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Top 10 dos and donts in agile offshoring

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Top 10 dos and donts in agile offshoring

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Our network have done surveys with company's doing Agile off-shoring today in Sweden. We have compiled a list over pitfalls and good habits you must take into consideration when off-shoring software development from Sweden.

Our network have done surveys with company's doing Agile off-shoring today in Sweden. We have compiled a list over pitfalls and good habits you must take into consideration when off-shoring software development from Sweden.

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Top 10 dos and donts in agile offshoring

  1. 1. Top 10 do’s and don’ts when doing Agile offshoring in Sweden • Ove Holmberg, OHC • Odd Sivertzen, Rumbline • Hannes Fries, H&M Hennes & Mauritz • Johan Berneskog, Don't Stop Believin' • John Cannerborg, Bridge Global IT Staffin
  2. 2. The Agile Offshoring network in Stockholm • Founded during the spring of 2012 • IT professionals with different backgrounds and industries, based in the Stockholm region o Seven members in the core team o Total of 25 members accessing our discussions • Host regular meetings to discuss around the topics of Agile, Offshoring and the combination of them
  3. 3. The study 10 Do's and Don'ts - Agile Offshoring in Sweden • Last decade's increased interest in Offshoring and Agile processes in Sweden o Successful, cost effective projects? • Agile requires tight team work o How can it be combined with offshoring where team members in different cultures and timezones? • Study of companies and organizations in Sweden actively working with agile offshoring initiatives • Aim to define a number of important categories and complete a list of 10 Do's and 10 Don'ts to guide Swedish organizations
  4. 4. How the study was done • Based on open discussions - common interest in understanding what makes agile offshoring initiatives successful o Focus on Sweden • Started with survey to find companies and organizations with experiences to share o Survey • In depth interviews • The core team's own experiences • Experiences were given scores in voting o Top 10 Do's and 10 Don'ts
  5. 5. Offshore Categories • The following categories have been identified during the work: o Culture o Geographical distance o Learning curve o Processes o Organization & Roles o Expections o Mindset o Tools • For each of the items on the Top 10 lists, the corresponding category is presented
  6. 6. #10 - Do - Organization & Roles Clarify team loyalties • If the offshore team has a manager setting their bonus based upon quantity and a you as a project manager wants other focus, such as good quality - the offshore manager always will out-rule you. • Make sure that you are synchronized with the offshore manager on the expectations of the team.
  7. 7. #9 - Do - Processes Delimit the scope • Do not rely too much on others' experiences - each organization is unique o Delimit the efforts until enough experience is gained to invest more • Identify one or a few systems that are most suitable for offshoring to begin with o Get it all to work in a small scale first
  8. 8. #8 - Do - Tools Same development tools allover • Use same development tools offshore as you use onshore. o If you use JIRA, GitHub or Leankit internally also let the offshore team do the same. • There are a lot of great tools out there, use them!
  9. 9. #7 - Do - Mindset "Big Picture" • Make sure the offshore team understands the "big picture" of the project and not only understand the task they have been assigned. o Not fun to execute tasks without purpose and meaning... o More motivating to be part of something big o Fair setting to make a good job o DN.se
  10. 10. #6 - Do - Mindset Long term vision • If you have the vision of working long term with an offshore team - Treat the offshore team in the same way as you treat your onshore team o Part of intranet o Internal newsletter o Let them live by your companies values o Outcome will be: motivated team members, people that stay long
  11. 11. #5 - Do - Tools Working infrastructure • Make sure that you have a infra structure that are on the same level offshore as you have onshore. (Good quality of WIFI.) • "Reduce the distance" with help of good Internet connections. • Get rid of all technical barriers o Video conference system
  12. 12. #4 - Do - Processes Let members of the offshore team work onsite • Will make the offshore team members feel important and valuable • Gain better understanding of the business • Two teams will get to know each other and become friends, which benefit the actual work • Very good incentive as having onsite experience in CV is valuable and could help for extra motivation o Onsite rotational program with leads as well as team members
  13. 13. #3 - Do - Processes Visit the offshore site regularly • Make sure to meet the development team as well as the management team. • The dialogue with the development team should be made by a technical skilled person (e.g. Solution Architect) in order to really understand the developers situation. • Involve end client
  14. 14. #2 - Do - Processes Establish common values & terminology and a learning culture • Establish common values o Define and exemplify the values that are to be followed  Examples: • The resources should propose improvements if possible and not just implement according to the specification • It is ok to deliver later then planned (in dialogue with the project manager) if the quality requires • Establish a common terminology o Define the entities within the business domain and make shore the offshore resources understands them o Define routines for how projects are implemented in your organization align them with the offshoring part • Establish a culture of continuous learning in the Agile way of working o Get the resources used to continuous improvement where they are an important source for the improvements
  15. 15. #1 - Do - Culture, Geographical distance Get to know the team members • As with all teams, each member is an individual • Important to get to know the offshore team members to learn who does what and to which quality o Good for assessing what responsibility to give to whom • Best way is to spend time with the team, preferably at the offsite location
  16. 16. The final score top 10 Do's No Description Category Culture, #1 Get to know the resources Geographical distance Establish common values & terminology and a #2 Processes learning culture #3 Visit the offshore site regularly Processes #4 Let members of the offshore team work onsite Processes #5 Working infrastructure Tools #6 Long term vision Mindset #7 "Big Picture" Mindset #8 Same development tools allover Tools #9 Delimit the scope Processes #10 Clarify team loyalties Organization & Roles
  17. 17. #10 - Don´t - Processes Don't start any development without defined criteria's being in place • Don't allow the development of a Feature to start unless there are: o Proper specifications  The more complex a Feature is, the more important the specification is o Detailed estimates  The bigger a Feature is, the more an estimate needs to be broken down o A common understanding between the business side (requirements owner) and the development team  Could be secured via: • a short "handover meeting" between the developer and the requirements owner before the development starts • a short "handover meeting" between the developer and the tester before the testing starts
  18. 18. #9 - Don´t - Culture When problems occur, don't focus on who was responsible • Present what the problem was and exemplify and discuss how to avoid the problem in the future o Speak in general terms instead of focusing on the individual • Promote asking as problems occur o Could be against their culture o "Very good you asked! This saved us 20 hours as we now do not have to rewrite this piece of code!"
  19. 19. #8 - Don´t - Processes Don't outsource before internal team is "on the boat" • Don't take a management decision to outsource before internal team is "on the boat". Everyone need to understand the motive, the benefits and the reason for doing it. o Risk for internal conflicts o Risk that internal team works against the situation o Workshop o Interesting input from operations o Result: motivated staff - successful offshore initiative
  20. 20. #7 - Don´t - Processes Don't underestimate the extra time needed for admin work • Team leads will most certain have to spend time in additional status meetings etc. to get the remote team up and running o Easy to underestimate the actual time needed • The team lead role can potentially be very different from when only working with local teams o More regularly checking team status o Control questions to verify progress is according to plan
  21. 21. #6 - Don´t - Learning curve, Processes Don't scale up too quickly • Don't increase the number of projects until the routines are established and the offshoring team is working well o Start with one or two pilot projects that are limited in size and complexity  The planning should allow the project to be successful o Train the offshoring team regularly in the routines and the Agile way of working  Get them used to continuous improvement where they are an important source for the improvements
  22. 22. #5 - Don´t - Organization & Roles Don't forget the business side • Don't forget to involve the business side (requirements owner) in the work made by the development team. • They need to be involved daily and learn to know the people who work offshore
  23. 23. #4 - Don´t - Processes Don't underestimate the importance of physical meetings • "Internal english" takes time to understand • Body language • Hard to understand over the phone
  24. 24. #3 - Don´t - Culture Don't assume things • Don't assume things - instead ask the extra question to build consensus o If you have not met o Different cultures o Please repeat
  25. 25. #2 - Don´t - Culture Don't underestimate employee resistance • Organizations that do not have English as their corporate language or (experience of international cooperation) will most likely see resistance from employees o Linguistic and cultural barrier  Both day-to-day interactions with the remote team  Speaking in front of the team in daily stand-up meetings • Work with the HR department • Communicate the motives and goals with the offshoring initiative
  26. 26. #1 - Don´t - Mindset We and them • Don't embrace a mindset of "we and them". It should be us together as a team. • Teambuild • Visit a home • Agree on and communicate the common goal
  27. 27. The final score top 10 Dont's No Description Category #1 We and them Mindset #2 Don't underestimate employee resistance Culture #3 Don't assume things Culture #4 Don't underestimate the importance of physical meetings Processes #5 Don't forget the business side Organization & Roles #6 Don't scale up too quickly Learning curve, Processes #7 Don't underestimate the extra time needed for admin work Processes #8 Don't outsource before internal team is "on the boat" Processes #9 When problems occur, don't focus on who was responsible Culture Don't start any development without defined criteria's being #10 Processes in place
  28. 28. Thanks for listening • Contact us on LinekdIn: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=4404631

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