Governing Agile Teams

An important, yet seldom discussed, topic is how do you govern agile software development teams. This is rather strange considering that agile teams are in fact being governed whether you choose to recognize this or not. If someone is keeping an eye on the budget, or the level of quality being produced, or whether you are building something of value for your stakeholders then you are being governed. If there are defined roles and responsibilities for team members then you’re being governed. If you are following common programming or database guidelines, or working towards a common technical or business roadmap, or inviting outsiders to attend your coordination meetings then you are being governed. The question is are you being governed well?

The Disciplined Agile (DA) tool kit is one of the few places where governance strategies are baked right into the tool kit. In fact, we dedicated an entire chapter to governing teams in our book Disciplined Agile Delivery. In this article we explore the following topics:

  1. What is(n’t) Agile Delivery Governance?
  2. Why Agile Delivery Governance?
  3. How Disciplined Agile Teams Are Governed
  4. Strategies that Enable Delivery Governance
  5. How the Rest of Your Organization Supports Team Governance
  6. Concluding Thoughts