Chapter 3

Governance: The Secret to Satisfying the Business Agility Meta-Requirement

Few topics in today's organizations present such a diverse set of both business and technology challenges as governance. Governance consists of establishing chains of responsibility, policies that guide the organization, control mechanisms to ensure compliance with those policies, and communication and measurement among all parties. However, what constitutes a policy and what activities, processes, and tools the organization requires for governance are questions that have a broad diversity of answers.

Nowhere are the differences among various definitions of governance more pronounced than in the contrast between lines of business and IT. From the business perspective, top executives as well as government regulators set policies for the organization, which explain in often broad terms how various individuals within the company must act in certain circumstances. From the IT perspective, however, governance covers a range of policies that span the gamut from purchasing and hiring policies all the way to firewall and coding policies and service-level agreements.

In order for organizations to successfully implement Agile Architecture, the IT organization must place increasingly powerful tools into the hands of the business, enabling them to have unprecedented control over their business processes and information. With such power, however, comes responsibility. On one hand, the IT organization has policies ...

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