The Road to Beyond Agile Auditing

Check out my post from the IT Revolution blog, which looks back on the journey to Beyond Agile Auditing.

The Road to Beyond Agile Auditing - IT Revolution
A look back at presentations from DevOps Enterprise Summit that lead to the book Beyond Agile Auditing by Clarissa Lucas

It is rare that anyone other than an editor or maybe a small group of close friends gets to see how a book develops over the years. But with books like Beyond Agile Auditing, the seeds that became the book were planted during Clarissa’s talks at DevOps Enterprise Summits over the last few years.

Below, Clarissa looks back on those talks and shares some of the insights that she discovered along the way.


In the spring of 2020, I presented at my first DevOps Enterprise Summit. As the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing, the event was 100% virtual. That relieved a lot of pressure for me, as this was my first public speaking engagement, and I found a virtual presentation less intimidating. Here I was, an auditor who was new to technology audit, presenting at a conference geared toward technology experts. My co-presenter was a fellow auditor, and our session was titled “DevOps and Internal Audit: A Great Partnership.” The goal of our session was to show that–contrary to popular belief–auditors didn’t have to be a roadblock to better ways of working like DevOps. This experience taught me that auditors needed to think differently about how we audited organizations, especially as organizations adapted to the new (and constantly changing) environment. Through answering audience questions, I learned that there were a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions about auditors.

Later that year, I was asked to present a plenary talk at the fall DevOps Enterprise Summit. Taking what I learned about how the technology experts in the audience thought about auditors, I worked with my co-presenter on a session to debunk common myths about auditors. The feedback was great and positive energy from the audience was tangible, even in a virtual setting.

At that moment, it became clear that my work wasn’t finished. I needed to continue advocating for auditors and their clients to work more closely together, empathize with each other, and help each other achieve their goals, rather than getting in each other’s way.

Here are those presentations from 2020:


The DevOps Enterprise Summit selection committee gave me a chance to do just that in 2021, when my team and I returned with a follow-up to our original presentation. This time we also showed how auditors could learn from their clients and apply better ways of working to the audit process and that doing so could result in greater efficiency during the audit. Through attending other sessions during these events, I had picked up a lot of great information on how technology experts had solved problem after problem through agility and DevOps ways of working. Those presenters inspired me to push the envelope even further.

I began by experimenting with applying more agile and DevOps concepts to the audit process, and my clients kept telling me I should write a book about what I was doing.


Finally, when it came time for DevOps Enterprise Summit 2022, I was ready to share the results of my experiment. This year my co-presenter was one of my audit clients, not a fellow auditor, which was pretty symbolic of my own journey. My journey started out as an auditor having a basic (good-enough) understanding of her client’s business and giving some advice on how to think about risks and controls. And here I was a couple of years later an auditor and her client working together to achieve shared objectives while HAVING FUN! We went from a couple of auditors cautiously allowed into a conference of tech leaders to an auditor and a technology leader sharing the main stage, telling our community about our joint adventures with agility. I finally didn’t feel like an outsider the conference team accidentally let in. Finally, I was part of the DevOps community. I belonged.

My client and I gave this presentation both in spring during DevOps Enterprise Summit Virtual, and in the fall at the in-person DevOps Enterprise Summit in Las Vegas.

Here’s a video of that session in Las Vegas:

The idea of writing a book about applying better ways of working to the audit process to improve relationships between auditors and clients while achieving desired outcomes stayed strong in the back of my mind. Finally, after submitting our pre-recorded presentation for the spring 2022 DevOps Enterprise Summit, I found the courage to tell Gene Kim that I wanted to write a book. On May 17, 2022, Gene and I connected, and he gave me great insights on how to get started with a manuscript.

A year later, I have an early copy of my finished and PUBLISHED book in my hands. This has been an incredible journey, and I’m excited for you to join me!

Clarissa Lucas, CIA, CISA, CIDA on LinkedIn: #beyondagileauditing #agileauditing #internalaudit #auditingwithagility | 26 comments
It’s hard to believe that one year ago today, I had my first call with Gene Kim to discuss the idea of writing a book. Now here we are, less than two weeks… | 26 comments on LinkedIn

You can see the fruits of these labors yourself by picking up a copy of Beyond Agile Auditing, and you can see more recent videos from Clarissa on our YouTube channel: