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IT Governance – what is it, why deploy it and how to make it work for your organization

March 14th, 2022
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Agile Data-Driven
Business Value
Project Costs
Resource Planning
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At Waydev, we know that things are pretty complex when it comes to IT Governance planning in an organization. Connecting IT and corporate structures while ensuring that both are part of a synchronized strategy and strive for the same goal – business success – is not an easy task.  

To help you act as an integral part of Corporate Governance and deploy IT Governance at its best, we will walk you through the concept, its objectives and methodologies, its benefits, as well as offer you tips and tricks on how to deploy it successfully. 

Moreover, we will also showcase how the Waydev platform helps Engineering Managers oversee the performance of their engineering team through accurate reports that give real-time actionable insight. Read further to find out how to keep track of KPIs and budgets to make IT Governance work for you. 

Navigating IT Governance definitions

There are a few IT Governance definitions out there, but the simplest way to explain the process is to define it as a pillar of corporate Governance. This set of policies enables Engineering executives to deploy efficient decision-making processes that ensure IT assets provide top value to the company and its stakeholders.

IT Governance is defined as the process or series of processes that ensures technical teams manage risks and operate in alliance with the organization’s business objectives, thus providing value to stakeholders and generating return on investment.

On the large scale, IT governance is a part of the overall enterprise governance.

Why do you need an IT Governance plan: Main objectives

Companies implement IT Governance for organizational purposes. CIOs face immense pressure to comply with stakeholders’ needs, from their employees and associates to their shareholders. In this context, performing well, ensuring operational efficiency, and sound resource management are mandatory. 

IT Governance is needed to obtain five key objectives:

1. Strategic Alignment with business

This objective focuses on creating a connection between business, operational, and IT strategies. Good IT governance practices ensure the value propositions are constant and that 

IT efforts are in line with the enterprise’s overall operations. 

2. Value Delivery

This is, perhaps, the core objective of IT governance. IT assets must follow the value proposision across the whole software delivery life cycle process (SDLC).

An essential pillar of this criterion is optimizing costs and showcasing how valuable IT efforts and investments are during all stages of the delivery cycle. 

Calculating software project costs
Waydev’s Project Costs report provides insight into the progress and costs of key initiatives and deliverables to help teams ship on schedule.

3. Risk Management

Engineering Managers and CIOs are responsible for managing and assesing risk. The primary purpose here is to ensure specific departments and roles take accountability for security aspects and have procedures in place to mitigate risk. This IT Governance criterion requires a transparent approach. 

pull-request-risk
With Waydev’s Pull Request Risk report, Engineering Managers can asses the risk of a Pull Request to cause trouble.

4. Resource Management

In an IT department this objective focuses on optimizing investments and resources. IT helps engineering executives understand how well IT assets are allocated and how to optimize team dynamics to improve software quality and delivery velocity. Engineering Managers can identify how bug fixes and issues impact roadmap and sofware delivery.

5. Performance Measurement  

A well established IT gouvernance enables Engineering Managers to measure their teams’ software delivery velocity and throughput, generate reports with actionable insights and identify improvement opportunities. In doing so, they asses software development performance and align delivery velocity with quality and business needs.

The DORA metrics are designed to help you measure DevOps performance. They’re aggregated from your CI/CD tools.

Which are the available IT Governance structures and frameworks: The options

The need to facilitate better IT Governance has led to the creation and adoption of specific frameworks, such as Control Objectives for Information and related Technology (COBIT), Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), and the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), COSO framework, and the Factor Analysis of Information Risk (FAIR). 

These frameworks help standardize IT best practices and foster good management. 

1.COBIT – Control Objectives for Information and related Technology

Developed by ISACA and released in 1996, COBIT is the most popular of IT Governance framework examples. It enables companies to reduce costs, create and deploy privacy standards and help managers organize and supervise tech processes. Its IT Governance structure references thirty-seven IT processes, focusing on inputs, outputs, objectives, and performance metrics. 

To keep up with the tech world’s everchanging needs and challenges, COBIT 2019 is based on six core principles: 

  1. Providing stakeholder value through resource balance and actionable strategies. 
  2. Approaching things holistically.
  3. Understanding that everything is dynamic and one change may impact the whole EGit system. 
  4. Governance and management aren’t always synonymous. 
  5. Governance should always be tailored to the organization’s needs and potential. 
  6. Governance focuses on all technical functions used in the company. 

Moreover, another version of COBIT places much value on assisting tech leaders in understanding that their obligations span beyond the actual deployment of the IT Governance structure. This specific framework focuses on legal and ethical criteria that should be respected when using IT in a company. 

2.ITIL – Information Technology Infrastructure Library

This globally recognized framework provides IT Governance examples for best practices, as it focuses on using IT to drive business development, growth, and transformation. 

ITIL 4, the latest version available, addresses current challenges while also integrating newer SDLC processes, like Agile and DevOps, and cloud technologies. The updated approach enables CIOs to assess IT Governance’s impact on the organization, streamline operational processes, break down silos by fostering collaboration and co-creation, building trust among stakeholders.  

ITIL has four dimensions that ensure its effectiveness in deployment:

  1. Organizations and people. Focuses on defining roles, responsibilities, and leadership frameworks. 
  2. The information and technology segment ensures new technologies are mastered securely. 
  3. The framework encourages collaboration by a Partners & Suppliers segment
  4. Value streams and processes create an operating model that defines workflows, control levels, and objectives.

3.COSO

This framework is developed by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission and is more of a general approach than targeted explicitly at IT landscapes. Less oriented towards tech environments, the framework was developed to help companies assess risk, perform internal checks and prevent fraud. 

This IT Governance structure focuses on three key areas: operations, reporting, and compliance. 

4.CMMI

The Capability Maturity Model Integration is a framework that enables companies to streamline processes and foster an efficient organizational culture, which focuses on decreasing risks in product and service development. CMMI is often mandatory for software development companies that want to work with the U.S. Government. 

CMMI uses a scale from 1 to 5 to assess how mature organizations are. Levels 4 and 5 are the ones for which companies strive. They position enterprises as highly mature, showcasing their continuous evolvement and the flexibility with which they meet stakeholders and customer needs. 

5.FAIR

The Factor Analysis of Information Risk is a framework that assesses the factors that generate and contribute to risk and the ways they intertwine. The primary goal of FAIR is to protect organizations against cybersecurity threats and data loss events and provide the necessary insights for decision-making. 

FAIR focuses mainly on measuring the probability of something occurring so that companies may mitigate issues. 

Planning for IT Governance in your organization: The benefits

You can use the above frameworks on their own or together to drive increased value for all stakeholders. The significant benefits include:

IT Governance puts stakeholder value at the core of its actions

The main objective of IT Governance is to drive value. Engineering Managers and CIOs need to understand what stakeholders perceive as value to start from a good premise. In many cases, this might mean frequent, high-quality releases and deploying successful projects that increase end-user satisfaction. All, of course, while using resources efficiently and accelerating velocity.

An essential pillar of driving value with IT Governance is associated with making stakeholders part of your engineering process. By walking them through your strategies and explaining them the benefits of what you are doing, you get them on board with your project and ensure they buy in. 

Getting stakeholders onboard with your startegies, allows you to focus on a clear vision and sound directions that determine sound IT investments and activities.  

A solid IT Governance structure enables companies to meet relevant regulatory frameworks and manage risks

Complex engineering projects assume meeting several requirements at once: focus on respecting regulatory frameworks, deviler within the deadlines, and ensure great UX and UI. 

Risks appear when the team compromises due to certain limitations like time, budget, or performance. Compromises immediately translate into challenges that may escalate and threaten the project, opening the door for technical failures and malware attacks. 

Moreover, engineering teams often apply for redundancies to ensure systems are backed-up and to increase their reliability. While these help to avoid risks, they require a high level of involvement, reducing performance and resource management efficiency. 

IT Governance defines all mandatory parameters and offers information on approaching conflicts, setting how much risk is acceptable in a project and how you should mitigate it. This way, it significantly reduces the need for redundancies and the chances for human errors and faulty decision-making. 

Waydev is the new Agile data-driven method of tracking engineering teams’ output directly for your git repos without their manual input. This way, you get granular visibility to manage your team better with objective data.

The IT Governance plan sets a strong premise for building organizational trust

To trust an organization, stakeholders need to understand the principles under which it operates and ensure that it benefits from structure and transparent rules. When they know that the company is in good hands and that regulations and procedures are applied with professionalism and expertise, stakeholders rely more on the organizational system. 

The creation and the implementation of an IT Governance strategy generate trust among stakeholders by enabling faster response time in case of potential threats and errors.

IT Governance structures and frameworks give Engineering Managers a bird’s eye view over the performance of their engineering teams

To deliver quality work on schedule, engineering managers need to have complete visibility over what is happening inside their teams and projects. This approach involves translating performance into KPIs that they may assess and observe over time, understanding what needs to be done at individual and team levels, and taking measures at the right time.

At Waydev, we understand the need to measure your engineering team’s activity. Our reporting platform enables you to plan resources, forecast costs to accelerate innovation and maximize business impact. Moreover, you can also use it to follow a project’s timeline, understand how events impact performance and visualize performance following repository stats. 

By offering access to real-time data, Waydev helps Engineering Managers assess their team’s performance, identify bottlenecks and mitigate potential risks before they escalate. This way, they may transform team statistics into valuable, actionable insights. 

IT Governance planning in an organization contributes to cost savings

IT Governance contributes to solid financial planning and cost optimization by streamlining operations, automating processes, and strategizing investments. These practices ensure organizations use their budgets efficiently, saving on costs and maximizing ROIs. 

When the above is achieved, IT Governance planning in a company contributes to identifying the added value IT brings to an organization and making a case for further investments and budget allocations. 

How to implement and make your IT governance plan work with Waydev

IT Governance enables you to deliver measurable results, that are in line with the organization’s goals and growth strategies. 

Here is how you can implement IT Governance and make it work for you with Waydev:

Define and measure value with Agile metrics

One of the main pain points businesses have when it comes to the software development process is delivery speed. They want to have their new software in production as soon as possible.

A prevalent Agile metric, velocity,  showcases the volume of work that a team may complete in a certain period. 

To calculate velocity, you need to add the story points that have been completed in a sprint, regardless of their starting time. 

Waydev measures and monitors velocity and offers you real-time insights, that enable you to make Agile decisions. As our research shows, teams that use Waydev solutions achieve 2.2X Accelerated Velocity. 

Another Agile metric, that helps you measure velocity is Cycle time. The metric measures the time spent from the moment the engineering team started developing the software project until its completion. 

cycle time
With Waydev, engineering managers benefit from cycle times which are faster by 28%. 

To asses risk Waydev enables you to measure how likely it is a particular commit will cause problems. In this case, there are specific data points that you should take into account, such as the commit’s size, how far do the changes spread, as well as the changes’ depth. 

Automate processes

Continuous Integration (CI) and Continous Development (CD) are vital in today’s engineering ecosystem because they ensure that your team delivers software in an iterative form. To support these processes, Waydev integrates the most successful and used CI / CD tools, such as Jenkins, Azure Pipelines, and CircleCi. 

Our solution automatically gathers data from the Continuous Integration and Continous Development pipelines and tracks Gitlab repos, enabling you to analyze information without requiring any form of manual input. This is an excellent way to monitor DevOps performance by focusing on DORA metrics

By automating these processes and measurements, you may have a clear view of how deployment is going, assess what impacts burn-down rates, what causes bottlenecks, and how to solve them. 

Keep track of your development costs

Projects budgets are significant both for stakeholders and the bottom line. With Waydev’s Project Costs report, you have consistent insights on how work is progressing and how things look financially. This enables you to reallocate resources to ship on time or optimize costs and communicate project status to business leaders. 

When done right, IT governance aligns business requirements with technology processes while enabling Engineering Managers to optimize performance and analyze risks.

Contact us for a demo if you want to find out what Waydev can do to help you deploy IT Governance at its best. 

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