Agile Governance

How do you successfully combine these two words?

Agile and governance at first glance don’t look like they belong in the same sentence.  The iterative and incremental nature of an agile approach seems at odds to project governance and oversight. 

Yet the concepts of agility and governance are not fundamentally opposed.  Each is an attempt to improve outcomes and deliver value. While remaining aligned to the organisational goals.

Agile aims to do this through cross-functional and collaborative teams, short iterative cycles and frequent reviews (retrospectives).

Project governance aims to conduct frequent reviews and comparisons against good attributes through a stage-gated process.

The difficulty arises when the process of governance, that was established in traditional waterfall and sequential projects, expects work products and rules – such as completed design before coding – that doesn’t support an agile team where design and coding happen concurrently.

Governing agile projects is an exercise in waste management – minimizing the conflict and tension that causes waste due to a lack of understanding, conversation and differing opinions.

What we do

Accuteque takes a people-first approach to agile governance.  We focus on the outcomes that best support the organisational goals.  And we look for the spirit or intent of traditional governance and find the small compromises that can lighten the load for agile teams.

We start by seeking to understand your current governance system.  Conversations with people -stakeholders, team members, traditional governance, finance, etc – help us to identify what is working and where conflicts and issues are arising.  Building genuine and authentic relationships, connecting with real people and listening as much as possible to what is not said.

Working with you we replay what we believe to be the outcomes that people are working towards and we create connections and transparency through your common language.  Managing risks and issues (roadblocks) is a common focus for agile teams and traditional governance.  Shifting from documents to discussions and moving from management by reporting to management by standing are ways we can help to unpack potential areas of conflict.

Setting up guardrails is a great place to start.  What is the spirit and intent of your traditional governance?  Is it fit for purpose or overbearing and unyielding?  What risks are you trying to mitigate?  How can teams demonstrate their management of those risks? What work products can be generated readily to meet those requirements, albeit in a different form?  What is the safest path for us to take to get to the same destination?

How we can help you

We have many years of experience in governance; both agile and traditional.  We have set up Project Management Offices (PMOs), we have orchestrated Enterprise Governance Councils and we have transformed the operating and governance models for a number of well-known Australian blue-chip companies.

We believe that each customer’s requirements for governance are unique.

We will assess your project governance and collaborate with you to determine the best practice that will suit your organisational goals and culture.

Our principles will inform our engagement as both the guardrails and the guidelines for how we can improve your culture and align with your needs.

Our Services

Our Service offerings include:

  • Project Governance – consult, create and mature new or existing project governance functions
  • Project Management Office – stand up a new PMO for a major program of work
  • Creation of Steering Committee to align overarching objectives and key result areas
  • Define Project Risks and Issues and represent these visually; meeting regularly to review and mitigate
  • Design Corporate Governance Framework to improve information flow and better manage financials
  • Create Prioritisation Forums for projects, features, experiments
  • Visual Board / infographic Support creating transparency and highlighting what matters to the organisation
  • Planning Support
  • Develop Exit strategies and approaches
  • Project Delivery and Coaching
Man with finger on the center of a governance graphic

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