Modern Ways of Working and Growth Mindset can sound like the wild, wild west to the unaccustomed. Navigating the ins-and-outs of cross-functional teams; empowering individuals to deliver more without formal approvals (in many cases); and “experimenting” with customer experience can sound risky and counter-intuitive to leadership – especially in larger organisations. Agile Governance is the antidote to this concern – a modern take on the more traditional PMO (project management office) – that gives clarity, insight and input into work that is happening across the business without stifling autonomy and creativity.
Agile Governance is a healthy balance between a more traditional PMO (Project Management Office) and the agile, cross-functional teams that deliver experience to your customers. This stage of Evolutionary Delivery helps implement appropriate governance structures – giving visibility, insight and input – but does so in a way that continues to empower those responsible for delivering the work. When in place, a good Agile Governance framework helps ensure your business is making the wisest use of its investment pool.
Making elephants dance
Ever wondered why high-value work, which only requires days of effort, can take 6-12 months to get completed? The answer is frequently governance. In an attempt to eliminate risk, organisations wrap layers upon layers of process and approvals over the top of actual work - i.e. work that results in direct benefit to customers. The antidote to this reality is Agile Governance.
Agile Work Streams
Aligning strategy and delivery
Traditional approaches to project management take the people to the problem. Powers from on-high dictate what problems need solving, create business cases, raise funding and launch projects. People are moved from one project to the next - typically leaving a trail of poorly completed initiatives without benefits. Agile Work Streams flip this paradigm - setting up enduring teams to deliver ongoing benefits - taking the problem to the people.
Make small bets, consistently
Annual budgeting, long-range planning and project funding have a lot to answer for. In an attempt to predict the future, eliminate risk, and ensure approval - business cases have over-bloated budgets and over-cooked benefits to help justify them. Because funding is assessed annually there's little room for agility. Agile Finance flips this on its head by mandating a far more regular funding assessment - coupled with a propensity to kill projects early and run multiple POCs (proofs of concept).
Communities of Practice
Do what you love, share the love
Communities of Practice are a very practical way to motivate a Culture of Learning while leaving the execution of how this happens in the hands of the people - increasing accountability and empowerment along the way.
Ensure bets pay off
In a world where finance is more agile & experimentation is encouraged, you need a way to know which bets are paying off and which need to be cut off. Benefits management is the tool to help assess your portfolio of bets and double down when you're on a winner.
Distributed knowledge and insight
While the ability to create insight should be decentralised, the resulting insights (in the form of dashboards, reports etc.) should be centralised to ensure this intelligence is accessible and not duplicated across the business. Furthermore, giving teams access to this intelligence (especially with experience analytics baked in) will help them make far more informed and valuable decisions on a daily/weekly basis.