Create an Agile-Friendly Project Gating and Governance Approach
Use Info-Tech’s Agile Gating Framework as a guide to gating your Agile projects following a “trust but verify” approach.
Organizations often apply gating and governance to IT projects to ensure resources are being used efficiently and effectively.
Agile project teams often complain that traditional project gating and governance interfere with their ability to delivery because traditional gating and governance were designed for Waterfall delivery methods.
Imposing a traditional gating and governance approach on an Agile project can eliminate the advantages that Agile delivery methods offer. Make sure to rework your traditional project gating and governance approach to be Agile friendly.
Impact and Result
Create a project gating and governance approach that is Agile friendly and helps your organization realize the most benefit from its Agile transformation.
Oversee your Agile projects with confidence by adjusting the level of support and oversight they receive based on their Agilometer score.
Define a revised set of project gating artifacts that support Agile delivery methods.
Adopt a “trust but verify” approach to Agile project gating that will reduce risk and help ensure value delivery.
Create an Agile-Friendly Project Gating and Governance Approach Research & Tools
1. Create an Agile-Friendly Project Gating and Governance Approach Deck – A step-by-step guide to creating an Agile-friendly project gating and governance approach that will support Agile delivery methods in your organization.
This deck is a guide
to creating your own Agile-friendly project gating and governance approach
using Info-Tech’s Agile Gating Framework.
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Canadian Grain Commission
University of Cincinnati
Create an Agile-Friendly Project Gating and Governance Approach
Use Info-Tech’s Agile Gating Framework as a guide to gating your Agile projects using a “trust but verify” approach.
Make your gating and governance process Agile friendly by following a “trust but verify” approach
Most project gating and governance approaches are designed for traditional (Waterfall) delivery methods. However, Agile delivery methods call for a different way of working that doesn’t align well with these approaches.
Applying traditional project gating and governance to Agile projects is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Not only will it make Agile project delivery less efficient, but in the extreme, it can lead to outright project failure and even derail your organization’s Agile transformation.
If you want Agile to successfully take root in your organization, be prepared to rethink your current gating and governance practices. This document presents a framework that you can use to rework your approach to provide both effective oversight and support for your Agile projects.
Alex Ciraco Principal Research Director,
Application Delivery and Management
Info-Tech Research Group
Many government organizations are adopting Agile project delivery methods because they have proven to be more effective than traditional delivery approaches at responding to today’s fast pace of change.
Government organizations have an obligation to govern projects to ensure effective use of public resources, regardless of the delivery method being used.
Most government gating and governance frameworks were designed around traditional (often called “Waterfall”) delivery methods.
Agile and Waterfall work in completely different ways, so imposing traditional gating and governance frameworks on Agile projects will stifle progress and can even lead to project failure.
Government organizations must adjust their gating and governance frameworks to accommodate Agile delivery methods.
Begin by understanding the fundamental purpose of project gating and governance.
Next, understand the major differences between Agile and Waterfall delivery methods.
Then, armed with this knowledge, use Info-Tech’s Agile Gating Framework to redefine your gating and governance approach to be Agile friendly.
Imposing a traditional governance approach on an Agile project can eliminate the advantages that Agile delivery methods offer. Make sure to rework your project gating and governance approach to be Agile friendly.
Info-Tech’s methodology for Creating an Agile-Friendly Project Gating and Governance Approach
1. Establish Your Gating and Governance Purpose
2. Understand and Adapt Info-Tech’s Agile Gating Framework
3. Complete your Agile Gating Framework
1.1 Understand How We Gate and Govern Projects
1.2 Compare Traditional to Agile Delivery
1.3 Realize What Traditional Gating Looks Like and Why
2.1 Understand How Agile Manages Risk and Ensures Value Delivery
2.4 Create Your Agile-Friendly Project Status Report
2.5 Select Your Agile Health Check Tool
3.1 Map Your Traditional Gating Artifacts to Agile Delivery
3.2 Determine Your Now, Next, Later Roadmap for Implementation
This phase will walk you through the following activities:
Understand why gating and governance are so important to your organization.
Compare and contrast traditional to Agile delivery.
Identify what form traditional gating takes in your organization.
This phase involves the following participants:
Other Interested Parties
Agile gating–related facts and figures
73% of organizations created their project gating framework before adopting or considering Agile delivery practices. (Athens Journal of Technology and Engineering)
71% of survey respondents felt an Agile-friendly gating approach improves both productivity and product quality. (Athens Journal of Technology and Engineering)
Moving to an Agile-friendly gating approach has many benefits:
Faster response to change
Higher team morale
Better product quality
(Journal of Product Innovation Management)
Traditional gating approaches can undermine an Agile project
Most existing gating and governance frameworks (often referred to as phase-gate) impose requirements on projects that are anti-patterns to an Agile delivery approach
For example, any gating approach that requires a project to deliver a detailed requirements document before coding can begin will make it difficult or impossible for the project to use an Agile delivery method.
The same can be said for other common phase-gate requirements including:
Imposing a formal (and onerous) change control process on project requirements.
Requiring a detailed design document and/or detailed user acceptance test plan at the beginning of the project.
Asking the project to produce a detailed project plan.
Don’t make the mistake of asking an Agile project to follow a traditional phase-gate approach to project delivery!
Before reworking your gating approach, you need to consider two important questions
Answering these questions will help guide your new gating process to both be Agile friendly and meet your organization’s needs
What is the fundamental purpose of gating?
By examining the fundamental purpose of gating, you will be better able to adjust your approach to achieve the desired outcomes in an Agile context.
How does Agile delivery differ from traditional?
By understanding how Agile delivery differs from traditional, you will be better able to adjust your gating approach to support Agile delivery methods.
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After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve.