Agile and Offshoring – the twain shall meet


There is enough evidence that Agile works … in most cases much better than waterfall.

Even when you are working in an enterprise scale, distributed, multi-vendor and strong regulatory environment – agile works better than any other method.

Here are some survey and research finding

1. Survey Result Indicates that Agile Projects Are More Successful

Here is a review of the survey result by Scott Ambler.

  • The gap between “Agile + Iterative” and “Traditional + Ad-hoc” has been increasing
  • Iterative approach has consistently performed as good as Agile

(Click here to see the full article)

2. Agile Practices Now Have Research Support

Latest research suggests that iterative approach with trial and error is the best way to navigate through our environment which has become exceedingly complex.

  • The Unselfish Gene
  • Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure
  • The Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity, and the Radical Remaking Of Economics

(Click here to see the full article)

But … the problem of reconciling the manifesto with distributed enterprise scale environment remains. To reconcile it we need to first resolve…

What is the essence of Agile?

3. What Makes Agile Agile?

  • Essence of agile – 2 dimension
  • Yardstick of evaluation – 2 positive and 1 negative questions to ask

(Click here to see the full article)

4. Scaling Agile – Is It Possible Without Violating Agile Manifesto?

Well … to scale, there may be a need to dilute some of the principles but still retaining the essence of Agile.

  • Interaction and Collaboration
  • Measure of Progress
  • Responding to Change
  • Forming Self-Organizing Team

(Click here to see the full article)

5. How to Scale Agile?

Lot of thoughts has gone in to make Agile scalable. A cross-section of such thoughts are highlighted here.

  • Dimensions of scaling and the need to integrate with other enterprise processes
  • Different options of splitting the teams
  • Harmonizing the tool and process dimension with agile practices
  • Making distributed teams effective through communities of practice
  • Managing the product backlog at multiple levels
  • Managing workflow between multiple teams using Kanban

(Click here to see the full article)

6. Agile Adoption – Crossing the Chasm

The other challenge in an enterprise is to move from traditional development method – here are some pointers to the challenges that need to be solved.

  • Funding: how is project sanctioned?
  • Interaction: do stakeholders trust each other?
  • Defect: what is a defect?
  • Success: how is it measured?

(Click here to see the full article)

7. Agile Development and Enterprise Architecture Practice – Can They Coexist

Agile and EA is probably as different as Mars and Venus – can an enterprise follow both?

  • Why should this be a challenge?
  • Co-existence would be impossible
  • There will be difficulties but it can be done

(Click here to see the full article)

8. Agile Maturity Model – 3 Different Approaches

Does it make sense to have an Agile maturity model – like the SEI-CMMi model? There is no agreement among expert.

  • Why Agile – start from the business goal?
  • How to scale Agile – from one small team to whole enterprise?
  • How to be Agile – what processes to focus on?

(Click here to see the full article)

Finally … what happens when more than one organization are involved?

How to make Agile Offshoring work?

9. Agile Offshoring – Working With People vs. Working With Company

Should the customer take the complete responsibility to setup the process or should it allow the vendor to lead?

  • Working with People – Setting up an Agile Offshore Team
  • What is wrong with this approach?
  • Working with an Organization – Building a Partnership

(Click here to see the full article)

10. Off-Shoring and Moving From Waterfall to Agile

What are the challenges faced by the vendor organization to implement Agile?

  • From the perspective of the business head of the of the organization handling the off-shoring
  • From the perspective of the project manager
  • From the perspective of the architect / designer
  • From the perspective of the process owner

(Click here to see the full article)

11. Five Questions You Need to Ask Before You Outsource an Agile Project

  • Why do you want to do the project in an Agile mode?
  • Do you want to outsource just this project or are you looking for a partner?
  • What type of commercial model you should look at?
  • What payment term should you have?
  • Are you sure the vendor understands your definition of “done”?

(Click here to see the full article)

12. Five Questions to Ask Before You Take Up an Agile Contract

  • Is your understanding of Agile same as your clients understanding of Agile?
  • On what basis are you going to get paid?
  • How will the iterations be accepted? How will the project close?
  • Will your communication infrastructure measure up to client expectation?
  • How transparent do you have to be about your team composition and organization?

(Click here to see the full article)

Though, Agile manifesto says “Collaboration over Contract Negotiation” there is no escaping a contract when 2 organizations are involved.

Best Practices in Contracting for Agile

13. Contracting For Agile Project Outsourcing

  • Is it possible to have Fixed-Price, Fixed-Scope (FPFS) agile contract?
  • What are the options available for Variable-Price, Variable-Scope contracts?
  • Can you have a completely transparent payment model?
  • How do you protect against things going bad?

(Click here to see the full article)

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