Agile governance: evolution or revolution
Stuart Mitchell | Agile Coach, CBA
Stream: Evolving Agile Organisations
This presentation explores one of the last great battles for Agile adoption. The ‘daily battle’ that every medium to big business is facing, yet few are talking about. It’s a battle on two fronts in that every company must deliver software into production quickly but equally every company must always minimise its exposure to risk. At times these two strategic objectives can appear mutually incompatible. A fast path into production leads to the achievement of the ultimate goals of any Agile project, a competitive edge is gained, a disadvantage removed, a return on investment achieved and ultimately a greater profit made. This has never been more true given the pace at which low margin competitors are snapping at the heels of established businesses, Fintechs in banking, Lean startups in retail and services and incubator hubs across the spectrum.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos famously declared, ‘your margin is my opportunity’, now every startup competitor is not just saying it they’re acting on it using Agile. Yet established businesses remain anchored in a world where brand protection, return on investment and regulatory compliance are constant brakes on innovation. Established companies must be hyper conscious that we live in a time when implementation glitches and software errors leading to service failures are social media fodder, and a single high profile mistake can be front page news and lead, potentially, to billions being wiped off a share price*.
The solution to new and nimble competition is clearly the greater adoption of Agile techniques. But the enterprise Governance infrastructures which projects must ultimately back into were built and resourced for waterfall monoliths. These Governance requirement monoliths are heavyweight, with gateways, documents, sign-offs, traceability demands, testing overheads, reviews etc.
Worse, the walls are getting higher as fiduciary demands and fines for failure are increasing. Established businesses are facing a revolution from the competition and so must adapt and evolve to remain relevant.
This presentation describes this battleground between speed and risk aversion that is preventing Agile from going supersonic. The argument is made that truly evolving Agile organisations must seize the day and work to breakdown high walled Governance infrastructures and instead integrate those people and processes within Agile teams. Through a case study it can be seen how this can be done, the time needed to achieve the goal and the specific steps needed to complete the journey. The conclusion will also examine the consequences to established business models, and to the Agile community, if the opportunity to make this crucial evolutionary leap is not taken.
*In 2014 a computer ‘glitch’ at the Royal Bank of Scotland cost A$240 million to resolve and wiped A$3.4 BILLION from the share price.
In this talk attendees will:
- Gain an appreciation of the challenges of company Governance
- Understand how Agile’s Governance processes work
- Learn how company Governance has to be respected and the ways it can be managed with Agile
- Discover how Governance is planned to move from 95% to 99.99% safety within 2yrs – and what that means for our work
- See how to prepare, work with and succeed with the Governance battles ahead
Each attendee will receive the Agile Governance ebook from the UK National Audit Office which is full of case studies and suggestions.