In this article we will discuss the importance of Agile Governance and Agile Risk Management in new ways of working.
Risk management is about minimising negative or undesired impacts to the business.
Delivering value is about creating outcomes that realise new benefits to the business.
Finally, governance focuses on establishing a sustainable approach to doing this.
Agile governance & measurement provides the key components of good governance.
At ADAPTOVATE our approach to agile governance ensures quarterly delivery of tangible business value, closely coupled to the strategy through tools such as Quarterly Business Reviews, Mission Control Rooms and Objectives and Key Results.
We ensure teams have the guardrails needed to enable autonomy to innovate and improve ways of working while delivering business outcomes in a compliant way.
Laura Scott is our project lead based in Sydney. Laura explains, “Agile governance plays a crucial part in keeping a business aligned and creates transparency for all levels of the business to be able to communicate strategy and objectives.”
“By creating this environment for a team, we have seen teams have clarity on priorities and business strategy allowing them to work on the right things at the right time,” she says.
Agile risk and dependency management expedites decision making, issue resolution and creates consistency and interoperability between complex pieces of work, which allows the delivery of value early and regularly.
Our approach focuses on increasing transparency to help speed up decision making. We establish cross functional forums to manage risk and resolve issues quickly.
Agile risk management (RM) is built into agile methodology. It differs from traditional RM in that there are no separate formal meetings or reporting. The very nature of agile methodology, requires that RM is built into scrum roles, it’s built into artefacts.
Agile is built around rapid iteration and the framework allows for identifying and addressing risks before they are expensive and catastrophic.
Alan Trivedi is our principal in Los Angeles. He has led consulting engagements with Fortune 500 organisations establishing agile practices, program offices, and delivering global technology projects.
Alan explains to achieve fast delivery with minimal impact in a sustainable way, organisations have do 3 things very well:
- Develop clarity to what is most important to deliver,
- Get teams organised around those priorities, and
- Establish support mechanisms that enable high performing teams and drive the right leadership and team behaviours.
Why are they important?
Governance and risk management enable rapid value delivery by creating an environment within which teams can quickly test hypotheses, assimilate new information and ultimately make better decisions.
“Agile governance and risk management establish the necessary guidelines or parameters within which a test-and-learn environment can flourish,” says Patrick Fitzgerald, senior consultant in Los Angeles.
Imagine an organisation that has decided to embark on implementing agile, without any type of guardrails in place. There is an enormous change in culture when delivering agile methodology at the highest level.
As a leader, (or consultant or coach), you are asking the teams to come on the journey with you, you are asking them to permanently change their mindset of what has ‘always been’ to having an agile mindset. It’s not a light ask. Trust and transparency are essential.
To set up the trust and transparency, an organisation needs to be able to get safely and quickly organised and be clear on what is most important. The support mechanisms in place will be crucial.
Transparency is a must
With persistent teams, it is crucial to be able to quickly inspect and adapt. As we think about managing risks, agile teams can continuously prioritise risks, issues and dependencies.
Saytina Vielot is a senior consultant with ADAPTOVATE in Los Angeles. She says in order to prioritise risks, issues and dependencies, “it is recommended teams continuously provide transparency and clear ownership to support managing risks and issues through to mitigation.”
Scrum of Scrums
An Agile ceremony called a “Scrum of Scrums” will enable teams to provide transparency in an organisation. This is just one example that enables governance and risk management when delivering value quickly.
Throughout this ceremony, a representative from each team is in attendance to provide high level updates including risks and dependencies. Adopting this agile ceremony will foster large cross team collaboration.
There is also a visualisation piece to help understand how our work fits into the management of risks and dependencies. To enable this, agile teams can utilise tools like a risk wall, mission control, and roadmaps to regularly inspect risks and issues and adapt a mitigation plan.
By asking your organisation to undertake an agile transformation, the ability to identify and avert issues, becomes increasingly accessible. It allows for a more cost-efficient delivery cycle, and ultimately provides the customer what they need. With that, Agile governance and risk management maximises efficiencies and reduces development time.