Friday, September 28, 2007

Agile in Product Company Vs Services company

During many of my Agile presentations, I keep getting the similar question from participants, "Can Agile work in services company" ?. My answer has always been "Agile methods could be implemented whether it is product company or services company".
I kept wondering where this misconception is coming from ? I think I have some clue here. ..

As we know, the software services company would try to cater to the needs of multiple customers. Many of the companies would be working on multiple projects ranging from Java/J2EE to COBOL, AS/400, etc. The verticals would be from retail domain to Avionics. As far as I have seen in Indians services company, each project is controlled by the customer's project team from distant locations. Even though the PM and the developers form the major crowd in the team, they have very little say in major project related decisions like choosing tools, process, etc.
The vendor software company has to negotiate with each of the customers about process, tools, methods, etc. Even the management of vendor companies cannot put their foot down about ideas because, there is a tough competition in the market. There is a fear that, many customers can walk out if they find any resistance to their own ideas. Keeping the above factors in mind, it becomes difficult for services companies to convince each and every customer about Agile method or any similar thing. This also results in poor implementation of methods like Agile in services organization. According to me, Agile methods can work successfully in services company provided there is a good support from not only from the vendor management but also customers .

Where as in product development companies, there is one team at the organizational level making all decisions about software development. If the management team is convinced about Agile, that is enough to take the idea forward with less resistance.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

XP Day Manhattan - Oct 13th 2007

Upcoming XP Day conference in North America would be held on Oct 13th. Here is the note shared by Niraj Khanna of Diaspar software about the upcoming XP Day Manhattan program:

Diaspar Software and Thoughtworks is proud to present another
installment of the XP Day North America series: XP Day Manhattan
taking place on October 13, 2007.

The focus of XP Day is to bring top extreme programming practitioners
to North American XP communities to share their successes, failures
and perspectives on how to release high-value software sooner.

Our program for Manhattan includes:
1) A keynote address by Steve Freeman. Steve is a fixture in the
London software development community, a regular organizer of the
original XP Day, well known for his contributions to test-driven
development practice and co-recipient of the 2006 Gordon Pask Award.
2) A tutorial by JB Rainsberger, a recipient of the 2005 Gordon Pask
award. JB will talk about why XP works using the Theory of
Constraints model developed by Goldratt.
3) A tutorial by George Dinwiddie, a respected member of the XP
community, and author of an insightful blog about coaching XP teams:
http://blog. gdinwiddie. com. George will talk about sustainability at
multiple levels in XP.
4) Open Space. There’s plenty of room, the space is superbly run and
the conversation is lively. Collaborate intensively with both local
and invited advanced practitioners on issues that interest you most.

Cost of the conference is $249 US)and includes breakfast and lunch.
Registration is limited to 100 attendees. To register visit http:// For group rates, contact me at the address provided
in the header of this message.

Check out the following links for pics of our last conference: http:// 2ysz6v and http://tinyurl. com/23ktwx