There are two person post on those different topic. I have to provide reply based on their post on that topic.
Person 1 post: Samir
Week 11: Evidence-based learning and Agility
Since Agile is prevalent in many organizations and teams these days, it is essential to understand that Agile is a mindset defined by the Agile manifesto and its principles, and it is enabled through various practices. Based on Agile manifesto values and its principles, multiple frameworks are developed and introduced to help organizations adopt Agile. Also, organizations have utilized and modified these frameworks as per their need to suit their purposes. However, the core idea or the practices followed are based on the Agile manifesto and its principle. At times, organizations have been using a combination of two or more frameworks based on the nature of the project and the size and the need of the team. Regardless, it can be said that Agile project management has been popular among software development projects for decades and has started to gain popularity in other industries as well. Some of the advantages of implementing Agile include increased productivity, improved delivery speed and time to market, ability to manage and change priorities, quality and value, and improving coordination and collaboration in the team.
Large Scale Scrum is one of the leading frameworks of Agile, and it is a multi-team scrum framework that can be implemented to an Agile team consisting of twelve, hundred, or even thousands of individuals working together on one specific shared product (Kendis, 2021). It is a minimalistic and straightforward framework with less enforcement of rules, processes, roles, or artifacts. However, conventional scrum roles include the product owner, scrum master, and development team (Kendis, 2021). Also, it is a very customer-centric framework as the development team gets to interact directly with the customer while the product owner focuses on setting the roadmap, priorities, and long-term vision of the product (Kendis, 2021). An organization can have multiple LeSS teams depending on the company’s structure. However, there are two types of LeSS, one is basic LeSS for two to eight teams, and the other is LeSS Huge for more than eight teams (Kendis, 2021). These teams work to produce high-quality software while coordinating and collaborating with other teams. The scrum master facilitates up to three teams and educates the teams on working in the LeSS framework (Kendis, 2021). A team of product owners reports to the head product owner (Kendis, 2021). The product owner manages the product backlog, and the tasks that were not done in a sprint are shifted in the next sprint by an Undone Department (Kendis, 2021). Moreover, sprints are planned in two stages.
The first stage involves selecting items from the product backlog by the two team members in coordination with their product owner (Kendis, 2021). Then, in the second stage, the team discusses selected items and plans the sprint goals (Kendis, 2021). Whiteboards and wall charts are used for planning, and a product backlog grooming session also takes place to discuss improvements on the existing requirements or the addition of the new requirements (Kendis, 2021). Teams have their retrospectives, review sessions to review what is done and improve continuously (Kendis, 2021).
Organizations have successfully adopted Agile strategies applying simple methods like Scrum for smaller projects with a few members in them. However, the issues with the Scrum Agile are that the team must be small and located in the same place, there is only one product owner, there is a lack of project management office, there is no database manager, and team control all aspects of the projects (Ambler & Lines, 2013). While scaling Scrum at an enterprise level, there are challenges, and to address those challenges, Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) provides a more cohesive approach to Agile solution delivery (Ambler & Lines, 2013). It provides lightweight guidance to help organizations streamline their Agile processes in a context-sensitive manner, providing a solid foundation for business agility (Ambler & Lines, 2013). It addresses Agile practices across the entire lifecycle, from requirements, architecture, and development to delivery and governance. It provides a technique that fits together in an end-to-end process for successfully delivering large complex systems, from initiation to delivery (Ambler & Lines, 2013). Some of the best practices of DAD includes (Ambler & Lines, 2013):
- Scaling agile for mission-critical enterprise endeavors
- Avoiding mistakes that drive poorly run agile projects to chaos
- Effectively initiating an agile project
- Transitioning as an individual to agile
- Incrementally building consumable solutions
- Deploying agile solutions into complex production environments
- Leveraging DevOps, architecture, and other enterprise disciplines
- Adapting the governance strategy for agile projects
Hence, DAD provides a foundation to scale Agile methods that define an entire delivery lifecycle, showing how to deliver an Agile project from start to finish, a hybrid of existing Agile methodologies and techniques (Ambler & Lines, 2013).
In modern days, Agile frameworks have been enabling evidence-based approaches. The evidence-based approaches are increasingly recognized as a more improved approach due to experience, special skills, philosophy, or mimicking the top frameworks (Dyba, Kitchenham & Jorgensen, 2005). Organizations these days are required to make informed decisions when adapting to a new technology to improve their product development processes (Dyba, Kitchenham & Jorgensen, 2005). Leaders of organizations could adapt to new technologies without sufficient evidence to confirm their suitability, limits, qualities, costs, and inherent risks to be effective, leading to making poor decisions regarding technology adoption (Dyba, Kitchenham & Jorgensen, 2005). Agile frameworks these days are based on evidence-based management, and organizations can implement them to help them measure, manage, and increase the value they derive from their product delivery (Scrum.org, 2021). Implementing evidence-based management helps put the proper measures in place to invest in the right places, make smarter decisions, and reduce risks using an iterative and incremental approach. The evidence-based approach helps organizations make an informed decision by integrating current best evidence from research with practical experience and human values (Scrum.org, 2021). The LeSS and DAD frameworks deliver improved results as they are backed by experiential and research-based evidence that has been improved over time.
- Ambler, S. W., & Lines, M. (2013). Disciplined Agile Delivery. Crosstalk: The Journal Of Defense Software Engineering. Retrieved July 29, 2021, from https://www.pmi.org/-/media/pmi/microsites/disciplined-agile/da-articles/dadcrosstalk201311.pdf?v=a395bae7-cba0-437c-b08e-dea30f62d02f.
- Kendis. (2021, April 30). How Large Scale Scrum (LeSS) works? Retrieved July 29, 2021, from https://kendis.io/largescalescrum/how-less-works/
- Scrum.org. (2021). Evidence-Based Management™ (EBM). Retrieved July 29, 2021, from https://www.scrum.org/resources/evidence-based-man…
- T. Dyba, B. A. Kitchenham and M. Jorgensen, “Evidence-based software engineering for practitioners,” in IEEE Software, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 58-65, Jan.-Feb. 2005, DOI: 10.1109/MS.2005.6.
Person 2 post: heather:
Week 12: Earning the Seat (Enterprise Architecture, Build Versus Buy, Governance and Oversight)
Enterprise architecture is the domain of the IT bureaucrats, it is the place we must look for the solution to our Agile challenges. For it is in Enterprise Architecture, or EA, that we can attempt to “optimize the whole,” as Lean theory advises. EA is the place where we can view IT capabilities for what they truly are—an economic asset (Schwartz, 2017). Standardization, standards in general, investments, and economic benefits are touched on throughout the article as well. IT investments can, on their own merits, comprise a tangible resource … or an intangible capability … Such IT investments can influence a firm’s strategy through affecting both its efficiency and effectiveness, as well as providing critical information that either increases the value of making investments in other resources or capabilities or steers management toward more effective decision making (Schwartz, 2017). Each of the discussion points in this article relate back to IT being an asset with strong capabilities and how that contributes to the organization. Some of those capabilities include resources and intangible capabilities along with the fact that the EA asset evolves over time via incremental investments. The idea is that IT leaders should invest wisely to manage, groom, and lead in order to adapt to the constantly shifting needs. It uses company project decision to evolve. The EA asset embodies the history of the company and all of its learnings to date. It is how the company competes and how it manages its daily operations. The trick is to think of EA not as a way to impose constraints through standardization, but rather as a way to empower the business to evolve and transform. Standardizing means constraining decisions are made centrally and imposed to control the decentralized actors. Reuse is empowering; it helps teams achieve their goals more quickly by putting decision-making in the hands of the teams, who can see best what reuse makes sense (Schwartz, 2017).
‘Build Versus Buy’ introduces the discussion of how building a new product, enhancement, change, etc. is known to be more risky and costly than to buy a ready-made product. There are now ways of custom-developing systems that preserve many of the advantages of buying off the shelf. The risk of developing a system incrementally and altering it based on user feedback is often lower than that of buying a finished product that is hard to change. The advantages of the agility that can be gained through a flexible, changeable, custom system—a smooth rather than a lumpy EA, becoming more compelling, and the disadvantages of proprietary products, always evident, are becoming harder to accept (Schwartz, 2017). The issue brought to light is that we often organize complete businesses around a product instead of creating the IT capabilities catered to the business itself. This comes back to the off-the-shelf products that are purchased and we assume they will work the way we want even though they weren’t created with our business model in mind, we just purchased it. Buying off-the-shelf is essentially another way of saying that we know all or most of our requirements in advance. It assumes that we can put together a request for proposal (RFP) or a set of evaluation criteria and then search for a product in the market that comes close to meeting those requirements. The closer it comes; the less customization is required and the more favorable the economics are. But requirements, in our Agile world, are purely hypothetical; they will evolve, and will only become known empirically (Schwartz, 2017). We should instead be taking the time to develop new and innovative products that meet the business needs.
‘Governance and Oversight’: Governance is the process by which IT is excused from playing a strategic role in the enterprise. Through governance, IT becomes aligned with business strategy by applying a decision strategy to select among various investments proposed to it by other parts of the business. This decision strategy may consist of deferring the decision to a steering committee drawn from the business, or it might involve applying objective decision criteria based on the company’s priorities. Either way, IT leaders are excused from actually making the decisions that drive strategy (Schwartz, 2017). Governance allows projects to be declined so that IT leaders aren’t held solely responsible given they have limited capacity in many cases. Governance has traditionally been viewed as a filter; a way of allocating scarce IT resources among many competing projects. But in a world where IT is integral to strategy, it makes more sense to begin from strategic objectives and produce investment themes that accomplish those objectives. When combined with Agile and Lean practices, this approach can focus IT planning, reduce risk, eliminate waste, and provide a supportive environment for teams engaged in creating value (Schwartz, 207).
How is the enterprise IT architecture an “asset” to Agility?
Typically, business-process benefits impact enterprise architecture maturity and governance. These controls act as a supporting framework for decision making. Enterprise architecture improves organizational impacts through productivity, agility, product and service timeliness, revenue growth, and cost reduction (Nichol, 2018). The architecture allows teams to focus on value creation through reuse of high-quality assets, it creates greater consistency as teams are following effective and common practices with new assets to them, enables disaggregation to spread work amongst a team to reduce risk and complexity, it enables continuous deliveries by value streams, and enterprise architecture scales agile so organizations are able to strategically scale agile across the organization. These al provide the ‘asset’ aspect to allowing agile to remain highly utilized and effective.
How does Agile impact the make-or-buy “equation?
This depends on what the organization is focusing on, the resources available within the company and IT, and the type of product. Typically, an organization can purchase a ready-made product/service that seems to fit all the needs they have. This reduces the need to spend time and resources in house working on it and also includes when those resources and advances in technology aren’t there. When making, the organization can focus on fully catering the product or enhancement to what they need, including making changes along the way. In agile, change is constant. We’re constantly evolving, shifting directions, requiring new things, etc. Part of why agile is so effective is because the practices are able to be adopting and flexible in all areas. Buying off-the-shelf is essentially another way of saying that we know all or most of our requirements in advance. It assumes that we can put together a request for proposal (RFP) or a set of evaluation criteria and then search for a product in the market that comes close to meeting those requirements. The closer it comes; the less customization is required and the more favorable the economics are. But requirements, in our Agile world, are purely hypothetical; they will evolve, and will only become known empirically (Schwartz, 2017).
How does Schwartz’s view of governance differ from the traditional view?
Schwartz reviews how agile is managed with governance to be about reviewing and adapting at all stages. His idea is that there can be more focused IT planning, a reduction in risk, waste eliminated, and provide a supportive environment for teams to thrive and produce quality/value added products. Traditionally speaking, governance in project management is the structure that deals with responsibility and accountability which surrounds the projects as the framework for making decisions. Traditional governance tends to put in place a more formal governance structure while Agile promotes in principle a more self-steering control of the project team members.
Enterprise Architecture, PMI.org. Retrieved 30, July from Enterprise Architecture – Disciplined Agile (DA) (pmi.org)
Nichol, P. (2018). Why enterprise architecture maximizes organizational value. CIO: The Next Generation. Why enterprise architecture maximizes organizational value | CIO
Schwartz, M. (2017). A seat at the Table: IT Leadership in the
Age of Agility. IT Revolution Press.