Agile Methodology and Governance: Debunking the Myth of a Governance-Free Approach
Agile methodologies are often shrouded in myths and misconceptions. One such pervasive myth is the belief that agile practices do not require governance. This notion is not just misguided; it overlooks the essential role of governance in ensuring the success and sustainability of agile projects.
Understanding the Misconception
Agile approaches are mistakenly perceived as being inherently ungoverned or lacking in discipline. This view is far from reality. Agile, in fact, can be stricter than traditional predictive delivery processes, demanding a higher level of governance and regulatory compliance.
The Fallacy of ‘No Governance’ in Agile
- Myth vs. Reality: The idea that agile lacks governance is a trope that has persisted without merit. Agile methodologies, by their nature, incorporate stringent governance mechanisms.
- Governance in Scrum and Kanban: In Scrum, the ‘Definition of Done’ encompasses all regulatory requirements. Similarly, Kanban’s phased delivery includes columns that should cover all necessary compliance and governance steps.
Agile Governance: Transparency and Accountability
Agile methodologies offer a level of scrutiny and transparency that often surpasses traditional models. This heightened visibility can sometimes reveal the lack of governance in non-agile teams.
Scrutiny and Transparency in Agile Teams
- Daily Tracking and Visibility: Agile teams, whether using Scrum or Kanban, offer daily tracking of work and clear visibility of progress focused on the delivery of completed work.
- Contrast with Predictive Projects: Unlike the percentage completion metrics of Gantt charts in traditional projects, agile methodologies enable a more accurate and rigorous tracking of progress and quality.
The Role of Governance in Agile
Governance in agile is not just a compliance checkbox; it is a crucial element that ensures risk management, value delivery, and the sustainability of products.
Governance as a Key Agile Component
- Accountability for Governance: In agile teams, it’s not just the PMO responsible for governance. The team members themselves, including the Kanban team or Scrum team, are accountable for meeting governance standards.
- Engaging Compliance and Regulatory Personnel: It is imperative for product owners to engage governance, compliance, and regulatory personnel from the outset of product delivery and throughout the development process.
Agile Governance in Practice
- Case Study: Tesla’s Agile Governance: Tesla’s approach to governance is an inspiring example. They continuously update their governance submissions to comply with international standards, adjusting their production line and documentation in real-time to address any issues.
The Importance of Governance in Agile
Governance in agile methodologies is vital for managing risk, ensuring value, and guaranteeing the safety, reliability, and usability of products.
Governance as a Risk Management Tool
- Ensuring Correct Value for Spend: Governance helps in making sure that the investment in a project yields the correct value.
- Sustainability, Reliability, and Safety: Proper governance ensures that products are not only sustainable and reliable but also safe for the end-users.
Professional Agile Teams and Governance
A professional agile team’s dedication to governance is a testament to its professionalism and commitment to delivering a high-quality, compliant product.
Governance as a Marker of Professionalism
- Professionalism and Compliance: The absence of governance in an agile team raises questions about its professionalism. A truly professional agile team embraces governance to ensure that their product is safe, compliant, and ready for release.
- Non-Compliant Products: Products developed without proper governance are likely to be unsafe, risky, and non-compliant, making them unsuitable for release.
Conclusion: Embracing Governance in Agile Methodologies
- Debunking Agile Myths: It’s crucial to debunk the myth that agile methodologies don’t require governance. Agile approaches, when properly implemented, incorporate robust governance mechanisms.
- Agile Governance for Sustainable Success: Governance in agile is essential for managing risks, ensuring product sustainability, and delivering true value. It forms the backbone of professional agile delivery, ensuring products are not only developed efficiently but also meet all necessary compliance standards.
In summary, governance in agile methodologies is not just a necessary element; it’s a cornerstone of successful, sustainable, and responsible project management. By embracing and integrating governance into agile practices, teams can ensure that their projects are not only agile and adaptive but also compliant, reliable, and safe. This integration of governance into agile methodologies represents a mature, holistic approach to project management, balancing flexibility with responsibility.