IndigoBlue Governance Framework

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1 Overview IndigoBlue

2 IndigoBlue Winner of Agile Consultancy of the Year 2011/12, IndigoBlue is one of the leading consultancies in the UK focused on Agile processes for strategic consultancy, and programme and project management. We provide management and consultancy services advantage from technology. IndigoBlue has three primary areas of business focus. We work in close partnership with clients to develop business-aligned, technology Change Strategies; we transform teams, processes and governance standards to build World-Class Agile Delivery Capability; and we manage the successful delivery of enterprise-scale Agile Change Programmes. services, media, publishing and wireless telecoms, our consultants have a track record of All of our work is underpinned by IndigoBlue s industry leading governance framework and products or vendors.

3 The Framework has been proven and matured with practical application over many projects and is the governance standard in a number of Blue Chip organisations Overview This document provides an overview of the key components of IndigoBlue s governance framework. The Framework was created in response to the lack of an adequate set of governance processes for Agile projects and programmes. The absence of good governance is particularly apparent on larger programmes or within organisations running a number of Agile projects. The framework provides a set of artefacts and processes that help with the effective control and reporting of any change initiative, but also include a number of additional features to deal with Agile processes. These include effective management and reporting of scope via the creation of an incremental strategy and uncertainty management to make areas of uncertainty and the plan for resolving the traditional assumptions. What is the Framework? The IndigoBlue governance framework is a comprehensive framework and toolkit that enables effective governance of incremental, Agile projects. Developed over 10 years, it encapsulates many man-years Agile project delivery and of working with organisations to develop sustainable capability in delivering incremental change. The latest version of the Framework comprises of a set of complementary processes, techniques, templates, role the challenges of planning, managing and governing successful change, as well as the particular challenges that come with Agile. The product has been proven and matured with practical application over many projects and is the governance standard in a number of Blue Chip organisations. The Framework recognises and complements standard Agile processes such as Scrum and XP and does not seek to replace them, it does however wrap them into a complete set of processes that not only addresses the technical (XP) and team centric (Scrum) views of a project but also addresses the need for management and governance. Why Do We Need Another Process? The implementation of default Agile governance has had very limited success, this is evidenced by: or critical projects their Agile projects the end of successful projects. In many organisations that have embraced Agile, IndigoBlue has observed a number of misunderstandings and misconceptions that have led to failed governance: Agile provides different metrics that need to be understood There is a common belief that Agile governance is not successful because the Steering Role does not understand Agile. The implication is that an understanding of the day-to-day activities of Agile is required to effect governance. This should not be the case. Governance is concerned with the aggregate view and the Steering PAGE 1

4 Role should not be required to review or understand the detail. steering the project, the project must be well governed. The governance framework therefore needs to address the aspects of Agile that need to be understood by both parties at the governance boundary. Equally it needs governance requirements of: what are we trying to do; what do we need; how long will it take; how much will it cost; and what risks Governance is concerned with team behaviours This incorrectly assumes that the boundary of governance is between the delivery team (supplier) and the customer or users, and conveniently ignores the wider governance requirement. There are situations where the Product Owner has total ownership, but more generally the Product Owner has delegated authority and should therefore be considered part of the delivery team, not part of the Steering Role. In addition to the standard measures of output (velocity and tangible deliverables), sustainability and quality, the Framework includes a structure for measurement and control of two additional, critical areas: scope and uncertainty increased and improved opportunities to engage with the delivery team, and to directly observe the state of the project. In many cases the onus is on the Steering Role to take advantage of this opportunity. of Agile, and it will help to supplement interpret actions and outputs from ad-hoc observations. The responsibility for making valid observations regarding the change and providing interpretation should lie within the delivery team. Not doing so is an abdication of responsibility, and also risks generating erroneous interpretations. Key Features The Framework addresses the challenges inherent in Agile and recognises that although the governance boundary between the users and the suppliers changes incremental), the governance requirements of the Steering Role do not differ approaches. In fact, the onus is on the delivery team to proactively provide appropriate, meaningful the Steering Role. Governance at Steering level is not required Perhaps the most prevalent and most dangerous misconception within Agile is that because the Product Owner is involved in the project on a day-to-day basis and is PAGE 2

5 The incremental strategy is core to the success of incremental delivery, and yet it is often overlooked or at best implicit in the Agile process A typical project governance model consists of a Project Sponsor chairing a Board of Stakeholders, with delegated authority for delivery vested in a Project Manager who reports to the Stakeholder Board and is accountable for day-to-day delivery. Governance is effected against a for what, when, why, how, who and how much, and reporting for governance should provide the view of risk against view is provided at an aggregate level (not the detail of the delivery) and in Agile this requires an appropriate structure rather than relying on the natural outputs of standard processes such as Scrum. In addition to the standard measures of output (velocity and tangible deliverables), sustainability and quality, The Framework includes a framework for measurement and control of two additional, critical areas: scope and uncertainty. Scope Management The incremental strategy is core to the success of incremental delivery, and yet it is often overlooked or at best implicit in the Agile process. IndigoBlue s approach ensures that the strategy sits at the heart of the programme, ensuring visibility of real With business objectives as its foundation, the Incremental Strategy guides and segmentation of value and reconciles this against low-value, but must-have requirements. A key element of Agile governance, the Incremental Strategy is critical to successful planning, tracking and management of scope. It provides a baseline against which real progress can be measured throughout implementation without constraining the agility of the team. In the absence of a formal Incremental Strategy the plan of work (the backlog) is simply a list against which governance can only occur at a detailed level. The Incremental Strategy also becomes the key communication device between the stakeholders and project team, enabling effective prioritisation decisions and optimised return on investment. Uncertainty Management Uncertainty management is critical to effective governance. The Framework brings a proven approach to the proactive management of uncertainty in change programmes enabling the full business within a rigorously risk-managed environment. programmes. These can range from business uncertainties (what are our competitors doing) through to technical challenges (will the solution scale), and from market uncertainties (what is the latent demand) to functional (how much change do we need to deliver to succeed). Traditional projects typically aim to remove all uncertainties at the outset. Though uncertainties imply risk, removing them too early in the process can add risk and lead to sub-optimal outcomes. Agile techniques offer the potential for uncertainties to be managed approach offers little by way of structured uncertainty management and risks can escalate to become programme threats. PAGE 3

6 The potential impact of each uncertainty is evaluated and a baseline approach for resolution is established in the context of the incremental delivery plan The Framework provides a framework in which to clearly identify the material uncertainties at the outset of the programme. The potential impact of each uncertainty is evaluated and a baseline approach for the incremental delivery plan. The resulting incremental plans can take many forms (business, marketing, design and many others) and tracking against them forms part of the rigorous governance approach. This proactive and on-going approach to uncertainty management enables optimal and reliable resolution of uncertainty in approach within a framework of wellmanaged risk. Components of The Framework The key artefacts in The Framework are as follows: Project Initiation Framework the process and techniques for setting up a project for success, along with templates and a tool for managing scope. It addresses the issues associated with balancing the need to start development early and the the project baseline. This framework covers the following essential topics: and techniques covering: Initiation and residual risk. training material to fast track team building. Development and Delivery Framework This framework covers the following essential topics: Development and delivery process with guidance and techniques covering: Uncertainty Management Effective Sprint Cycles The Release Process Quality Assurance Change Management Dependency Management. Deliverables: Sprint Report Checklists for Project Assurance. Assurance Framework Project diagnostic Sprint diagnostic. PAGE 4

7 For further information contact: T: E: IndigoBlue Consulting Limited 3 Duke of York St London SW1Y 6JP v1.0

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