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How Can Agile Be Used to Get and Maintain Compliance? | Bridge Blog

When it comes to compliance management, varying development methods are applied to develop a high-quality system that meets regulatory standards. Today, tighter compliance regulations challenge organizations. Those who are quick to leverage compliance management can adapt quickly and remain at a competitive advantage.

Leverage Agile and DevOps for Compliance

Getting the compliance requirements right is an essential aspect for every product owner. Financial institutions, especially, have realized the need to keep pace with the ever-changing regulatory developments with the current dynamic and harsh environment.

Agile is a development process that was developed by software professionals who grew tired of using the traditional waterfall methodology. It emphasizes improvement, planning, and flexible response. DevOps and Agile focus on transparency, input from stakeholders, team collaboration, continuous reporting, and short iterations. Here are some of the best practices product owners need to follow.

1. Understand the Regulatory Landscape

Product owners need to fully understand compliance requirements affecting their industry. This is because the landscape keeps changing.

2. Foster Team Collaboration

Product owners need to identify key stakeholders and begin engaging them in an ongoing process. It means having all teams across the board working in collaboration. This will ensure compliance, risk management, and legal professionals meet all the compliance demands.

3. Engage Stakeholders

Any product owner engaging Agile needs to leverage collaborative relationships with all stakeholders. They should take advantage of these valuable assets by setting up questions and carrying out research.

4. Automate your Processes

As the IT department strives to increase speed in the manual tasks, automating these processes can boost performance. It also eliminates errors common with the human element and encourages consistency. Automation connects business and operational units and offers visibility by giving stakeholders equal chances to participate. It also accelerates the delivery of Agile by promoting engagement.

Although the Agile model presents many benefits, it also has its unique challenges that prevent organizations from scaling their processes successfully. Some of them include the lack of skill set among product owners, lack of a dedicated cross-functional team, and the difficulty in changing how teams are accustomed to working.

Benefits of Agile Approach

Agile offers efficiency benefits to teams that leverage it. It helps teams overcome common hurdles, such as the prediction of schedule and costs. It provides a platform for organizing business activities and helps in the achievement of objectives. Agile methodologies, including XP and Scrum, among others, follow the same manifesto. The manifesto focuses on team flexibility, improvement, and the delivery of quality results. It promotes visibility and transparency and shows how the project is progressing.

1. Improved Quality

The Agile framework offers the aspect of quality to products. It breaks the project into small units enabling teams to focus on collaboration and quality output. By carrying out reviews in every iteration, defects are found and fixed, and mismatches identified in good time. This improves product quality.

2. Transparency

This platform creates an opportunity for consumers and clients to follow the project. Unlike the traditional waterfall method, Agile creates room for change. In each iteration, teams are expected to focus on a discussed feature. However, using Agile means backlogs can be refined and reprioritized.

3. Better Engagement

Agile frameworks allow teams to engage. As it provides for the involvement of stakeholders in each step of the project, a high success level is cultivated. Agile methodology enables team members to fully understand the vision of the team as well as the functioning of the software. Trust, in this case, is also enhanced, allowing team players to feel more engaged.

The Attributes of Agile Methodology

Failing to analyse an ongoing project can lead to costly defects, especially in compliance projects. For the defects to be addressed, a vast amount of money and time are likely to be wasted.

1. Adaptive Planning

The traditional waterfall method does not give room to change once initiated. It also does not allow for proper planning. This causes teams to lack an effective plan in the more advanced stages. The Agile methodology creates a platform for adaptive planning. Organizations using the Agile approach are in the later stages able to adapt to changes.

2. Precise Estimation

In compliance, time is a critical factor. Should an organization delay in implementing regulatory requirements, it could face hefty penalties. Agile creates a more accurate estimation. In the traditional methodology, estimation relies heavily on superficial analysis. Agile, on the other hand, analyses iteration for a more precise estimate.

3. Proper Documentation

Proper documentation is necessary for every project. The traditional methodology calls for the documentation of the project from the initial stage to the final one without a clear picture. Should the requirements of the project change midway, the team may need to reanalyse the documentation thoroughly and make significant adjustments.

This increases the duration of project completion and causes delays in the phases that follow. The Agile approach focuses on timely documentation. It gives a team the right direction towards project success. Each documentation is worked on for every segment of the project, thereby offering flexibility and accuracy.

4. Communication

Compliance is about high-tech security protocols. The firewalls involved make it easy for teams to communicate across the board. An inadequate framework only makes it complicated. The traditional approach leads to stagnation of projects due to hampered communication. The Agile methodology brings various teams together to make communication smooth. In turn, this expedites the process and leads the team to success.

Conclusion

Agile is a critical compliance tool for project delivery. Before adopting the Agile approach, teams need to consider all factors first. When approached right, using Agile for compliance can present significant benefits. Understand that the requirements of compliance affect your project in diverse ways. They can also change quickly to define the direction of your project.

These may include data confidentiality, security, authentication, and logging. If you are weighing the options of acquiring a compliance strategy, look for one that fits your business model perfectly. Using Agile can help you approach your project with the right design to strike a balance between growth and compliance.

Originally published at https://www.bridge-global.com on October 16, 2019.

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