Posts Tagged ‘outsourcing’

We did offshore Agile before it was cool

By | November 4, 2013 | No Comments »

Alexander PozdniakovImagine a very large software project that has been running for over 3 years, 80+ people on the team, classic waterfall process, over a million LOC, 700+ database tables, over 40MB of source code. Now add to that the approaching production deadline, several months spent trying to get quality and performance under control with very little to show for it, lots of patchwork code rendering the system exceedingly difficult to troubleshoot performance-wise, and the number of new bugs discovered by QA steadily exceeding the number of closed defects week after week. Now on top of all that, add a deluge of change requests, some of them contradictory, plus tired people, endless overtime, working weekends, and a general sense of despair. Got it? Good. There you have it, the classic death march. Read more

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Breaking the Iron Triangle: A Case Study in Agile Project Turnaround

By | June 6, 2013 | No Comments »

Alexander PozdniakovWe all know that the famous Project Management Triangle constraints are inescapable, and that the rules of the game dictate that all project decisions are necessarily tradeoffs between “more”, “cheaper”, “faster” and “better”.

But what if you change the game? Read more

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Sumo, Architecture, and Enterprise Agile

By | January 29, 2013 | 1 Comment »

Michael Ganchikov Here is a riddle for you: who (or what) is both so strong and solid that it is very hard to move, and yet can move easily at the same time?

The answer: champion sumo wrestler. The other answer: well thought out application architecture.

Why are we talking about 400+ lb Japanese athletes in the context of Agile software development? Let me explain. Read more

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Transparency in outsourced development with Scrum - Part III

By | December 11, 2012 | No Comments »

(Continued from Part I and Part II)

When the client program managers first saw the template-driven reports, they immediately recognized the qualitatively different degree of visibility and transparency all this information gave them. First Line was asked to make a special presentation to the Program Steering Group, and very soon the template was officially introduced as the standard reporting device on all First Line teams participating in the program.

Another thing that became clear pretty quickly was that the customer PM role has become unnecessary. The “tracking” and “control” functions were essentially already being carried out by the First Line teams themselves and evidenced by the template. In the spirit of Lean and Agile, the client eliminated the role of the PM, effectively folding its function into First Line’s Scrum Masters, who were now to report directly to the Steering Group. Read more

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Transparency in outsourced development with Scrum - Part II

By | December 5, 2012 | No Comments »

Sergey Yurasov

(Continued from Part I)

On the client side, the Business Unit formulated business requirements, which were finalized and managed for the supplier’s development team by the Product Owner (PO). Additionally, a business analyst on the supplier side filled the role of Proxy Product Owner (PPO), whose job was to be the sole source of clarifications of requirements for the team.

This additional role was set up in order to mitigate the fact that because of the distance, it would be logistically challenging to make the client’s PO available to the entire team all the time. So the PO and the PPO set up a knowledge management process whereby the PPO was extensively educated by the PO on the business requirements over time and was able to provide explanations for the team. Read more

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Transparency in outsourced development with Scrum - Part I

By | November 30, 2012 | No Comments »

This is the first in a series of posts discussing how Scrum improves chances of outsourcing success and cuts costs through discipline, transparency and tighter integration between customer and provider.

It is no secret that many outsourcing projects fail. In our daily practice, we encounter many customers who have had very negative experiences with outsourced development, and many times the negativity tends to focus on the customer’s lack of visibility into the real status of the project, or on the lack of understanding between the in-house organization and the offshore team, or both. Simply put, the customer and the provider are not on the same page. Read more

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Do not outsource your software development

By | November 28, 2012 | 1 Comment »

Peter Vaihansky

This post originally appeared on ZDNet.com. Read the original here. 

Yes, you read that right. I work for a software development outsourcing firm, and I am telling you not to outsource.

But why not? Everyone’s doing it, and everyone can’t be mistaken, right? The common perception is that outsourcing saves money based on labor arbitrage. There may be other factors, but mainly companies do it in order to get more software, probably faster, for less money. Read more

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Outsourcing chaos begets more chaos

By | July 25, 2012 | No Comments »

Alexander Pozdniakov A recent example of software-related troubles at RBS described in this Computing Magazine article is a good illustration of the GIGO principle (“garbage in, garbage out”). If you have a mess on your hands, outsourcing it won’t solve the problem.

Outsourcing of application development is (understandably) often blamed for problems with software. Sometimes the criticisms are true. However, in certain cases laying the blame at the feet of an outsourcing partner masks the real problems instead of solving them. While software outsourcing does introduce complexities of its own (and hence has the potential to create new problems), my observation is that generally, well-run companies are far more successful at outsourcing than those run poorly. Read more

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The dreaded monster of time tracking

By | July 20, 2011 | No Comments »

Andrew Zaikin
Anyone who has ever managed a software development organization will agree: time tracking is a pain in the neck. It’s difficult to get people to fill out time sheets, or otherwise submit their hours into some kind of system. Developers see it as a boring and irritating activity that is also invasive: people just don’t like to be tracked, and if you try, they will suspect ulterior motives. In short, most developers hate time tracking with a purple passion.

But what if you really need time tracking? Well, all is not lost. Read more

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Labor Arbitrage Isn’t

By | July 5, 2011 | No Comments »

Peter VaihanskyThe use of the expression “labor arbitrage” to describe outsourcing in general, and outsourcing of software development in particular, has always seemed extremely misleading to me. The term “arbitrage” refers to the practice of taking advantage of a price difference between two or more markets: striking a combination of matching deals that capitalize upon the imbalance, the profit being the difference between the market prices. In other words, arbitrage means the possibility of riskless profit at zero cost. Read more

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