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Introduction to Recipes for Agile Governance in the Enterprise (RAGE)

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Large enterprises that develop software cannot function without structure, but often develop structures that cripple productivity and impair responsiveness to customer needs. This Webinar introduces …

Large enterprises that develop software cannot function without structure, but often develop structures that cripple productivity and impair responsiveness to customer needs. This Webinar introduces an approach to building effective structures by introducing the concept of Agile governance.

Agile governance provides formalized practices for decision making (governance) which incorporate the principles of the Agile Manifesto and Lean Engineering. The result is a set of simple recipes for selecting, planning, organizing, and tracking work at all levels in the organization (the Portfolio, Program, and Project levels), which apply within or across Business Units. We also provide guidance on how to develop new recipes, when needed.

This webinar introduces the basic concepts of Agile governance. We will look at some existing concepts (such as Scrum of Scrums and SAFe), and lay the foundations for subsequent webinars that address specific scenarios of common interest.

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  • Mention plans to enable people to submit their own
  • Air Force Colonel and military strategist John Boyd developed the Observe, Orient, Decide, Act loop.W. Edwards Deming developed the Plan, Do, Check, Act loop.We will use a very simple model here.
  • 1. Roles: A Role defines areas of responsibility and authority associated with different aspects ofgovernance. People who fulfill these Roles collaborate with others in the process of making decisions,but have specific areas of authority that are theirs alone, and not shared with any other people orRoles. This authority is typically constrained by checks and balances (often in form of other Roles withother types of authority) so that no one person can rule in an autocratic fashion, but also cannot beoverruled by others. This conception of Roles providesa. clarity, in terms of which people are the sole sources for certain types of information ordecisions,b. decisiveness, by avoiding “rule by committee” which can otherwise produce endless debateand little action2. Ceremonies: Ceremonies are recurring meetings, with specific and standardized agendas,attendance, and practices. Each ceremony has a particular purpose (addressed in more detail inSection 11.1.3).3. Artifacts: Different artifacts serve different purposes, but most decisions make use of artifacts tosome degree.4. Tracking and Metrics: Tracking performance of work against plans is important, because withouttracking, the actual deliverables and delivery dates may have little in common with the needs we areattempting to address. Tracking always involves the collection of status information, the creation ofuseful metrics that depend on this information, and comparison of the metrics to the planned ordesired values. Effective tracking enables swift detection of problems and speeds their resolution, whileineffective tracking does the opposite. In some cases, the information provided by tracking mayprovide information that leads to large changes in direction, or even cancellation of planned work.5. Governance Points: A governance point is a moment at which someone who fulfills a particular Rolemakes a decision in the domain of that Role’s authority, based on standard practices, metrics, andartifacts. Many Governance Points are Ceremonies, but some occur on the fly, as needed.
  • 1. Roles: A Role defines areas of responsibility and authority associated with different aspects ofgovernance. People who fulfill these Roles collaborate with others in the process of making decisions,but have specific areas of authority that are theirs alone, and not shared with any other people orRoles. This authority is typically constrained by checks and balances (often in form of other Roles withother types of authority) so that no one person can rule in an autocratic fashion, but also cannot beoverruled by others. This conception of Roles providesa. clarity, in terms of which people are the sole sources for certain types of information ordecisions,b. decisiveness, by avoiding “rule by committee” which can otherwise produce endless debateand little action2. Ceremonies: Ceremonies are recurring meetings, with specific and standardized agendas,attendance, and practices. Each ceremony has a particular purpose (addressed in more detail inSection 11.1.3).3. Artifacts: Different artifacts serve different purposes, but most decisions make use of artifacts tosome degree.4. Tracking and Metrics: Tracking performance of work against plans is important, because withouttracking, the actual deliverables and delivery dates may have little in common with the needs we areattempting to address. Tracking always involves the collection of status information, the creation ofuseful metrics that depend on this information, and comparison of the metrics to the planned ordesired values. Effective tracking enables swift detection of problems and speeds their resolution, whileineffective tracking does the opposite. In some cases, the information provided by tracking mayprovide information that leads to large changes in direction, or even cancellation of planned work.5. Governance Points: A governance point is a moment at which someone who fulfills a particular Rolemakes a decision in the domain of that Role’s authority, based on standard practices, metrics, andartifacts. Many Governance Points are Ceremonies, but some occur on the fly, as needed.
  • 1. Roles: A Role defines areas of responsibility and authority associated with different aspects ofgovernance. People who fulfill these Roles collaborate with others in the process of making decisions,but have specific areas of authority that are theirs alone, and not shared with any other people orRoles. This authority is typically constrained by checks and balances (often in form of other Roles withother types of authority) so that no one person can rule in an autocratic fashion, but also cannot beoverruled by others. This conception of Roles providesa. clarity, in terms of which people are the sole sources for certain types of information ordecisions,b. decisiveness, by avoiding “rule by committee” which can otherwise produce endless debateand little action2. Ceremonies: Ceremonies are recurring meetings, with specific and standardized agendas,attendance, and practices. Each ceremony has a particular purpose (addressed in more detail inSection 11.1.3).3. Artifacts: Different artifacts serve different purposes, but most decisions make use of artifacts tosome degree.4. Tracking and Metrics: Tracking performance of work against plans is important, because withouttracking, the actual deliverables and delivery dates may have little in common with the needs we areattempting to address. Tracking always involves the collection of status information, the creation ofuseful metrics that depend on this information, and comparison of the metrics to the planned ordesired values. Effective tracking enables swift detection of problems and speeds their resolution, whileineffective tracking does the opposite. In some cases, the information provided by tracking mayprovide information that leads to large changes in direction, or even cancellation of planned work.5. Governance Points: A governance point is a moment at which someone who fulfills a particular Rolemakes a decision in the domain of that Role’s authority, based on standard practices, metrics, andartifacts. Many Governance Points are Ceremonies, but some occur on the fly, as needed.
  • We are talking about SAFe because we have had many questions about how SAFe does or doesn’t relate to Agile Governance.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Instructor: Kevin Thompson, PhD, PMP, ACP, CSP, CSM The leader in training and consulting for project management and agile development Principles of Agile Governance
    • 2. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 2 Who is cPrime? Engaged For Your Project-management Success
    • 3. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 3 Who Are You? 1) How big is your organization? 2) What is the dominant type of project in your portfolio? 3) Which of these best characterizes the products you develop?
    • 4. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 4 Start Communicating! • Download the white paper “Recipes for Agile Governance (RAGE): The Enterprise Web.” • Email: agileexpert@cprime.com • Social media: #RAGEwebinar • Chat room: http://us11.chatzy.com/89016233074361. Password: RAGE • Share ideas and you could win an iPad! http://www.cprimelabs.org:8090/display/AgileGov/Agile+Governance+Home • Give a real world example of how a company could use one of the principles discussed in the white paper/webinar. • Tell us about the biggest problem you face that this model would address.
    • 5. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 5 After the webinar… • We will send directions to collect the PDU you will earn from attending this webinar • We will also send a links to the recorded webinar and presentation slides once they are posted online • Please hold your questions until the end of the presentation
    • 6. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 6 About Our Presenter Kevin Thompson, Ph.D., has a doctorate in Physics from Princeton University, and extensive background in managing software development projects. He specializes in training individuals, teams, and organizations in agile development. Dr. Thompson helps companies make the challenging transition to agile development by working with development teams and business stakeholders to identify their needs, define the right process for the business, determine the steps needed to implement the process, and work through the steps successfully. Dr. Thompson has Project Management Professional (PMP), Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP), Scrum Master (CSM), and Scrum Practitioner (CSP) certifications. Kevin Thompson
    • 7. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 7 What will You Learn Today? • Not a particular Agile process like Scrum, Kanban, or SAFe • But the principles that will enable you to create processes like these, at any level in an enterprise from project to portfolio • You will no longer be constrained by what processes already exist • E.g., if you like SAFe, use it. If you don’t, create your own process. We are sharing knowledge gleaned from years of work with very small to very large clients • This information has not been made public before • Now, it is yours • We intend to provide an open-source solution over time
    • 8. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 8 How will Principles of Agile Governance Benefit You? 1. With processes that work for your world 2. With rapid decision-making at minimal cost • Reduce the time, effort of making decisions • Make them more frequently • Think Lean Start-Up: Less time spent making plans, quicker test of your hypotheses • Have more opportunities to experiment, learn, change direction 3. With high visibility for priorities, status of work
    • 9. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 9 Coming Now, and Coming Soon Now • The principles of Agile Governance. This is the foundation for what follows. Soon • Follow-up presentations of practical examples for a variety of real-world scenarios • Portfolio, Program, and Project levels • Agile and Hybrid Projects • Metrics, Artifacts, and Techniques
    • 10. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 10 Motivation: Common Enterprise Problems • Things that take too long • Time-to-market: 18 months instead of eight weeks • Integration test cycles: too many, too many months • Things that often fail • Coordination across Business Units • Dependencies • Handoffs • Confusion • Lack of clarity around authority to make decisions • “Too many cooks in the kitchen” • Lack of understanding about what can be meaningfully estimated • Inadequate determination of ROI to support portfolio decisions
    • 11. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 11 Poll Which of the following is your greatest challenge?
    • 12. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 12 What doesn’t Work • Business as usual • We’ve tried that. We’re still looking… • A random collection of point solutions • Every problem has a context • Point solutions help, but are often too narrow • Scaling Agile • The cure is not “scaling Agile.” It is creating solutions that work. • Companies have complex and widely-varying needs, including hybrid processes, that can't be addressed by a one-side fits all "Agile scaling" framework. • Agile processes (Scrum, XP, Kanban) are not always the right solution! There are valid reasons for using plan-driven and hybrid processes.
    • 13. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 13 Begin by Forgetting what You Know Imagine a large company that produces technology products The most important question to answer about the continuing development of these products is not • What features to build • What technologies to use • What infrastructure to develop • How to manage development The most important question is • How do we decide what to do? … because this covers everything else
    • 14. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 14 Analyze DecideAct Decision Loops are Key 1. Analysis guides decisions 2. Decisions drive actions 3. Actions produce results, which inform a new analysis • The better our decisions, the better our results • Focus should be to optimize decision-making • This focus leads us to the concept of “governance”
    • 15. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 15 Governance • Is often mentioned, but seldom defined • Is commonly seen as being about control • Is really about decisions that lead to actions Our definition: “Governance is the formalization and exercise of repeatable decision-making practices” • In other words, Governance is how to decide what to do
    • 16. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 16 Agile Governance • Agile Governance is an Agile style of governance • Enables rapid decisions, based on lightweight artifacts developed with minimum effort • Is applicable to any process (Agile, Plan-Driven, Hybrid, etc.) • Agile Governance reflects the values of the Agile Manifesto Emphasizes interaction, collaboration, results, adaptation to change Over Processes, tools, internal documents, contracts, plans • Agile Governance is adaptable, not rigidly prescriptive Customizable recipes “Thou Shalt Do Things Exactly as Prescribed” 
    • 17. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 17 Levels of Governance • Classic perspective • Project: Temporary endeavor to deliver a fixed scope • Program: Collection of linked projects • Portfolio: Group of Programs/Projects to be managed together • Classic definitions don’t map well to Agile world, but… • Hierarchical organization is still relevant. • Our levels for Agile Governance • Project Level: Refers to work of a single Team, which is a persistent grouping of people • Program Level: Refers to the collaboration between Teams • Portfolio Level: Refers to the development and management of business initiatives that lead to program- and project-level work
    • 18. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 18 Levels of Governance
    • 19. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 19 What is your biggest issue in portfolio governance? Poll
    • 20. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 20 Inspiration from Scrum • Scrum is our “pathfinder” process, because it • Is prescriptive enough to have a meaningful identity • Supports customization for local needs • A Scrum process provides many “governance points” at which decisions are made, in meetings or on the fly • We seek not to “scale up Scrum,” but to 1. Understand how governance is conducted in Scrum 2. Develop principles that can be applied in other contexts
    • 21. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 21 Principles versus Recipes: What’s the Point? Define “governance recipe” to be a mildly prescriptive and customizable technique for making a specific type of decision • A process such as Scrum contains a particular set of governance recipes • Scrum as “Prix Fixe” menu • The point is not to meet only the needs of purely-Agile projects • Unrealistic to expect a single “Agile scaling” framework to handle the variety of practical, real-world scenarios (e.g., hybrid projects) • The point is to • Understand the principles that enable effective governance • Help you to construct useful governance recipes to organize work effectively for your world
    • 22. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 22 Some Common Principles for Agile Governance 1. Standard Recipe Elements 2. Common Role Types 3. Categories of Governance Points 4. “Good Enough” is “Good Enough” 5. Granularity 6. Definition of Done 7. Handoffs Download Recipes for Agile Governance: The Enterprise Web from www.cprime.com for much more detail
    • 23. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 23 How the Principles Work Together Recipes have Standard Elements, including Common Role Types and Categories of Governance Points. We organize deliverables at each level into a small number of coarse- Granularity items, which we rank by value, and for which our estimates for effort, value, etc. should be Good Enough for the current need, and no better. Work is always completed to a Definition of Done, and the Handoff from source to receiver is accomplished through sustained interaction over time. Download Recipes for Agile Governance: The Enterprise Web from www.cprime.com for much more detail
    • 24. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 24 1: Standard Recipe Elements 1. Roles A Role defines areas of responsibility associated with different aspects of governance. People who fulfill these Roles collaborate with others to decisions, but have sole authority over their area. 2. Ceremonies Ceremonies are recurring meetings, with specific and standardized agendas, attendance, and practices, and for specific purposes. 3. Artifacts Different artifacts serve different purposes (requirements, planning, etc.), but most decisions make use of artifacts to some degree. 4. Tracking and Metrics Tracking progress requires collecting data for useful metrics. 5. Governance Points A governance point is a moment at which someone who fulfills a particular Role makes a decision in the domain of that Role’s authority, based on standard practices, metrics, and artifacts.
    • 25. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 25 Example: Scrum Recipe Elements 1. Roles ScrumMaster owns process. Product Owner owns product requirements. Team owns estimates, and task definition / assignment. 2. Ceremonies Backlog Grooming, Sprint Planning, Daily Stand-Up, Sprint Review, Retrospective 3. Artifacts Stories, Task Breakdowns. 4. Tracking and Metrics Taskboard, Burndown Chart. 5. Governance Points Story completed to Definition of Done. Product Owner approval of Story.
    • 26. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 26 Example: Waterfall Recipe Elements 1. Roles Project Manager manages project. Program Manager manages set of projects and their interactions. Product Manager develops high-level product requirements. Business Analysts develop detailed requirements. Project Team implements product. QA Team tests product. 2. Ceremonies Daily Status Meetings, Post-Mortems 3. Artifacts Product Requirements Documents, Change Requests, Task definitions, Project schedule. 4. Tracking and Metrics Gantt Chart, % done per Task 5. Governance Points Phase Gates
    • 27. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 27 2: Common Role Types These responsibilities are very common, and it is useful to formalize the responsibilities and authority into associated Roles 1. Define specifications for deliverables 2. Monitor progress, remove impediments, and enforce the defined process 3. Build and validate deliverables Example: Scrum Roles • Product Owner • ScrumMaster • Team
    • 28. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 28 3: Categories of Governance Points These types of decisions occur frequently 1. Develop Specifications for Deliverables 2. Rank Deliverables 3. Plan Implementation 4. Perform Implementation 5. Monitor Status of Work These resemble the Project Management Institute’s Process Groups, but differ because the notion of a Project as a one-off effort to deliver a unique result differs from the concept of continuing work to augment products over time.
    • 29. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 29 4: “Good Enough” is Good Enough Estimates for scope, effort, or value for a new product or feature are not possible. • Goal of estimation should be a number that is good enough to meet immediate needs, and no better.
    • 30. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 30 5: Granularity At all levels • Define, estimate, and plan deliverables at coarse granularity, focusing on a modest set at any one time • Work by ranking (sequencing) deliverables, and estimating what will fit into a specific period of time • Use simple decision criteria, and crude (but quick) estimates to enable rapid decision making and quick generation of plans It is occasionally necessary to create longer-term plans at a detailed level (as for Release planning), but these are costly and time-consuming efforts, and seldom appropriate for what-if analyses. Engage in these efforts only when the cost is truly justified.
    • 31. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 31 6: Definition of Done A “Definition of Done” (DoD) is a policy statement about generic criteria that work on deliverables must satisfy before work can be considered “done.” It excludes specific test cases for specific deliverables. Examples: • A DoD can be created for a specific Team’s work on Stories (the DoD for Stories) • A set of Teams doing similar work may share a DoD for their Stories • An organization may define a DoD for a product release, that must be satisfied before the product can be released to production for use by customers
    • 32. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 32 7: Handoffs Handoffs of information or work from one group (source) to another (receiver) are common. Handoffs can be conducted in three ways. 1. Documentation: Source writes a document or fills out a form 2. Discussion: Source and Receiver meet to discuss the handoff, and ensure that it is successful 3. Collaboration: Source and Receiver meet as many times as needed to work through issues, and do whatever work is needed after meetings to make the handoff successful The right choice depending on the degree of complexity and uncertainty involved. These are often under-estimated, resulting in handoffs that fail.
    • 33. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 33 Governance versus Scaling versus SAFe • The focus of scaling is to create an Agile process, for a particular type of deliverable, that works on larger scales than one Team. SAFe is an example of such a scaled process. • The focus of Agile Governance is to discover principles that enable the development of effective decision-making recipes that work at all levels, and across multiple organizations or business units, in a large enterprise. • A particular process, such as SAFe, can be described by a particular set of Agile governance recipes • SAFe defines specific and highly prescriptive practices for developing and delivering software applications. It defines technology-related roles and a variety of software-engineering practices, mixing decision- making and execution into a single process. It is not designed to address heterogeneous environments with widely-varying needs.
    • 34. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 34 Conclusion • The Principles of Agile Governance enable rapid decision- making through a combination of standard elements • The focus is to create or customize a process by defining a set of Agile Governance Recipes that define how decision-making is done for that process • Some processes (like Scrum) come with these • Some (like Kanban) are standardized but incomplete, and can be “retrofitted” with governance recipes • Some must be developed from scratch, for specific situations • Enterprises routinely have a combination of processes, some Agile, and some not • These principles are not limited to a specific context, but are useful for a wide variety of situations and processes
    • 35. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 35 Coming Up: Practical Recipes for Different Worlds • We have presented some principles for effective and Agile governance • Our follow-up presentations will provide examples of practical recipes for specific situations:  Portfolio Governance  Program Governance for Application Development  Program Governance for Production Deployment  Project Governance for Distributed Scrum Teams
    • 36. Copyright 2013, cPrime Inc. 36 Question & Answer

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