During my 3 years supporting IT at Hitachi Capital, working alongside Glenn Crossley (Head of Agile Transformation and IT Delivery), I saw the business struggle to support the transformation he was leading in moving delivery processes from waterfall based to agile.
It got me thinking that the business support functions also need to go through a review and transformation to be able to fully support new IT delivery methods and maximise the business value generated.
Following discussions with Gartner, I found I was not alone in thinking this and specifically looking at what agile financial governance means. If you are a client of Gartner, I would thoroughly recommend their research on agile financial governance and an Analyst call.
My take on this issue is a step by step analytical approach that needs input from areas across the organisation.
The First Question/Statement
What is the actual problem you are trying to solve? What isn’t working? Should projects and products be funded through the same process? Is the whole process broken or just a part is working for new ways of working?
This question should output a high level problem statement, moving you into solution mode.
The areas/steps to consider include;
- Funding, how does the delivery get approved? Are the requirements and governance of the change board rigid and waterfall focused, can they be more flexible?
- Documentation, is the document required to secure the funding fit for purpose? Can it include backlogs, VMOST outputs etc. to demonstrate the strategic direction and alignment of the squad to the business. Can it be completed at sufficiently high level?
- Reporting, is the monthly/weekly reporting mechanism adequate to report and capture agile metrics, such as velocity, quality of delivery and business value generated?
- Cost Tracking, is there time recording within IT and if so is it at an appropriate level for an agile squad delivery, can that level of detailed by lifted and still maintain accuracy whilst reducing administrative burden on the delivery team?
- Accounting, can capitalisable developments be correctly captured? See my previous blog post on this subject.
- Business value generated tracking, is there a process in place that facilitates effective early capturing of the benefits delivered by the team?
These questions should be lead by Finance but can only generate a successful outcome with the full input of agilists and the wider organisation outside of IT.