An Introduction to Event-Driven Governance (EDG)

Posted on September 23, 2014

The following is an excerpt from our eBook, A Lean Governance Manifesto: Streamline Your Enterprise with Event-Driven Governance™. For more information on this or other eBooks or about Agile Path, click here.

Enterprise governance is a persistent challenge for Commercial and Public Sector enterprises.  The virtues of enterprise governance are established and documented, especially in the areas of Corporate Governance, IT Governance and Compliance & Risk oversight.  A capable Corporate, Enterprise and IT governance framework not only correlates with greater shareholder value, but is proven to directly enable business and IT strategic execution and better business performance.   Enterprise governance, when implemented correctly, creates value for the enterprise.  This eBook develops a new approach for enterprise governance based on our cutting edge principles of Lean Governance and Event-Driven Governance.  Event-Driven Governance provides a universal governance model that will unify Enterprise Governance, Corporate Governance, Compliance and Risk oversight, IT Governance and Agile development governance, while emphasizing the performance-based value of lean, lightweight and rightsized enterprise governance over the compliance-centric policing functions typically associated with Enterprise Governance.  When we use the term Lean Governance, we are referring to an Event-driven governance model.

Event-Driven Governance is based on a simple premise that a governance model, with its associated principles and policies, governance processes and policy enforcement mechanisms, should be a virtual framework that is triggered by governance events associated with business or IT execution processes.

Once pre-defined governance triggers or events occur, the governance process comes to life, performs its duties, and then goes dormant again.  Lean Governance and Event-Driven Governance are predicated on virtual governance organizations, as opposed to permanent governance bodies, and augmented by self-governance and community-governance oversight mechanisms.  These governance organizational designs are very scalable and enable a more collaborative and trust-based approach to governance, which helps foster a more positive view of enterprise governance.  Event-Driven Governance is intended to be light weight, lean and virtual, bolstered by explicit policies and processes, and deployed using trust-based designs.

Lean Governance and Event-Driven Governance can be contrasted with traditional governance model designs, which in many cases are established by creating permanent governance oversight committees or boards, staffed by mid-level and senior management personnel who attend scheduled meetings to perform their governance duties.  These traditional governance model designs are characterized by policing functions and compliance-centric focus, where prescriptive policies are enforced, poorly or well, via manual oversight by the governance committees.  These governance models are manually-intensive and meeting-intensive, paper-based, and tend to be very ineffective.  Traditional governance models add friction to the enterprise and delay decision-making due to the need for coordinating meeting schedules of senior business and IT management resources.

The difference between these two approaches is striking.  With Event-Driven Governance, the emphasis is on a light weight, virtual organizational model, which is only invoked when necessary governance events trigger pre-defined governance processes and policy enforcement activities and mechanisms.  In a traditional governance model, the governance process is “always on,” and is dominated by permanent governance boards, manual enforcement of principles and policies, and adds friction, overhead and delays to decision making processes.  Figure 2 below illustrates the concept of Event-Driven Governance.

An Introduction to Event-Driven Governance (EDG)

Event-Driven Governance is predicated on governance events, which trigger appropriate and necessary governance processes and policy enforcement mechanisms, but only when they are needed.  It is a “just-in-time” governance concept, where only the governance that is needed is triggered, and no more than that.

To read the rest of the eBook, click here. For more information on Agile Path, click here.