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Lean Enterprise by Jez Humble, Barry O'Reilly, Joanne Molesky

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Chapter 12. Embrace Lean Thinking for Governance, Risk, and Compliance

All things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Trust is not simply a matter of truthfulness, or even constancy. It is also a matter of amity and goodwill. We trust those who have our best interest at heart, and mistrust those who seem deaf to our concerns.

Gary Hammel

We often hear that Lean Startup principles and the techniques and practices we suggest in this book would never work in large enterprises because of governance. “This won’t meet regulatory requirements.” “That doesn’t fit in our change management process.” “Our team can’t have access to servers or production.” These are just a few examples of the many reasons people have given for dismissing the possibility of changing the way they work.

When we hear these objections, we recognize that people aren’t really talking about governance; they are referring to processes that have been put in place to manage risk and compliance and conflating them with governance. Like any other processes within an organization, those established for managing governance, risk, and compliance (GRC)1 must be targets for continuous improvement to ensure they contribute to overall value.

There are many large enterprise organizations that have been able to apply lean engineering practices and develop a culture of experimentation as we have described earlier. They are subject ...

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