured accurately and honestly – real-world feedback is honest and comprehensive – needed project changes are surfaced and communicated without delay, from both parties – any breakdown of the lower levels of governance is addressed by immediate and decisive intervention  The last issue is why Agile must have the whole- hearted and educated support of higher management; it cannot be a “skunkworks” project
  • 16. Slide 16Copyright © 2014 National University of Singapore ATA/TUS-Agile Governance V1.0 How to Become Agile  1. Read the books  2. Read guides such as – http://www.agiledata.org/essays/becomingAgile.html  3. Practice, practice, practice  4. When you are ready, get certified – http://certifications.bcs.org/category/17491
  • 17. Slide 17Copyright © 2014 National University of Singapore ATA/TUS-Agile Governance V1.0