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Is Offshore-Agile a Bad Idea?

If you are not involved in offshore-agile, is it still worth spending time to understand it?

Yes … if you have a co-located cross-functional team … and … there is no pressure or compulsion to shift part of the work offshore.

Yes … if you do not feel any necessity or face any difficulty in scaling the team.

In all other cases offshore-agile may not be such a bad idea.

If you must offshore … for whatever reason

Is Offshore-Agile still a bad idea?
Let us see what can other reasons be for the idea to be a bad idea:

  1. If there is published evidence that offshore-agile does not work … I have not seen any
  2. If gurus agree that your process can no longer be classified as agile when the team is distributed … I have not come across any such opinion
  3. If traditional non-agile processes have proved superior to agile process when used in offshoring … I have not come across any such claim
  4. If offshoring partners, for whatever reason, are incapable or unable to adopt agile processes … I am yet to see such an organization

Could Offshore-Agile Be a Good Idea?
Systems which has built-in feedback loop is more adaptable.

Organizations which responds faster to change is the one which has greater chance of survival.

Technology is eliminating the barrier of physical distance.

Collaboration and empowerment is the new management mantra.

If you do not object any of these statements then you have already agreed that offshore-agile is a good idea!

If you are not involved in offshore-agile, is it still worth spending time to understand it?

Offshoring is expanding … Agile is expanding. How long before they start overlapping in a big way? How long can you stay out of it?

Even if you have no connection to offshore-agile now, can you say with certainty that your next engagement will not involve one?

Agile 1.3

Points to Ponder

  • Is offshoring to India different from offshoring to other countries? After all India has 58% of the market share (see Nasscom stats)

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More Stories By Udayan Banerjee

Udayan Banerjee is CTO at NIIT Technologies Ltd, an IT industry veteran with more than 30 years' experience. He blogs at http://setandbma.wordpress.com.
The blog focuses on emerging technologies like cloud computing, mobile computing, social media aka web 2.0 etc. It also contains stuff about agile methodology and trends in architecture. It is a world view seen through the lens of a software service provider based out of Bangalore and serving clients across the world. The focus is mostly on...

  • Keep the hype out and project a realistic picture
  • Uncover trends not very apparent
  • Draw conclusion from real life experience
  • Point out fallacy & discrepancy when I see them
  • Talk about trends which I find interesting
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Jim leads Wasabi's product management, sales engineering, and customer support efforts. As a veteran of multiple startups and large enterprise organizations, Jim has deep experience in developing, delivering, and supporting products and services that provide security, scalability, and reliability to customers and partners. Prior to Wasabi, Jim served in product management and sales/support engineering roles at Oracle (via Acme Packet and Covergence), Ciena (via WaveSmith Networks), Lucent Technologies (via Ascend Communications and Cascade Communications) and GTE. Jim holds a BSEE from Northeastern University and a MBA from Babson College.
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