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Chaos: a new perspective on agile governance by Brian Wernham

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Over the past few years the APM Governance SIG has been at the forefront of developing new thinking on governance, for example we have published guides – Directing Change, Co-Directing Change, Sponsoring Change. In recent discussions around specific high profile projects, practitioners have explained how organisations have struggled to apply traditional approaches, methods and controls to the growing number of Agile projects. It is therefore the ambition of the GovSIG to develop guidance for the agile governance of agile projects / portfolios.

SIG members came together to explore the governance lessons from Agile projects to date and to set the framework for developing guidance for the governance of Agile projects. There was a short presentation to set the scene and then a workshop session which was led by Brian Wernham and Martin Samphire. Brian Wernham is author of the book “Agile Project Management for Government”.

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Chaos: a new perspective on agile governance by Brian Wernham

  1. 1. Brian Wernham “Chaos: a new perspective on Agile governance” Presented at APM Governance SIG, London, May 14, 2014 Delegates’ 50% discount brian.wernham@gmail.com @BrianUkulele http://bit.ly/special-offer-CWBW50
  2. 2. Why are YOU here today? http://bit.ly/About-Brian @BrianUkulele What is ‘Agile’? ‘Agile’ only for web development? ‘Agile’ only for tiny stuff? ‘Agile’ = loss of control? What is ‘DSDM’? ‘Agile’ in mission critical projects? 2 What is ‘Scrum’? Are we talking Governance of a project of Governance of portfolios of change?
  3. 3. This talk: 1. What is ‘Agile’? 2. What is Agile Governance? 3. Can we be ready for & take advantage of the unexpected? - Chaos Theory & Emergent Complexity 4. Kick-off the development of a guide for Agile Governance http://bit.ly/About-Brian @BrianUkulele 3
  4. 4. 1. What is Agile? 4
  5. 5. The “Big Design Up Front” mind-set http://bit.ly/About-Brian @BrianUkulele I had better ask for all possible features… At last – a chance to get what I want! 5
  6. 6. The Big Design Up Front is born… http://bit.ly/About-Brian @BrianUkulele 6
  7. 7. The result of Big Design Up Front… 7
  8. 8. D’oh! http://bit.ly/About-Brian @BrianUkulele 8
  9. 9. http://bit.ly/About-Brian @BrianUkulele 9
  10. 10. As difficult as trying to swim up a waterfall… http://bit.ly/About-Brian @BrianUkulele 10
  11. 11. 11
  12. 12. 12
  13. 13. Scrum at the team level – two popular methods… Scrum DSDM 13
  14. 14. 1. ‘Scrum’ – a team level approach http://bit.ly/About-Brian Source: Mike Cohn www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/scrum
  15. 15. 15Source: DSDM Consortium (DSDM = Driving Strategy, Delivering More) An overview of two agile methods 2. ‘DSDM’ – a hybrid team/project level approach
  16. 16. 2. What is Agile Governance? 16
  17. 17. a) Time Driven “I don’t want it perfect – I want it Thursday” 17 Traditional Agile Agile inverts the normal project management paradigm…
  18. 18. b) … and minimises Work in Progress “There is no value in holding stock in a warehouse” Traditional Agile Design Build Test Deploy P/type ? P/type P/type P/type Agile focuses on flow…
  19. 19. Can we define Agile Governance principles at several levels:  Project Level?  Governance of one specific project?  Scrum? DSDM?  Programme Level?  Governance of hybrid programmes that comprises both:  Waterfall projects  & Agile projects?  Portfolio Level?  Governance across many projects? 19
  20. 20. Is ‘Agile Governance’ really about being adaptable? 20 Traditional Project Innovation project Hybrid Programme Design Build Test Deploy P/type P/type P/type P/type Control-freak Governance Agile Governance Arms-length Governance Innovation Project Innovation Project Traditional Project Traditional Project
  21. 21. 3. Can we be ready for & take advantage of the unexpected? 21  A brief overview of the practical impact of Chaos Theory  Butterfly effect (Sensitivity to initial conditions)  How long is a piece of string? (Fractals)  Satisficing a business case (Alternative stable states)  Complex outcomes from simple systems  Self-organisation  Ants  People (so very different?)
  22. 22. Butterfly effect (Sensitivity to initial conditions) For want of a nail the shoe was lost For want of a shoe the horse was lost For want of a horse the battle was lost… 22
  23. 23. Heat convection – any difference in initial conditions produces an unpredicatble outcome after a while: 23
  24. 24. Increase the feedback and the Lorenz equation becomes unstable and ‘chaotic’: 24
  25. 25. Complexity out of simplicity e.g. the Lorenz Equation 25
  26. 26. Butterfly effect (Sensitivity to initial conditions) For want of a nail the shoe was lost For want of a shoe the horse was lost For want of a horse the battle was lost… 26
  27. 27. “No two snowflakes are the same” A simple fractal - The Koch Curve 27
  28. 28. “No two snowflakes are the same” A simple fractal - The Koch Curve 28
  29. 29. How long is a piece of string? (Fractals) 29 Ruler length = x Answer = y Ruler length x/2 Answer = y*2.5
  30. 30. The result runs away from you the closer you try to measure it… 30
  31. 31. The ‘fractal dimension’ measures this disappearing event horizon 31
  32. 32. How long will it take to add “just a bit more detail” to a business case or spec? 32
  33. 33. Alternative stable states 33 “Catastrophic shifts in ecosystems” Marten Scheffer, Nature, 2001
  34. 34. Self-organisation - Ants 34
  35. 35. Self-organisation - Ants 35
  36. 36. Self-organisation - People 36
  37. 37. References  Daňa, Josef  “Chaos Theory in Project Management”, Masaryk University, Brno 2014  Christopher, Martin  “The Agile Supply Chain : Competing in Volatile Markets”, Industrial Marketing Management, Vol 29., No. 1., 2000, pp. 37-44  Yang, C  “Hierarchical Summarization of Large Documents”, Drexel University  Scheffer, Marten  Catastrophic shifts in ecosystems, Nature, 2001 37
  38. 38. 4. Kick-off the development of a guide for Agile Governance 38
  39. 39. brian.wernham@gmail.com Blog: brianwernham.wordpress.com @BrianUkulele http://bit.ly/About-Brian Thanks for listening! 39 http://bit.ly/special-offer-CWBW50 Delegates’ 50% discount`
  40. 40. This presentation was delivered at an APM event To find out more about upcoming events please visit our website www.apm.org.uk/events

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