An Agile Approach to Compliance

Agile complianceCompliance means different things to different people. As I am using the term, compliance is about proving to someone – often an auditor, whether internal or external – that a company is following the processes and procedures that it says it does. These processes are most often put in place to support regulations that constrain the industry segment in which the company operates. In this post, I want to suggest some ways in which Agile methods and perspectives address compliance.

Scrum, a light-weight Agile project management framework, promotes transparency, reporting, and risk mitigation through short iteration delivery of value. Extreme Programing (XP) promotes automated testing, continuous integration, and close-client involvement. By combining these Agile frameworks, “compliance” becomes part of an Agile culture of value delivery.

The following bullets outline an approach to an “Agile Compliance Culture”:

  • Identified Compliance Control Objectives become part of the Product Backlog as User Story Acceptance Criteria.
  • Control Activities, which are derived from Control Objectives, are automated in testing when possible. An example would be automated logging.
  • Automated test suites are run continuously, providing a compliance health check, thus reducing risk.
  • Compliance is built up iteratively rather than in a big bang fashion, thus reducing cost.
  • Compliance becomes part of the Agile delivery culture.

Compliance is not optional, nor an add-on to standard software development and delivery. Agile values of transparency, risk mitigation, reporting, high customer involvement, and continuous testing readily support a highly-valued compliance software delivery culture.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

 


Subscribe to Business Agility Trends and Insights
Business leaders need insight into how business agility and Agile are shaping the world. With a monthly subscription to Business Agility Trends and Insights, you'll receive curated trend reports, case studies, white papers and more that demonstrate how business agility is a core competency of the future. Topics include innovation, portfolio management, leadership, budgeting and finance and more!
*By entering your email address you give Accenture | SolutionsIQ permission to send you marketing emails. You may unsubscribe at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link located at the bottom of any email. View our Privacy Policy