Supporting Agile Delivery Team Governance

The following diagram overviews how the Disciplined Agile (DA) framework enables agile delivery governance.  There are two aspects to this diagram: Strategies followed by an agile or lean delivery team that enable governance and the external workflow with people or groups outside of the delivery team that support agile delivery governance.  In this blog posting we overview how to support agile delivery governance.

Governing Agile Delivery Teams

The diagram also called out several important workflows with other teams or activities.  This reflects that fact that IT governance addresses a wide range of concerns, many of which affect IT delivery teams. These external teams/activities support the governance of disciplined agile delivery teams in the following manner:

  • Continuous improvement. People share improvement suggestions with each other to help spread good ideas throughout your organization.
  • Data management. One of the outputs of your data management efforts should be common data guidance for teams to follow as appropriate.  This guidance includes such things as data naming conventions, data source meta data, and report design conventions to name a few.
  • Enterprise architecture.  Your enterprise architecture activities may produce a common technology roadmap and development guidelines for teams to follow.  A common strategy is to embed enterprise architects, often in the role of Architecture Owner, on IT delivery teams to help ensure that the team follows architectural conventions and to provide a concrete feedback mechanism to the enterprise architects.  Development guidelines may include coding conventions, user interface conventions, security conventions, and many others.
  • IT governance. Your IT governance activities will often provide guidance, such as corporate policies or value statements, that are above and beyond the guidance being produced by other IT activities.  IT delivery teams will provide development intelligence (DI) to the governing body to enable them to make better decisions and thereby provide better guidance to teams.
  • People management. Your people management efforts, sometimes called human resource (HR) management efforts, will provide people-oriented guidance to teams.  This guidance often addressed topics such as training policies, vacation policies, roles and responsibilities, and many other things.
  • Portfolio management. Your organization’s portfolio management efforts provide the initial team funding and vision to get them going, effectively giving them initial direction.  IT delivery teams provide development intelligence (DI) to the portfolio manager(s), particularly around planning and spending issues, enabling them to make better decisions.
  • Product management. Your product management activities will result in the development of a business roadmap that will help to guide IT delivery teams, particularly the Product Owners on those teams.  Product management will also provide business priorities which drive the actions of your IT delivery teams.
  • Release management. Your release management team will produce release guidelines and advice for IT delivery teams which helps to drive their approach to deployment.
  • Stakeholders. A team’s stakeholders, but business and otherwise, will provide direction to IT delivery teams regarding what functionality they want and the priorities thereof.  Stakeholders will also provide regular feedback and other forms of input to the teams.  Delivery teams produce consumable solutions for stakeholder, updates to their plans, and development intelligence (DI) on a regular basis – this provides stakeholders with greater transparency and opportunities to steer the teams.

The bottom line is that you are being governed and we believe that you deserve to be governed well.  For more on this topic, we suggest reading the article Governing Agile Teams.

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