Globalization Culture and Team Diversity

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Adoption of Agile as a software development methodology is one of the most critical trends in the industry. A look at why is this important or relevant as it relates to the much larger topic of globalization?

Contents

List of Key Agile Principles and How they support Globalization

The outsourcing industry is filled with key phrases and terms designed to describe it’s challenges, benefits and future direction. Recently the term “globalization” is resurfacing over and over as we are entering, what many believe, is the next era of the outsourcing market where the requirement to delivery services consistently on a global scale will be the primary decision making criteria for many companies that see outsourcing as a fundamental component of their IT and business strategy.

When we look at the key principles of Agile we find both an approach and a structure in support of globalization.

Collaboration and Cooperation

The nature of this methodology is indeed a higher level of collaboration and communication across teams, whether they are local, dispersed within the building or located around the globe. Agile is disruptive and often requires changes in the behavior of teams and people yet it drives the formation of relationships, problem resolution, decision making, consistent delivery of software and time-to-market faster than any other approach.

IT & Business Alignment

Iterative development allows both IT and the Business to see working software sooner thus being able to adapt changes in support of market conditions and trends, validate initial requirements and get to a mutually agreed upon business value sooner. Agile continues to be instrumental in helping these two organizations communicate at a much higher level with better results.

Risk Mitigation

The process of testing early and often within Agile projects that deliver incremental releases provides an integrated approach to identify problems very early and get to immediate resolution. With automated testing, test driven development (XP) and involvement from QA teams, risk is controlled, managed and communicated continuously

Financial Management

Managing costs is only one side of the project objective. The other is determining a measurable business value on what you are actually making. Companies looking to implement a globalization strategy around software delivery need to pay attention to this principle. There are strategies for introducing methods to determine business value and in turn those strategies drive not only management of costs, but also how contracts are managed between company and service providers and what determines agreement on global delivery

Diversity in Agile Teams

Diversity is important on effective teams, and not just gender diversity – Johanna Rothman (www.jrothman.com) is one commentator who has a series of posts on the value and importance of diversity – some of the key points she makes include:

Underestimating the impacts of cultural diversity on your team can be disastrous, creating barriers and even team breakdown. Most leaders arenpsilat aware of the influences that cultural differences can have on team dynamics. These impacts can be even more pronounced on agile self organizing teams. Respective team members should explore these differences and addressed them on a timely basis.

References

  1. Agile Globalization Culture
  2. Agile Team Diversity
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