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Agile Governance: Model & Process

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  • 0:05 The Big Picture
  • 1:05 Agile Framework
  • 2:11 Governance Process
  • 3:34 What It Looks Like in Action
  • 4:15 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Lucinda Stanley

Lucinda has taught business and information technology and has a PhD in Education.

This lesson discusses governance issues with the Agile project management framework. We'll look at what it means, then discuss the process and see a model for the process.

The Big Picture

Agile is a framework used for software development and project management. Individual projects are broken down into smaller, more easily managed segments in order to speed up the design process and produce a quality product as quickly as possible. This sounds like a good idea, right? Of course it does. But a business or organization is not just one project or one software product. Getting caught up in the design process of one project can create a tunnel vision of sorts where only a small piece of the puzzle is being considered. Organizations have to look at the big picture, the overall effect the agile process has on the organization. Agile governance seeks to align all the projects being worked on with the goals of the organization.

Agile governance is all about creating value across the organization, not just within an individual project. Agile governance is meant to create a bridge between an organizations' management and the teams that are completing projects.

Let's take a look at how that happens.

Agile Framework

We know that in individual projects within the Agile framework the projects are broken down into smaller segments and further broken down into tasks. The tasks are assigned to teams that are specifically formed to handle the type of work that task requires. For example, if we were creating an animated video lesson we would have tasks associated with the animation, art, and sound (that's simplistic, but it will make this easier to work with).

The animation team is in charge of developing live action human-like figures to display the concepts, the art team is in charge of creating a background that works for the lesson content, and the sound team is in charge of finding or creating audio clips of music and narration. Really, all of these teams can start their tasks at the same time in the hopes that the finished tasks for each team can be put together without having to wait for the next step. It might look like this:

Agile teams coordinate the simultaneous completion of tasks across work groups.
Agile Teams

It will take a little less time to finish the art task than the animation task, and while the sound may start by developing the background music, they will finish last as the narration will be added after all the art and animation is completed.

Governance Process

Now let's say we have five or even ten different video lessons we're working on, all in various stages of development. It doesn't make sense for the team in charge of art to stay attached to one project once their part of a project is finished, does it? No, what makes sense is for them to move on to another project in need of an art team so that they're kept busy, and multiple projects can be completed at once. This is where Agile governance comes in. The governance body, either an individual or a department, or a team, is in charge of the big picture. It will consider all of the following:

  • Existing projects: The governance body must be aware of all existing projects and what stages of development they are in.
  • New project requests: Any requests for new projects have to be reviewed by the governance body to see how they will fit into the current Agile queue.
  • Resource allocation: The governance body will plan for resources that need to be allocated including financial, human resource (agile teams), and equipment.
  • Organizational goals: The governance body will keep in mind the overall goal of the organization and how the projects will impact available resources throughout the organization.

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