Synergise Governance, Reduce Friction, Improve Delivery

One of the primary goals of the AMO Method(R) is to harmonise the worlds of delivery and governance; unlocking the potential gains which are dissipating into the ether through unnecessary friction. Over the past five years, it’s been impossible to miss the seismic transition which has swept through organisations, leading to the significant repositioning of the delivery functions. As the value of speed to market, and responsiveness to customer demands have risen to the fore; Agile has rapidly crept out from the world of software development into almost all product and service industries. However, while the focus of transition has zeroed in on the teams which are perceived to be the gatekeepers of reaching the customer; the framework which supports these units to deliver effectively, efficiently and at maximum utilisation has been persistently overlooked.

When rigid governance frameworks fail

Governance is used for oversight to prevent people from doing the wrong thing. Why do people do the wrong things and need to be controlled? Despite best intentions, often governance is poorly managed or governance controls are forgotten and not adhered to. When systems and processes are poorly designed, people do the wrong things and oversight is needed to catch them out doing something ‘wrong’. Then ensures there are measures to correct the wrongs. In many cases, governance has been implemented in a narrow and rigid way often as oversight through often long, arduous steering committees, audits, and meetings. Not to mention convoluted approval processes that are far too rigid and sometimes not practical or pragmatic.

‘Governance is all processes that coordinate and control an organisation’s resources and actions including but not limited to finances, ethics, resource-management, accountability, and management controls.’

Running 1000 miles to escape governance

A quick Google of the noun ‘friction’, defines it as ‘The resistance that one surface or object encounters when moving over another.’ This describes exactly what many organisations are experiencing when delivering projects, whether it’s recognised or not. This friction, between the governance structures and the delivery arms, is diminishing the intended benefit that governance is intended to provide; while weakening the effectiveness of delivery functions to execute their objectives. And the outcome? Waste to the organisation through rework; resulting in wasted talent through frustration and eventually demotivation. And at the very end, a culmination of poor quality of outcomes, retention challenges and ultimately increased costs.

‘A key piece in the puzzle of this modernising approach to delivery is to modernise the framework in which the delivery occurs.’

Through years providing structure for multinational projects to achieve their goals, I recognised the shifting sands and the lack of value attributed to the PMO in the end-to-end process; leading to the creation of the AMO Method. Tested in numerous organisations, spanning several countries, the AMO Method successfully minimises the friction between governance and delivery by aligning governance structures to the modern approach of delivery functions.

By doing so, the AMO Method does what a robust governance model has always intended to do — provide a scalable framework for multi-faceted delivery teams to leverage, while presenting a single perspective of the landscape to Leadership. Achieving this synergy realises compounding benefits, similar to that of a well-oiled machine; as all work in progress can be managed with less effort and to a higher degree of quality. But it doesn’t end there. By crafting an environment where the outputs are meaningful, and objectives are ultimately achieved; individual contributors experience a sense of fulfilment through accomplishment, growth, and development; juxtaposed to the all too common sense of frustration and anxiety caused by structural failings inhibiting delivery.

Grey areas ahead

Discontent and disengagement can be toxic, its foothold can simply start with one. An environment where friction creates an atmosphere of negativity can foster issues that reach far deeper than just an individual, team or organisation’s ability to achieve great success. The value of creating a place where work is meaningful and the benefits of doing so have long been recognised. It is also well understood that taking a customer-centric view of positioning an organisation is critical to sustainable success. A missing piece of the puzzle rests within the fabric of an organisation. The AMO Method works within this fabric, to stitch an organisation together so that it can run at the same speed — in harmony. Achieving this balance develops an environment where outcomes can be achieved, work becomes meaningful, and those within the organisation re-engage through the opportunity to grow and develop. Ultimately, removing the grey area that exists between governance and delivery.

Thinking about governance behaviors in your organisation, here are some questions to consider

  • Are we asking for the right information?
  • Why are you asking for it?
  • Why do we do RAG ratings, if something red what is it you are going to do about it?
  • How will this information support a decision in the short or long term?
  • What is the purpose of the metric we are capturing?

Often governance models and frameworks are developed with the end in mind, unlike the AMO Method which is developed iteratively with true personalisation for the customer.

How do we improve the way organisations do Governance

Use a more systematic approach that enables people to do the right thing, first time and reduces unnecessary overheads. It sets clear direction and supports empowering behaviors by teams, ensures those teams are controlled and well-coordinated. Using the AMO Method which is a framework that coordinates governance and change and implements it. It helps to drive better behaviors through the direct application of a situational governance lens using a tried and tested governance framework, system, and methodology that integrates across your organisation.

It may appear to be a minimal change, but the potential to be unlocked within your organisation is waiting for this critical shift.

If you would like to know more about the AMO Method and how it has been helping organisations like yours incrementally get in touch: contact@agilemanagementoffice.com

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Fatimah Abbouchi

Australian PMO Influencer of the Year | LinkedIn Power Profile | Award-Winning Project Thought Leader | ‘Agile Ideas’ Podcast Host | Living Successfully Anxious