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Best Practices in Agile Governance

#agilegovernance refers to how an organization guides, monitors & oversees Agile projects. The governance framework gives direction, but leaves the individual team still freedom to play within the framework. For this to work you need to first understand the principles of Agile Program Management:

  • The project must align with the organizational strategic goals

  • It must be analyzed first how each project adds value to the company

  • The individual project teams determine measurable governance & performance metrics for their project

  • Output must be clearly defined, measurable in terms of resources & timing

  • risks must be clearly defined and managed

  • monitoring & performance metrics must be transparent throughout the organization

  • projects must comply with regulatory requirements

  • Reviews of the Agile teams work must be more about the teams behavior and practices and less the process and documentation

Agile introduces a different level of control. It is not about micromanagement, but about #empowering the team, hence bureaucracy has to be at a minimum and the #governanceframework must leave space for individual creativity.

Best practices in #agilegovernance can be summarized here:

  • Document how the project fits into the organization's strategic goals in a simple document

  • continuously report on the value added to the organization with each iteration of the project

  • make the daily stand-up notes available to the organization

  • make the burn-down chart available to the organization

  • ensure other basic information about the project is available to stakeholders outside the Agile project team

One of the biggest challenges of Agile governance is that Senior Management may not be aware of how Agile approach is different from traditional project management and may therefore not grant the autonomy the Agile team needs to be effective. At the same time traditional organizations, may still require amounts of documentation that are not conducive and practical in an Agile approach. This will end up hindering and slowing down work.

To remove these challenges you need to ensure your senior management is on the same level of understanding of #agilepractices you are. Never assume, that they know and understand, even if they task you to set up #agileapproach and relevant governance. Offer to give them a training, or incorporate a training into your presentation to them, when you explain how you are going to approach the implementation of Agile practices. Make sure you mention what is required from their side and then leave the floor open to discussions.

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