Agility and Architecture uses a common tip to speed by agility amongst teams and is known as “Centralize Interoperability and Decentralize Implementation. There is a detailed blog on the same on the site here for more details. This tip is inherently used by many architectural frameworks such as Togaf and even project management frameworks.
Most often in Organizations we have a crucial process that most often is referred to as governance or project monitoring or simply operations at times. What this means is to look for facts and figures and data in the system that are not aligned to the organization vision / mission long and short term and set things right. Do what is required to set things right including pulling one’s hair out / fire fighting or simply status meetings and reviews. In the midst of all this various governance / steering committees are created which acts as custodians or guardians of organization know how or the gatekeepers keeping a vigil on how things are done.
Turn your developers into Rock Stars and Managers Into Rock Star Promoters is an other way of saying give developers the freedom to do things that they do best and let architects/managers do what they can see and the developers cannot see. This means things like getting an approval for a module specific change deep down in one’s own code ownership should not involve going around people to get approval. Decentralize these kinds of things in the organization with adequate code review / test unit process and ensure overall sanity of the changes. We do not need much effort on this front to set things like this rolling. Whereas lets say there is a change that crossed two product solutions / interface and involves a messaging layer change or impacts one or more teams solutions. In this case Centralize this Interoperability aspect and ensure the stakeholders from both sides are involved including people with the right skills required to take the decision are present for deciding on these changes. This way architects/managers or senior members of staff who are capable of taking a decision on this should be involved in such decision committees. This ensures there is less red tape in the system and more control at the same time where required and adds value.
Saves Time / Money and Precious Organizational collective time : At times every organization gets caught up in first setting up a process and then breaking the law themselves when it becomes too rigid to follow. Review your process every now and then and follow this principle to eliminate waste occurring due to collective involvement of people not really adding value to the process. Also this would promote organizational flexibility and agility where people go ahead and make changes confidently , check in the code and prevent show stoppers in the pipeline. Remove the barbed wire/fences here would ensure people feel encouraged to owning things up and cleaning up their act. Instead if we route all things important via a central decision making body then it is invitation for disaster. Developers who shy away from meetings will not be ready to even raise these issues fearing a meeting with all and sundry and having to explain the rational which may not make sense to others. Yes empower them and also ensure that the are enough code review processes/checklist for various modules/process which people are following. Also the source control repository should have details on who checked in code/artifacts and back trace it with a ticket tracker. Once this is there in place then let loose the need to monitor every thing that goes around. Instead use this time to review things that span product interface boundaries , cross solutions where there is a real need for tight control and strict governance.
Release the barbed wire around your teams and let people contribute/own things and co create greater good for the organization. At times it is good not to have any formal authority and works well in smaller teams where agile practices are practiced and but this concept can be extended for an extended enterprise which would be agile at scale scenarios.