Agility in Finance

ICP-FIN

Driv affärsagilitet med Strategisk Finans

Genom att anpassa de finansiella processerna efter agila principer, blir finansavdelningen en stark katalysator för en smidigare verksamhet. Agile Finance möjliggör för organisationer att snabbt anpassa sig till skiftande marknadsbehov, realisera tillväxtpotential och säkra en långsiktig framgång.

Beyond Budgeting är en ledningsfilosofi som ifrågasätter traditionella budgetprocesser. Den förespråkar flexibilitet och anpassningsförmåga i ledarskapset och processer eftersom  traditionella metoder ofta är srigida, tidskrävande och inte i takt med en snabbt föränderlig affärsverklighet.

Du får insikt i hur finansfunktionen kan understödja Business Agility och kunskap om effektivt allokering av finansiella resurser, utveckling av agila beslutsramverk och hur man optimerar resultatstyrning i en agil kontext.

Genom att införliva Beyond Budgeting-konceptet får organisationer den flexibilitet som är nödvändig för att navigera genom komplexa och osäkra affärsmiljöer, vilket i slutändan bidrar till hållbar tillväxt och framgång.

Vad kursen kommer att ge dig

Du kommer att lära dig:
  • Hur finansiell rapporteringspraxis kan skräddarsys för att stödja affärsagilitet, inklusive införandet av rullande prognoser och rapporteringscykler som är synkroniserade med affärscyklerna.
  • Hur man anpassar traditionella finansiella metoder för att stödja Business Agility; implementera alternativa metoder som rullande prognoser, dynamisk budgetering och flexibel resursallokering
  • Hur man implementerar budgetmodeller med stegvis finansiering, vilket gör det möjligt för organisationer att fördela resurser mer dynamiskt och reagera effektivt på ändrade prioriteringar och krav
  • Hur man tillämpar agila principer och redovisning genom att anpassa resursfördelningen till ansvar, samarbete, anpassningsförmåga och kundfokus samtidigt som etiska standarder för transparens, rättvisa och efterlevnad upprätthålls.

Vår kurs är en dynamisk 2-dagars workshop eller tio engagerande 2-timmars online-sessioner, som leder till en professionell certifiering i Agility in Finance med Agile People & Beyond Budgeting och ICAgile.

Fördelarna med att välja denna utbildning

Om du arbetar med ekonomi och vill att din funktion ska vara drivkraften för Business Agility är det här utbildningen för dig. Lär dig hur du anpassar Beyond Budgeting-konceptet för att få en organisation med större flexibilitet, förbättrat beslutsfattande och bättre resultat under dynamiska marknadsförhållanden.

I våra interaktiva gruppsessioner består lärandet av att dela  erfarenheter, reflektioner, och åsikter, och den teoretiska delen får du via vårt Learning Management System (LMS).

Genom att välja denna kurs investerar du inte bara i din egen professionella utveckling, utan också i din organisations framtid och framgång!

Vem passar kursen för?

Ledare

Ledare på alla nivåer som vill veta hur man effektivt fördelar finansiella resurser, utvecklar smidiga ramverk för beslutsfattande och optimerar resultatstyrning.

Finans

Ekonomichefer på alla nivåer som vill driva Business Agility och agera effektivt på förändrade prioriteringar och krav.

Konsulter

Konsulter som vill fördjupa sin agila förståelse för att bättre kunna stödja kunder i agila omställningar.

Agila coacher

Agile-coacher vill lära sig mer om Beyond Budgeting-konceptet för förbättrat beslutsfattande och resursallokering.

Agila människor

Nyfikna personer som söker tillväxt och nya utmaningar och som tror på organisationer som sätter människan i centrum.

Vad gör våra kurser & utbildningsprogram unika

Interaktivt lärande

Våra utbildningar lägger stor vikt vid interaktivt lärande. Genom engagerande gruppdiskussioner lär vi oss av varandra, där varje kursdeltagare bidrar med sina erfarenheter, reflektioner och synpunkter i en gemensam dialog.

Professionellt certifikat

Kursen leder till en Professional Certification med Agile People och ICAgile. Alla våra utbildningar är ackrediterasde av ICAgile, ett ledande globalt ackrediterings- och certifieringsorgan, något som  säkerställer en kvalitativ inlärningsupplevelse och  resultat

Agila People Campus

Som deltagare i våra kurser och workshops får du tillgång till vårt Learning Management System (LMS). Där kan du fördjupa dig i teori och tillägna dig nya kunnskaper i din egna takt.

Praktiska verktyg och ett nytt nätverk

Utbildningen ger dig nya färdigheter och praktiska verktyg, samtidigt som du skapar värdefulla kontakter. Vi arrangerar regelsbundet olika webinarer för att ytterligare berika din lärandeupplevelse.

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Kursbeskrivning

Workshoparna online och på plats omfattar tio huvudämnen och beskrivs mer detaljerat i vår kursbeskrivning.

Tre perspektiv

Utbildningen täcker tre olika perspektiv, individ, team och  organisationsnivå.

Lärandemål

ICAgile ackrediterar våra kurser och program, och alla våra kurser har ett detaljerat beskrivning av lärandemålen.

Andra kurser

Course Description

This course is divided into ten engaging sessions.

Agility In Finance

Session FI1: Induction To Agile Finance
The first session in the agility in finance series, “Introduction to ICP-FIN,” provides an engaging journey through management accounting and budgeting history. Participants are introduced to the fundamentals of financial agility against the backdrop of VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity) and BANI (Brittle, Anxious, Non-linear, and Incomprehensible) realities, exploring the macro trends that are reshaping the field of finance. Transitioning from linear to agile planning and project processes, students engage with real-world cases to deepen their understanding. By synthesizing traditional practices with modern agile and lean methodologies, this course serves as a solid foundation for financial professionals looking to embrace the demands of the contemporary business landscape.

Session FI2: Internal Challenges
The second session of the financial agility course delves into the concept of budgeting, its associated challenges, and the need for management innovation beyond traditional budgeting. Participants critically examine organizational silos and dysfunctional behaviors arising from rigid budgeting practices. The course brings in McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y to highlight different management approaches and their impact on budgeting. Furthermore, the session considers compliance and regulatory perspectives, specifically within banking and auditing contexts, emphasizing the balance between external and internal signaling. This session broadens participants’ understanding of budgeting in a complex and regulated environment, fostering a move towards more flexible and adaptive financial practices.

Session FI3: The Solution – Overview 
Session three of the financial agility course delves into the intricate relationships between business, management, and operating models. Participants explore the diversity of organizations and their capabilities, understanding the significance of process separation within these contexts. The session challenges students to evaluate models for their fit-for-purpose, questioning whether agility is advantageous. The concept of decoupling is also introduced, prompting learners to consider the situations in which this strategy might be beneficial. This session enhances participants’ ability to analyze organizational structures and strategic decisions in pursuing financial agility, enabling them to customize their approach to best fit their unique organizational context.

Session FI4: Targets and Indicators
In the fourth session of the financial agility course, students navigate the journey from vision to the concrete milestones of goals, targets, and indicators. The course addresses different perspectives on target-setting, discussing a shift from rigid, fixed targets towards more adaptive, relative ones or even the possibility of operating without explicit targets. This session guides participants in understanding the balance between strategic vision and tactical execution, fostering a nuanced understanding of target-setting in an agile financial context. It cultivates the ability to shape effective and flexible financial strategies that align with an organization’s broader vision and the dynamic realities of the business environment.

Session FI5: Strategic Resource Allocation
Session five of the financial agility course challenges the traditional convergence of targets, forecasts, and resource allocation decisions. Highlighting potential conflicts in objectives and motives, it advocates for a more nuanced approach. Drawing upon insights from Knut Fahlén’s “Dynamic Management Strategy,” the session guides participants toward creating adaptive resource allocation strategies that harmonize with the organization’s internal and external environments. This course empowers learners to manage resources in a volatile business landscape better, fostering adaptability and strategic alignment.

Session FI6: Monitoring And Forecasting
The sixth session of the financial agility course explores the pivotal role of forecasting in financial management. Students delve into methodologies such as Trailing 12 and Rolling 12, as well as shorter interval trailing periods like three months or weeks, highlighting their utility in capturing business dynamics. The course provides an interactive experience where participants can apply these methodologies to their data or practice with provided datasets. This hands-on session offers participants invaluable insights into the practical application of these forecasting techniques, strengthening their ability to identify trends and make data-driven financial decisions.


Session FI7: The Solution – Some Practical Examples
Session, seven of the financial agility course offers practical examples of effective financial targeting, forecasting, and honing the skills introduced in previous sessions. This session also expands into the domain of procurement, introducing the concept of agile procurement and agile contracts. It guides participants to understand how the principles of agility can be applied beyond traditional financial management and enhance procurement processes and contractual agreements. It enhances participants’ ability to incorporate financial agility across a broader range of business operations, enabling a more comprehensive approach to agile financial management.

Session FI8: Effects On Leadership & Culture
In session eight of the financial agility course, participants broaden their understanding by exploring the application of the Stacy matrix and the Cynefin framework. These models offer valuable tools for navigating complexity and uncertainty within the business environment. The session also includes examining real-world cases, providing tangible examples, and emphasizing the importance of ethical, agile practices. This session equips students with practical tools and insights for making informed financial decisions within the often uncertain and complex business landscape.

Session FI9: Transformation Of Roles & Functions
Session nine of the financial agility course zooms in on the specifics of the finance function, exploring the notion of modern agile governance. This part of the course challenges traditional command and control structures, advocating for more dynamic, decentralized decision-making processes that enhance responsiveness and adaptability. It provides participants with an understanding of how to evolve the finance function in line with agile principles, paving the way for a more innovative, resilient, and effective approach to financial governance in an ever-changing business environment.

Session FI10: Practicing Business Agility
In the tenth and final session of the financial agility course, participants comprehensively review the concepts and strategies presented throughout the course. This session is an opportunity to consolidate the understanding of financial agility, from adapting traditional budgeting and resource allocation approaches to introducing agile procurement and contracts. It reinforces the principles of modern agile governance, challenging command, and control structures and endorsing more dynamic, responsive decision-making. Serving as a capstone, this session brings together the teachings of the entire course, reinforcing the importance and applicability of financial agility in navigating the modern world’s complex, volatile business landscape.

Talent Acqusition

The Training Cover Three Perspectives:

 

Individual
Perspective​

You

  • Knowing yourself and why you do what you do.
  • Developing yourself and understanding biases, mind traps, and how to avoid judging.
  •  Communicating effectively using storytelling and visualization are powerful tools.
  • Coaching others to find their perfect place in the organization taking their personality, interests, and passions into account.

Team
Perspective

We
In Our Team

  • How to increase the pace from immature to mature high-performing teams, using skills for communication, leading, coaching, and conflict resolution.
  • How to grow and develop teams to be independent and empowered to make their own decisions, for example, about their contribution to the organization’s goals or salaries.

Organizatinal
Perspective

All
Of Us

  • How to balance an agile culture with an agile structure, providing enough support for emerging strategies where all people are involved in setting the direction.
  • How to work to change behaviors by removing limiting structures like annual budgets linked to fixed performance targets and individual bonuses.
  • Create conditions for a Learning organization where it’s ok to make mistakes and learn from them, which requires a platform of Psychological Safety.

Learning Outcomes - Agility in Finance

Finance With An Agile Mindset

Why Agile Finance 

  • The Motivation for Change
    • Current finance and accounting approaches impact an organization’s ability to adapt and respond to changes.
    • Convey that in today’s complex and uncertain world; predictability is often nonexistent. Traditional finance approaches have proven inadequate in this kind of environment. Include a complexity model such as the Cynefin framework to explain why an iterative and experimental approach that embraces uncertainty is superior to traditional control approaches that assume predictability.
  • Agility in a Nutshell
    • Agile approaches can help us cope with rapidly changing contexts.
    • Introduce the history of the agile movement, how it was designed as a response to complex challenges, how it evolves towards business agility, and why the agile mindset is paramount to achieving agility. Convey the basic paradigms of agility using the principles behind the agile manifesto, as they can apply beyond software development.
  • Financial Reporting in Agile Organizations
    • Accounting practices exist to ensure that reports relied upon by regulators, owners, and investors are free from material misstatement.
    • Reinforce why financial reports must be prepared on a consistent basis according to accepted accounting principles. Agile accounting approaches uphold and reinforce this fiduciary responsibility without limiting innovation.

Adapting Finance To Agile Organizations

  • How Traditional Financial Approaches Challenge Enterprise Agility
    • The use of traditional approaches in complex business environments leads to unwanted consequences and dysfunction.
    • Discuss ways to uncover the challenges traditional financial approaches bring to enterprise agility using ideas such as the six leadership principles and the six management processes.
  • Approaches for Agility in Finance
    • In order to support and enable agility throughout the organization, financial structures and processes must be based on an agile mindset.
    • Introduce select principles and processes (such as Beyond Budgeting). Provide relevant examples, and encourage participants to reflect on how their reality differs.

Changes Of Role And Perception 

  • Primary Changes in Financial Roles
    • To overcome the dysfunction inhibiting enterprises from thriving in a turbulent world, it is necessary to shift the paradigm around how financial activity takes place.
    • Illustrate how, in today’s environment, financial work areas shift more towards predictive data analytics and management decision support. This helps to guide decision-making at the moment rather than enforcing adherence to previous decisions and plans which likely no longer apply.
  • New Competencies and Skills Needed
    • The new role of finance requires both different and additional skills.
    • Articulate capabilities, skills, and knowledge that financial people need to support an agile organization, including financial competence (business understanding), method competence (analytical skills), personal competence (objectivity, integrity, ethics), social competence (communication skills, empower others) and an agile mindset that embraces uncertainty.

Agile Finance And The Business Ecosystem 

  • Dilemmas and Different Perspectives
    • There are many ways financial perspectives can impact, engage and challenge an agile team.
    • Introduce the range of dilemmas, challenges, and perspectives that may be encountered in the business ecosystem when financing an agile project, product, or team.
  • Challenging Silos and Misalignment
    • Isolated, siloed organization structures can achieve local optimization for the individual silos but generally result in sub-optimization and misalignment at the organizational level.
    • Explain the negative impacts of local optimization and the resulting move from efficiency to effectiveness. Provide examples of how an end-to-end, value-focused view of the organization results in better outcomes.
  • Creating Partnerships
    • In today’s business ecosystem, traditional supplier relationships are often not enough. A partnership approach is more conducive to enabling rapid response to change.
    • Introduce ways to create partnerships that are effective in a business ecosystem with agile partners, vendors, and organizations.
  • Building Trust in Financial Contexts
    • Trust is an essential value in agile. However, many approaches to contracts are based on an explicit lack of trust.
    • Explain the importance of reflecting on how trust is given, when, and to whom. Articulate that building trust in the appropriate contexts is key to enabling the full potential of the business ecosystem. Explore how to navigate sensitive financial discussions to maintain relationships of trust.
  • Agile Collaboration Models
    • Agile approaches (e.g., scrum, kanban) do not explicitly provide guidance on dealing with external partners.
    • Explain the value of defining an overall collaboration model and provide examples of what such a model would contain.
  • Distributed Teams
    • The prevalence of distributed agile teams and remote partners continues to rise.
    • Explore some possible configurations of distributed teams and partnerships that may be applicable in organizations today. Analyze the implications of these configurations and the factors that make them most effective.

Budgeting And Cost Management

The Imperative To Change Budgeting And Cost Management

  • Revisiting the Purpose of Budgeting
    • The purpose of budgeting is to direct financial resources in a way that provides the most value for the company (e.g., creating customer delight in a profitable way).
    • Explain that budgeting can be separated into target setting (what we want to happen), forecasting (what we think will happen), and resource allocation (what it takes to make it happen). Discuss potential legal and regulatory constraints to consider before releasing a budget. Explain how traditional budgeting collapses these three purposes into a single function. Introduce approaches, like Beyond Budgeting, which suggest splitting target setting, forecasting, and resource allocation into three separate processes to achieve higher levels of adaptability and agility.
  • Influence of Goals on the System
    • Goals have an important impact on the organization.
    • Show how goals create attention and focus in a company, as well as contrast how areas that do not have targets may be neglected.
  • Influence of Goals on Human Behavior
    • Goals have an important impact on human behavior.
    • Explain how goal setting and frequent follow-up create incentives. People want to “look good” in relation to the figures they report. Ensure that goal setting and follow-up are underpinned by psychological safety to avoid sub-optimization.

Frequency Of The Budgeting Cycle

  • Budgeting and Cost Management for Agility
    • A traditional, centralized budgeting and cost management approach is too slow for today’s business environment. Uncertain conditions necessitate different tools for leading organizations.
    • Show how, when budgets are set yearly and controlled on a regular basis, there is little to no room to adapt to new information. In an agile world, budgets need to be re-negotiated when insights emerge, or surprises occur. Traditional processes assume the stability and thus demotivate change that might occur during the budget cycle. Budgets should be (re-)negotiable frames based on learning rather than goals.
  • Shifting from Fixed Budgets to Incremental Funding Allocations
    • Fixed budgets are established by an annual process and are intended to control costs at an aggregate level. Activity-based budgets allocate funds based on and according to the parameters of specific activities.
    • Illustrate the need to move from big, infrequent, and imprecise budget decisions to frequent, small, and adaptable decisions. Describe the associated need to create three separate processes around target setting, forecasting, and resource allocation.
  • Adopting Continuous Financing
    • Financing approaches need to align with organizations’ product development and service delivery as the organizations adopt continuous delivery.
    • Introduce the key ideas behind continuous delivery (for products or services) and describe how financial processes can evolve to enable, and not inhibit, continuous delivery environments.

Targets, Forecasts, And Resource Allocation 

  • Effective Financial Targeting
    • Targets represent our current idea of a desired position. In a complex world, things can and will change, and targets need to adapt accordingly.
    • Provide examples of how to formulate ambitious and relative financial targets. Describe the supporting process for achieving these.
  • Effective Financial Forecasting 
    • Forecasts represent what we think will happen in our business. They should focus on indicators around desired outcomes.
    • Show why forecasting should be data-informed and not rigid/political. Explain why forecasts should only have enough detail to support decision-making. Explain how business assumptions get translated into experiments and forecasts and that forecasts are experiments based on probabilities.
  • Effective Resource Allocation
    • Financial resource allocation should be dynamic and informed by targets and forecasts.
    • Illustrate how to move towards rational spending decisions by ensuring that resource allocation is responsive to the dynamic nature of forecasts and targets. Provide examples of how spending allocation decisions can be adapted to emergent situations.

Budgeting To Create Customer Value

  • Comparing Funding Approaches: Projects, Products, and Value Streams
    • Rapid technology change is having an impact on the way organizations deliver value. Large traditionally-delivered projects are becoming the exception. Modern organizations must consider different delivery modes that enable the rapid delivery of value to clients.
    • Outline the three main delivery approaches:
      • (1) project,
      • (2) product/value stream and
      • (3) no project.
    • Discuss these approaches using examples or exercises that clearly outline how different modes deliver value. Explain the need to have a harmonic co-existence of non-dynamic and dynamic parts in the company and the common practice of blending delivery approaches.
  • Value Management vs. Cost Management
    • Funding is based on value and outcomes rather than fixed cost or functional area financing.
    • Explain that there will always be a tradeoff requiring a balance between demand and capacity. Articulate the imperative to find value and sustain the business. Consider opportunities to expand value generation rather than always seeking to limit cost. Identify limiting factors that may exist variably, depending on each organization’s capacities.

Budgeting Across The Product Lifecycle

  • Product Lifecycle Considerations
    • Approaches to creating and managing products need to be fit-for-purpose and consider the stage in the lifecycle of the product.
    • Show how early product lifecycle stages are characterized by very high ambiguities and uncertainties in business models, customer needs, and product solutions. Contrast this with late lifecycle phases, which are generally characterized by relatively high certainty in these areas, requiring different approaches and metrics to be applied based on the context.
  • Early Lifecycle Financing for Exploration
    • In early lifecycle products, the emphasis is on incremental and experimental financing. Failure is expected, and learning through failure is a key characteristic in early-stage products. Explain that exploring the business model, understanding the customer job to be done, and understanding how to create customer value are normally the primary foci in early product lifecycle stages.
    • Explain how approaches like lean startup and venture capital via investors (including crowd-sourcing) are appropriate. Focus on finding and exploring a business model that promises to be at least reasonably profitable mid-to-long-term. Explain how routing financial resources to the optimal investment item needs to be very flexible and thus lightweight. Illustrate that short cycles and rapid learning lessen the impact of failure and that appropriate metrics enable fast learning and adaptation.
  • Late Lifecycle Financing for Exploitation
    • In late life cycle products, the emphasis is on efficiency and sustainability of financing.
    • Explain that in later product lifecycle stages, the business model is usually relatively stable, and thus the dynamics of reallocating money from one investment item to another is lower. Show how, at the same time, the product is often handled as a cash cow, and the focus is on optimizing investment over revenue.
    • Explain how this enables tighter financial control with the (lean) idea of continuously optimizing financial performance while keeping customer value as high as possible. Illustrate that experimentation and learning will continue but with a focus on building efficiencies. Show how appropriate metrics help learning and optimization.

Empowering Teams To Manage Finances 

  • Ownership and Product Budget
    • Decision-making should be decentralized, ensuring learnings are shared. Empowered teams should be trusted to manage their own resources.
    • Explain why people need to take ownership and provide techniques that enable the entrepreneurial mindset (such as the Christopher Avery Responsibility process model, Management 3.0 Decision Poker, etc.). Present why leaders need to not micro-manage. Explain and provide examples of processes that support decentralized budget management and decision-making.
  • Trust and Transparency
    • There needs to be a good and healthy balance between centralized functions and decentralized teams. This requires communication structures that enable shared learning and build trust and transparency.
    • Explain the necessity of transparency of financial data and constraints. Explain how social control can be applied in organizations as distinct from central or process control, such as an organization sharing all travel expenses rather than having a travel policy. Describe communication structures that enable team empowerment and distributed decision-making.
  • Moving Funds as Needed
    • Teams should be engaged in the decisions about moving funds in response to needs.
    • Describe structures that allow teams to participate in the distribution of financial resources – optimizing funds at the organizational level. Explain how these structures support team culture, using examples such as reward systems, governance structures, recruitment criteria, etc.

What’s Different About Accounting

Agility And Financial Compliance

  • Accounting with an Agile Mindset
    • An agile mindset can and should, be applied in accounting — as well as other areas of the business.
    • Show how agile principles can be applied to financial operations outside system development, providing example concepts from relevant methodologies (e.g., lean).
  • Agile Processes and Compliance
    • Empirical processes associated with business agility provide opportunities for improvements to internal control and synergy with compliance/audit activities.
    • Explore the synergy between agile approaches and the objectives of compliance organizations. Internal accounting control can be enhanced by the regular inspection/acceptance cycle associated with agile processes.
  • Authority & Regulation
    • Agile practices can be used for various sources of authority in accounting matters.
    • Explore how many financial activities are subject to authoritative pronouncements issued by outside governing bodies. Provide examples for these rules, such as the need to produce an annual budget, capitalization rules for intangible assets (e.g., software), and revenue recognition for work performed under the contract. Illustrate that authoritative pronouncements do not directly address preferred methodology, showing how agile concepts can be compliant.
  • Agile Principles and Accounting Ethics
    • Ethics rules for accountants apply irrespective of the mechanisms used. 
    • Explore the impact of ethics requirements on process development. Explain how an agile approach makes compliance a continuous activity.
  • Moving from Accounting Rules to Accounting Principles
    • The global practice of accounting is moving from specific rules (often regional) to a principles-based approach.
    • Explore the key features of principle-based approaches and how this is influenced by the move to agility.

Agile Accounting Metrics 

  • Cost of Delay
    • The cost of delay is a major factor in the effectiveness of flow-based systems.
    • Explain the cost of delay and the tools to measure and manage it.
  • Cost of Quality and Non-Conformance
    • Low-quality work inevitably has a higher cost in the medium to long term.
    • Explore the financial impact of low-quality work. Illustrate how the cost of quality represents expenses to deliver a product that, at minimum, conforms to requirements and, at best, delights customers. The cost of non-conformance includes expenses associated with rework, defects, etc.
  • Forecasting Future Value
    • Agile processes require honest estimation of the future value that will be received by users/consumers.
    • Explore methods to forecast/calculate future value, such as payback period, discounted cash flow, and internal rate of return.

Accounting For Agile Initiatives

  • CapEx vs. OpEx
    • From an accounting perspective, it is important to know how to correctly categorize work as capital expenditures (CapEx) and operating expenses (OpEx).
    • Understand the allocation of CapEx and OpEx in agile projects. This includes explaining how software, development, and maintenance activities can be accounted for in agile initiatives
  • Capitalizing Development Tools
      • In certain cases, development tools are capitalizable. Know when it is beneficial to capitalize on development tools for an agile project or team. Understand how to capitalize on such development tools.
  • Iterative vs. Flow-based Allocation
    • Allocation considerations for iteration-based projects differ from initiatives using flow-based agile approaches.
    • Compare the impact of iteration-based and flow-based agile methods on the allocation of CapEx and OpEx. Explain how both CapEx and OpEx activities can exist in the same backlog.

Agile Procurement

Overcoming Traditional Procurement Challenges

  • Challenges of Traditional Procurement
    • The classic procurement approach is more than 120 years old, and many of the practices have not changed significantly over time.
    • Present the imperative for new procurement approaches to cope with today’s volatile environment. Mention the specific obstacles to agility presented by traditional Request for Information (RFI) and Request for Proposal (RFP) processes.
  • Agile Approaches to Procurement
    • Different procurement approaches are essential to confront the market challenges of a complex world.
    • Demonstrate that overcoming complexity using agile principles is equally valid in the procurement domain as it is in other domains such as product development.
  • Agile Tools for Procurement
    • New tools are available that are better suited for agile approaches to procurement.
    • Demonstrate tools to co-create the starting “scope” during procurement, responding to customer feedback and changing customer needs (e.g. the LeanAgile Procurement Canvas from Mirko Kleiner).
  • Partnership Ecosystems
    • The most common relationships with internal & external partners often focus on one project’s pre-defined scope instead of evolving with customer needs.
    • Explain that partnerships aligned with value streams have greater business value potential for both parties. Articulate the value of cultivating an ecosystem of multiple partners with which one can collaborate based on their capabilities.

Agile Contracts 

  • New Contract Models
    • A contract for an agile project/product is not the same as a traditional contract.
    • Discuss the imperative of flexible scope, and explain why fixed-price contracts with fixed scopes are not effective in agile environments. Discuss alternative contracting approaches such as time and materials, fixed-price per iteration, incremental, etc. Explain how estimation approaches, prioritization, and practices such as creating a “Definition of Done” may be used as mechanisms to determine contract performance.
  • Mutually Beneficial Contracts
    • While traditional contracts often set the parties at odds from the start (with one striving to get more from a contract than the other), the underlying spirit of agile contracts strives to make both parties benefit equally.
    • Explain how agile contracts can be structured so that both parties have an incentive to succeed. Explain how buyers of agile software development can structure their contracts by features, stories, or sprints to be incremental. Explain how vendors and buyers can co-create and structure agile contracts so that they benefit from a collaborative and mutually beneficial arrangement.
  • Incentives over Penalties
    • It is often more effective to offer incentives for good performance rather than penalties for poor performance.
    • Demonstrate how to ensure that agile contracts carry the spirit of collaboration into the contract. Explain that agile contracts should motivate parties by offering incentives for good performance rather than focusing on penalties for nonperformance. Share some real-world cases and examples of structured contracts which emphasize incentives and collaboration instead of penalties.
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
    • Just like with any contract, it is critical to define when the terms of an agile contract have been satisfied.
    • Introduce indicators of agile contract performance and how they should use outcome- rather than output-based metrics where possible. Explain examples of agile KPIs such as customer satisfaction, levels of engagement, and feature takeup. Explain contrasting examples of less ideal metrics such as story points, features, or stories-per-iteration.
  • Contract Feedback Mechanisms
    • As projects in complex environments have a low degree of predictability, plans need to adapt during implementation as opposed to being defined upfront.
    • Emphasize that the absorption of new insights and learnings into project execution requires mechanisms for continuous feedback. Provide examples of such mechanisms and how they can be built into an agile contract.
  • Legal Considerations
    • Although agile contracts are more collaborative in nature, critical legal questions must still be included. Discussing them helps gauge compatibility in the earliest stages.
    • Describe the most common legal questions to consider in an agile contract. Show how to co-create a joint agreement based on a shared vision and equal partnership. Hold a sample negotiation to co-create an agile contract. Explore topics such as IP rights, warranty, risk sharing, etc.

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Hello! I am Ingela, and I work with the core team at Agile People. I’d love to connect woth you and explore potential solutions.

You can write me an email or schedule a meeting to discuss further!