We have learned at Daitan Group that the extent to which Agile is embraced relies on cultivating a fully Agile mindset, from a project’s executive sponsors, through client engineers and extended team members. Success increases if a project’s team members, from the top down, are educated on the benefits that result from the Agile ‘method.’
Customer satisfaction by early and continuous delivery of valuable software
Why do we see this as critical? Because key sponsors and project decision makers need to move beyond what may appear, superficially, to be a level of uncertainty about a project. When an executive sponsor cannot get a clear answer to the reasonable question: “when will it be ready, what will the whole product look like, and what will it cost?” concerns can understandably arise. Trust must be built to overcome this. Trust that what will be delivered, both during, and at the end of a project is software that will deliver the right result: a happy customer.
Regular adaptation to changing circumstances
When working software is delivered, at a regular cadence, in chunks that can be tested with a customer and adjusted for success, overall ROI increases.
Agile should not be confused with quick. But, when implemented correctly, it can result in a faster overall time to market for critical customer features. Appreciation of this benefit should be included as part of the education process.
Working software is delivered frequently (weeks rather than months)
We also recommend that educating the key business stakeholder is just the start. We have seen project team leaders do well when they educate the wider team on Agile methods as well — beyond just engineers. In addition to C-suite business stakeholders, is worth talking to finance, purchasing, and legal about Agile principles because those teams will all be involved to some capacity on an outsourced project, from a funding, support and facilitation standpoint. We recommend spending time with those teams helping them get to an understanding on how Agile milestones are met, so they can understand how to observe the progress and outcome, and how the relationship with the outsourced Agile team will work.
If you’re interested in learning more about our Agile best practices, then take a look at the white paper below. This White Paper defines five best practices we have learned in making Agile software development successful as an outsource vendor, and how we build an Agile-centered relationships with our clients.