Author: Geetanjali Bhat, PMP
“Achieving Discipline in Agile” An Evening with Agile. Being an Agile Practitioner and scrum master, I was very keen to learn more on this current ongoing topic. In the past, I have attended many of the Agile events and conferences in many places. But Today was something different. PMI launched their first online event. During this time when the world is working towards staying indoors and be safe, it is such a great way to keep ourselves occupied and engaged through online events. There are constant New Learnings in Project Management. Considering the situation going on in the world currently, what better way is there, then being able to continue learning!
Many organizations have started to implement Agile Practices. Organizations today require constantly new methods and practices in Agile to suit their needs. I am sure we all know and have heard of the regular Agile ways of working and its methods. Latest discussion in Agile going on all over the Agile World of how we can Achieve Discipline on Agile. We’ve got a great opportunity to listen and gain information from experienced speakers Simon Wieczorek who is a Senior Manager in PwC Germany and David Nagy Assistant Manager in PwC Switzerland, who presented a very insightful session about this topic.
It was interesting to hear from them about how to achieve discipline in an Agile environment by adjusting government risks and control. How can we achieve Agile Discipline and what would be the obstacles and success factors?
One of the biggest risks is governance risk and control. Hence the question arises how do I achieve Discipline in Agile without comprising its benefits.
How can we bridge the gap in transformation that appear in the transformation journey of Agile? This poses a huge risk to the organizations.
David explains that Agile is not just about certification and a one day training of Agile. We can do 4 years of studies in Universities and gather a lot of experience in a traditional environment and now it requires a new mindset to work in an Agile way. It’s definitely more than 1 day training.
Most importantly, we should be able to interpret the Agile principles.
Addressing Risk in our environment requires us to reconsider control functions and risk management principles which impacts the three lines of defence. (LOD). In an Agile organization, the application of the three lines of defence (3LOD) requires adjustment to enable autonomy and alignment.
Reading through the lines of the famous quote by Peter Drucker who was one of the most widely known and influential thinkers on management, “What we need is an entrepreneurial society in which innovation and entrepreneurship are normal, steady and continuous” , Responsibility for Risk management in an Agile set is shifting more towards business. Due to the shift of responsibilities, it requires a fundamental reworking of the governance model design principles to enable an Agile environment.
Revised design principles for governance need to be implemented on:
- Shared responsibility for risk and controls
- Clear direction setting on risk and controls
- Full transparency on risk and controls.
What would be the first steps to achieve goal in Agile Discipline?
Listeners were able to connect well through an Agile Quality Assurance Example
Today as an Agile practitioner or Agile Project Manager, we need to ask ourselves a few questions. If for any of the below mentioned questions is a “No”, we must reflect our Agile working ways and plan to implement Discipline in Agile.
In implementing Discipline in Agile we can achieve success only when we have understood and cleared the obstacles. Obstacles can be following:
- Transformation gaps are not recognized.
- Risk still sits on the top of the organization rather than integrated into the companies
- Traditional governance structures are not adapted to Agile Structures
- There is little understanding relating to the purpose of expectations.
- Lack of leadership support and participation in applying an Agile mindset.
But all of the above obstacles can be cleared and worked towards the success factors of Discipline in Agile through the following “
- Identify and be aware of your transformation gap
- Integration of risk and compliance into the control functions
- Adjust your governance framework
- Active change management and upskilling of colleagues
- Leadership support.
As a listener and also being in Agile for a few years, I believe it was definitely a very constructive and insightful evening for me, though I was locked at home!