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Perceptions of Agile Governance - Mar 2013

Perceptions of Agile Governance - Mar 2013



Slides from my talk to Unicom "Agile in the Public Sector" on 7 March, 2013. Governance is about decision making. If you don't address it head on, then people will waste a lot of time on demarcation ...

Slides from my talk to Unicom "Agile in the Public Sector" on 7 March, 2013. Governance is about decision making. If you don't address it head on, then people will waste a lot of time on demarcation disputes & etc.

Agile changes several aspects of decision making -- the locus of authority, the timing of decisions, notions of "best practice" -- but it doesn't change the need to make decisions about priorities, resources, tools, etc. So you need to think about governance.

This talk discusses some work I've been doing to help organisations and teams explore differing views of decision rights and processes. If you can't talk about governance, then you sure as hell can't manage it.



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  • Good governance means you can focus your energy on the decision, rather than the decision making process.This means you canFocus on important decisionsMake good choicesMake them in an efficient way
  • Developer group saw it as complex and a joint responsibility between them and the project manager.    Project Managers saw it as simple and not their problem — they left it for the team & IT exec to decide.  in an organisation, that'd be a recipe for the developers to want to plan some experimentation and expect their PM to support them in doing this, while the PM would just expect the team to make a choice & get on with it
  • Fingerpointing between project manager & devs, with dev managers having a totally different view again…?
  • These are where the curveballs are coming from. Are the project managers to inwardly focused (it’s the team which causes them most trouble)? Can speculate, but real point is this gives you a sign of where to investigate further…
  • Who I amIndependent consultantDo 2 things – help set up project (untangle complexity); help keep in touch with what’s going onUnusual perspective on assurancePortfolio of mid-size projects rather than single large programmeDifferent twists, but aligns to where many organisations are at, so will share experienceAgenda

Perceptions of Agile Governance - Mar 2013 Perceptions of Agile Governance - Mar 2013 Presentation Transcript

  • Perceptions of GovernancePerceptions of GovernanceMarch 2013 1
  • AgileGovernancePerceptions of GovernanceMarch 2013 3
  • AgileGovernancePerceptions of GovernanceMarch 2013 4
  • AgileGovernancePerceptions of GovernanceMarch 2013 5
  • Agenda What is governance? Why agile changes governance A tool to explore people’s perceptions ResultsPerceptions of GovernanceMarch 2013 6
  • Institute on Governance (www.iog.ca) They follow an We know which acceptable process decisions matter (“due process”) Governance is the process whereby societies or organisations make important decisions, determine whom they involve and how they render account.The right people are They track outcomes & involved in these act to improve them decisionsPerceptions of GovernanceMarch 2013 7
  • Summary (scalpel)Perceptions of GovernanceMarch 2013 8 gothick_matt
  • Agile … … questions locus of authority … questions applicability of “best practice” … questions timing (“last responsible moment”) … doesn’t remove need to make decisions … so doesn’t remove existence of governance … may change governance structures & stylePerceptions of GovernanceMarch 2013 9
  • Decisions? What corporate infrastructure? What algorithm to use? Which projects to prioritise? What budget & resources to allocate? Are we ready for release?What development infrastructure? Which stories to prioritise?What to do today? What tools to use? Perceptions of Governance March 2013 10
  • 1 Identify differences and open up discussionPerceptions of Governance Gather a body of data 2March 2013 11
  • Perceptions of GovernanceMarch 2013 12
  • Perceptions of GovernanceMarch 2013 13
  • Perceptions of GovernanceMarch 2013 14
  • We’d need to do Cynefinan experiment or We’d assemble a team of experts pilot/prototypeIf we need to think Dave Snowden I can just decide and do itabout this, we’re in Perceptions of Governance the 2013 March wrong place 15
  • Perceptions of GovernanceMarch 2013 16
  • Perceptions of GovernanceMarch 2013 17
  • Some results N=50+ Exec Middle Mgr TeamPerceptions of GovernanceMarch 2013 18
  • Who chooses the development process? Complex. Belongs to team plus PM. “Belongs to me” Perceptions of Governance Simple (“just do it”). March 2013 19 Belongs to team plus exec1/12
  • Who allocates resources? Project Manager “Belongs to me” Perceptions of Governance Anyone but me. March 2013 224/12
  • What level of commitment can we make? Perceptions of Governance March 2013 246/12
  • Is this story ready for implementation? Perceptions of Governance March 2013 268/12
  • Who sets budgets? BCS Agile North Perceptions of Governance March 2013 2810/12
  • Who prioritises work? BCS Agile North Perceptions of Governance March 2013 2911/12
  • “Chaos” decisions Estimation Objectives Costs Estimation Work Allocation (Developers also saw these as belonging to team, but Development managers thought they owned work allocation.)Perceptions of GovernanceMarch 2013 32
  • Final thoughts governance He who forgets history is condemned to repeat it. Good governance lets you focus energy on decisions, not process If you don’t define governance up front, you revisit it for every decision Agile shifts the locus and timing of decisions It doesn’t remove the need to think about governance People have divergent opinions who should make which decision This derails projects & programmes, unless it’s addressed head onPerceptions of GovernanceMarch 2013 33
  • Thank you graham@grahamoakes.co.uk @GrahamDOakesPerceptions of GovernanceMarch 2013 34
  • Graham Oakes Ltd Making sense of technology…  Many organisations are caught up in the complexity of technology and systems.  This complexity may be inherent to the technology itself. It may be created by the pace of technology change. Or it may arise from the surrounding process, people and governance structures.  We help untangle this complexity and define business strategies that both can be implemented and will be adopted by people throughout the organisation and its partner network. We then help assure delivery of implementation projects. Clients…  Cisco Worldwide Education – Architecture and research for e-learning and educational systems  Council of Europe – Systems for monitoring compliance with international treaties; e-learning systems  Dover Harbour Board – Systems and architecture review  MessageLabs – Architecture and assurance for partner management portal  National Savings & Investments – Helped NS&I and BPO partner develop joint IS strategy  The Open University – Enterprise architecture, CRM and product development strategies  Oxfam – Content management, CRM, e-Commerce  Thames Valley Police – Internet Consultancy  Sony Computer Entertainment – Global process definition  Amnesty International, Endemol, tsoosayLabs, Vodafone, …Perceptions of GovernanceMarch 2013 35