Achieving Agility in Globally Distributed Software Development


principles. However, it is still useful to map the various the practices to the principles to gain an understanding of how variations and adaptations of the practices can still promote the goal of agility (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. Mapping Practices to Principles


As the chart illustrates, no single practice stands alone in realizing a specific principle. This means that although each practice has emerged as beneficial, dropping, adapting, augmenting or modifying a practice or set of practices does not leave a gap in the quest for agility.

The terms agile and offshore, at first seemingly contradictory, can in fact co-exist. The question is not whether offshore development can be agile but rather how offshore development can be agile. This question is hard to answer if the focus is placed on the various agile practices, but becomes understandable and answerable if instead it is the principles of agile development that are investigated. Once the principles are identified, focus can then be placed on how to achieve these principles given the complex environment of distributed offshore development.

About the Author Adam Finden is the Director of Global Sourcing for Valtech, a global software development consultancy. In this role he is jointly responsible for the development and evolution of Valtech's globally distributed Agile Offshore process. Additionally, Adam is also active as a consultant assisting clients in object modeling, enterprise application integration and process adoption.



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