Governance is something of a dirty word. It often generates a visceral reaction in people, conjuring up images of red tape, bureaucracy and time-consuming audits. These are seen as roadblocks to progress, innovation and adoption of new ways of working. This is especially true when we are looking to accelerate the rate of change or delivery speed, such as commonly occurs when adopting DevOps or Agile practices.
Below, I will discuss why we have governance, how it gets applied and some immediate approaches you can look at to help change your ways of working.
Let’s start with the purpose of governance. Governance practices intend to manage risk. I sometimes hear that “this doesn’t apply to me. I’m in a small start-up,” but all organizations, whatever their size, need to manage risk. In one form or another, we are all subjected to governance. In larger organizations, we have added complexity to deal with in creating and managing risk. It is also true that heavily regulated industries ...
As the world goes into lockdown due to COVID-19 and organizations are asking their employees to work from home, new problems arise. Not least of which being whether the organizations we work for can handle the implications of everybody suddenly working from home.
The majority of my work is predominantly done remotely with the exception being when I am directly involved in team coaching or running workshops. I’ve also worked with and coached international teams and can understand the difficulties it raises. This is not a new problem, but it is one that is certainly front of mind as we scramble to deal with this crisis. Not everybody will thrive in a home environment, and at the very least, there is a period of adjustment. First, we need the necessities of internet connection, workspace setup and ensuring they can access the organizational system they need. Beyond that, for those people who usually do not to work-from-home, how do you handle coaching your suddenly distributed teams?
We talk about this a lot but do not always do a good job of explaining why it is so important. I would argue not understanding this difference and developing this mindset can cause your whole transformation to stall.
So what do we mean when we say project vs product and why is it so critical?
Read below for my thoughts on the topic.
Often when we first engage with organizations, we find they enter the conversation with a clear idea of what their problems are. Sometimes they get it right and other times - more often in my experience - they are focusing on their own belief of where the problem lies.
For example, if the problem is the deployment process, why does the automated script take 5 minutes to run. Having successfully worked with development teams to automate deployments of their major platforms, being told deployment is the issue seems like the wrong place to focus. If it still takes weeks to get code into production, the problem lies elsewhere. Perhaps our test verification takes five weeks?
Ok. Well, if deployment of code isn’t the issue and testing is, let’s focus there I hear the cry! Well, let’s see…
As we introduce technology into our organizations and transform the way they deliver value, bureaucracy is often cited as a common barrier. So why have it at all?
As organizations grow, the “side of desk” style of management eventually starts to fail. Communication becomes more complex as you add more people and more teams. For the company to continue delivering high-quality value, they put standards into place. Governance exists to support the continued delivery of business as usual and the satisfaction of regulatory requirements. However, too much management feels bureaucratic. What would be great would be to have just enough to support your governance needs without hindering innovation.
So how do you create your Minimum Viable Bureaucracy (MVB)?