Governance of Software Development: The Transition to Agile Scenario

Governance of Software Development: The Transition to Agile Scenario

Yael Dubinsky (IBM Haifa Research Lab, Israel), Avi Yaeli (IBM Haifa Research Lab, Israel), Yishai Feldman (IBM Haifa Research Lab, Israel), Emmanuel Zarpas (IBM Haifa Research Lab, Israel) and Gil Nechushtai (IBM Haifa Research Lab, Israel)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-008-0.ch015
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Governance is the exercise of control and direction over a subject such as a society, an organization, processes, or artifacts, by using laws and policies that are defined, deployed, and executed. In this chapter we develop this definition into a formal conceptual model that can be applied to a variety of governance domains. At the heart of this model lies the concept of the governance solution and its lifecycle. The governance solution embodies the set of mechanisms—decision rights, policies, controls, and measurements—applied to a governance scope in order to achieve some governance goals. As part of the lifecycle, the effectiveness of the governance solution is measured, and corrections and alignments are made as necessary. We demonstrate how this model can be applied to multiple governance domains by providing examples from IT governance as well as software-development governance. We conclude by providing a detailed scenario in the software-development governance space, which looks at large software organizations undergoing transition to agile development methodology. We further demonstrate how the governance model is instantiated and evolved in the context of this scenario.
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The field of information technology (IT) governance has garnered an increased amount of attention in recent years. However, it is still struggling to provide a universally agreed-upon definition and a complete model for IT governance, along with the required tools and techniques.

The definitions of IT governance that can be found in the literature from Broadbent (1998), Chulani, Clay, Yaeli, Wegman, and Cantor (2006), Van Grembergen and De Haes (2004), Weill and Ross (2004), and Williams (2005) and they all share common ideas, such as the need to increase the value of IT to the organization while reducing risk. For example, Weill and Ross (2004)focus on decision rights and define IT governance as “specifying the decision rights and accountability framework to encourage desirable behavior in the use of IT” (p. 8). Van Grembergen and De Haes (2004) address the alignment of the IT organization with the business needs, and define IT governance as “the leadership and organizational structures, processes, and relational mechanisms that ensure that the organization’s IT sustains and extends the organization’s strategy and objectives” (p. 1).

Chulani et al. (2006) include both decision rights and the alignment with business needs: “Within IBM, a widely accepted definition for IT governance is:

  • Governance that pertains to an organization’s information technology activities and the way those activities support the goals of the business

  • Decision making rights associated with IT as well as the mechanisms and policies used to measure and control the way IT decisions are made and carried out within the organization” (p. 10).

In recent years, several IT governance and control frameworks, such as CobiT1, ITIL2, ISO-177993 have been developed. These frameworks help business management, IT management, quality practitioners, and auditors understand what needs to be done; yet they are far from being complete. Dahlberg and Kivijärvi (2006) outline the limitations of CobiT as a process-centric framework and suggest a new framework that takes an integrated process and structural approach, and links into corporate governance.

Another limitation stems from the fact that CobiT is a high-level framework targeted at IT organizations that support a business unit or a business organization. CobiT considers software development activities only within the context of providing a supporting service in a value chain for another business unit, rather than as a central business activity in itself. Software development activities are briefly described in CobiT as part of the high-level control objective AI2, “Acquire and Maintain Application Software.” CobiT thus lacks a description of governance mechanisms that are appropriate for organizations with a large focus on software development. To that end, organizations need to refer to other standards and frameworks that focus more on software development and control of software development activities.

This chapter is aimed at bridging the gap between high-level IT governance and software development governance. We first present a model for governance in general, and then use the model to describe IT and software development domain-specific governance. The model is built based on a review of the literature and a set of scenarios, as explained in the next section. We use the process of transition to agile software development (Beck & Andres, 2004; Dubinsky, Hazzan, Talby, & Keren, 2006; Highsmith, 2002) to demonstrate the domain-specific governance schemes.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Wim Van Grembergen
Aileen Cater-Steel
Aileen Cater-Steel
Chapter 1
Sherrena Buckby, Peter Best, Jenny Stewart
This chapter introduces current and prior IT governance literature across five key focus areas being strategic alignment of business and IT systems... Sample PDF
The Current State of Information Technology Governance Literature
Chapter 2
Junghoon Lee, Changjin Lee
Domestic and global companies are increasingly using information and communication technologies as a means of delivering their strategic visions and... Sample PDF
IT Governance-Based IT Strategy and Management: Literature Review and Future Research Directions
Chapter 3
David Musson
This chapter reviews the IT governance literature. It proposes that there are three different concepts that are grouped together as IT governance.... Sample PDF
IT Governance: A Critical Review of the Literature
Chapter 4
Jyotirmoyee Bhattacharjya, Vanessa Chang
This chapter introduces key IT governance concepts and industry standards and explores their adoption and implementation in the higher education... Sample PDF
Adoption and Implementation of IT Governance: Cases from Australian Higher Education
Chapter 5
Lynne Gerke, Gail Ridley
This chapter examines the potential to use an audit program based on the Control Objectives for Information and related Technologies (CobiT)... Sample PDF
Tailoring CobiT for Public Sector IT Audit: An Australian Case Study
Chapter 6
Tony C. Shan, Winnie W. Hua
This chapter defines a methodical approach, named Comprehensive Architecture Rationalization and Engineering (CARE), to effectively manage the... Sample PDF
Comprehensive Architecture Rationalization and Engineering
Chapter 7
Junghoon Lee, Jungwoo Lee, Ja Young Lee
Research has recently begun to place greater emphasis on the strategic application of IT in seeking to integrate firms’ IT infrastructures and... Sample PDF
A Comparative Case Study of Three Korean Firms: Applying an IT Governance Framework
Chapter 8
Breanna O’Donohue, Graeme Pye, Matthew J. Warren
This chapter focuses upon the Australian Standard for the Corporate Governance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) AS8015 (Standards... Sample PDF
The Impact of ICT Governance within Australian Companies
Chapter 9
Mark Toleman, Aileen Cater-Steel, Brian Kissell, Rob Chown, Michael Thompson
Acting upon the recommendations of a review of information and communications technology (ICT) governance and services at USQ, a major restructure... Sample PDF
Improving ICT Governance: A Radical Restructure Using CobiT and ITIL
Chapter 10
Brian Cusack
Security is a subprocess that affects all processes within an organization structure. The control frameworks of CobiT and ITIL provide a mapping of... Sample PDF
Managing IT Security Relationships within Enterprise Control Frameworks
Chapter 11
Michael A. Borth, Randy V. Bradley
This chapter discusses the overall importance of both corporate and IT governance, and demonstrates that IT governance is a very important... Sample PDF
Unexplored Linkages between Corporate Governance and IT Governance: An Evaluation and Call to Research
Chapter 12
Alea Fairchild, Martin Smits, Piet Ribbers, Erik van Geel, Geert Snijder
This document summarizes the initial findings of the I-Fit research project that started in August 2006 as a joint activity of a regional ICT... Sample PDF
I-Fit: Optimizing the Fit between Business and IT
Chapter 13
Tobias Kollmann, Matthias Häsel
This chapter articulates the knowledge and skills required by IT professionals in young Internet-based firms. Building on the general IT governance... Sample PDF
Competence of Information Technology Professionals in Internet-Based Ventures
Chapter 14
G. Philip Rogers
This chapter assesses what role maturity models can play in enterprise IT governance. Frameworks that are well known in the IT industry, such as the... Sample PDF
The Role of Maturity Models in IT Governance: A Comparison of the Major Models and Their Potential Benefits to the Enterprise
Chapter 15
Yael Dubinsky, Avi Yaeli, Yishai Feldman, Emmanuel Zarpas, Gil Nechushtai
Governance is the exercise of control and direction over a subject such as a society, an organization, processes, or artifacts, by using laws and... Sample PDF
Governance of Software Development: The Transition to Agile Scenario
Chapter 16
Anne C. Rouse
This chapter considers the governance issues raised by the increasing use of external parties to supply IT resources (including packaged enterprise... Sample PDF
The Governance Implications When it is Outsourced
Chapter 17
Muralidharan Ramakrishnan
This chapter is intended primarily for managers who are preparing to implement portfolio management concepts in an organization and students of IT... Sample PDF
IT Portfolio Management: A Pragmatic Approach to Implement IT Governance
Chapter 18
Andrew Dowse, Edward Lewis
With the cost, complexity and risk associated with IT systems, the approach to IT governance and service management in many organizations is to... Sample PDF
Applying Organizational Theories to Realize Adaptive IT Governance and Service Management
Chapter 19
Jon Iden
This chapter presents and analyzes a real life ITIL project, and it is based on a longitudinal case study. The purpose is to illustrate how the ITIL... Sample PDF
Implementing IT Service Management: Lessons Learned from a University IT Department
Chapter 20
Neil McBride
This chapter describes a suggested model for developing a service strategy within IT services. It considers the context, the organization of IT... Sample PDF
A Model for IT Service Strategy
Chapter 21
Manuel Mora, Ovsei Gelman, Rory O’Connor, Francisco Alvarez, Jorge Macías-Luévano
This chapter develops a descriptive-conceptual overview of the main models and standards of processes formulated in the systems engineering (SE)... Sample PDF
An Overview of Models and Standards of Processes in the SE, SwE, and IS Disciplines
Chapter 22
Claus-Peter Praeg, Dieter Spath
This chapter introduces an IT-Service management framework for the use of quality management concepts in the context of the life cycle phases of... Sample PDF
Perspectives of IT-Service Quality Management: A Concept for Life Cycle Based Quality Management of IT-Services
Chapter 23
Chee Ing Tiong, Aileen Cater-Steel, Wui-Gee Tan
This study reviews literature related to financial metrics that organizations could use in measuring the return on investment from their adoption of... Sample PDF
Measuring Return on Investment from Implementing ITIL: A Review of the Literature
Chapter 24
Dirk Malzahn
This chapter describes how models for software development and service delivery can be integrated into a common approach to reach an integrated... Sample PDF
Integrated Product Life Cycle Management for Software: CMMI1, SPICE, and ISO/IEC 20000
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