Trust and Committment, a two point mantra for a successful agile projects in offshore

Agile projects success (or failure) depends on two key points in an offshore setuo i.e. Trust and Commitment. Lack of either can cause serious trouble in agile projects as they say "You can't solve people problems with policies". So a lack of Trust on each other (Customer and Supplier) leads to rigid, complicated, lengthy SLA driven contracts and both side fight over it by taking oath of 'the contract'. Trust comes from knowing each other well and it takes some serious commitment to build trust. Committment from Customer should be is to treat its supplier more as partner or equal stakeholder in the project and invest in making a strong, trustworthy relationship early in the project to build a long lasting bond. Also, equally from a supplier committment is to understand its Customer challenge and help them to achieve their business goals. A committed supplier will invest in its people to produce a best quality product for its Customer and be transparent with their (and customer) organisation culture and its challenges and openly discuss how to overcome those. A bond based on Trust and Commitment goes a long way and bring a very healthy environment for people working in that environment.

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

This session will be a talk where we shall be discsussing the importance of Trust and Commitment to build a right agile environment where people can work without any fear in an open and transparent environment. The session will discuss about what does Trust and Commitment brings to Customer and Supplier and what other factor e.g. People, Culture, Communication are important to build a product/project in an agile environment.

Learning Outcome

In this talk we will learn the importance of creating an environment based on Trust and Commitment between a Customer and Supplier. We will discuss what it takes to build this environment and what benefit it brings to a project specially in an offshore environment I shall also be presenting some example from some agile transformation that I did with distributed team and how we (Customer) invested 'emotional capital' early in the project to build a strong relationship with our offshore partner and build a multi-million dollor product. We basically be talking about the following important factor to build a successful agile teams in an offshore environment

- Trust

- Transparency

- Communication

- Culture

- Committment and

- People

 

Target Audience

Agile Coaches, Programme Director/Manager, CIO, CEO, VPs, Scrum Masters

schedule Submitted 4 years ago

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  • Raja Bavani
    By Raja Bavani  ~  4 years ago
    reply Reply

    Dear Dinesh,

    Thanks for proposing!   Trust and Commitment are essential to ensure success. This is true for non-agile settings as well as non-software or non-IT business relationships.  Under distributed/offshore agile theme, how are you planning to differentiate or articulate takeaways?

    A topic like this can be done as a 5-minute lightening talk  or 20-minute session or 45-minute experience report.  Your proposal is for 45 minutes.  If you have any additional information to add to your proposal please update your proposal.  That will help our reviewers as well as attendees.

    Regards,

    Raja

    • Dinesh Sharma
      By Dinesh Sharma  ~  4 years ago
      reply Reply

      Dear Raja,

      This is not lightening talk but based on my personal experience working with distributed teams (including MindTree ;) Although I have not put any of the personal experience stuff in the proposal but that's what I am intended to talk about in bits. I am taking a holiastic approach for an issue that's opposed by many agile coaches i.e. don't offshore agile projects. I have talked to many agile coaches, customer, managers and tried to understand it challenges from their point of view and I zeroed it to Trust and Committment. To me Committment is not just one way street from offshore organisation to Customer but two road where they help each other by resolving challenges in a transparent environment. You can only create a transparent environment if you have mutual understanding of each other and agree to same principle and values. Once these two topics are covered, there isn't much difference in colocated and distributed teams be it quality, productivity etc. I have worked in both environment where I surved my customer from an offshore company and being a customer and worked with offshore organisations and I am trying to bring my experience i.e. these two key ingredient in an offshore agile project success.

       

      I am also trying to conver it in my blog that I have dedicated to Agile and Offshore at http://agileandoffshoring.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/customer-trust-and-commitment.html.

      Thanks,

      Dinesh

  • Srinath Chandrasekharan
    By Srinath Chandrasekharan  ~  4 years ago
    reply Reply

    Dinesh,

     

    Would this also cover aspects of how to achieve Trust and Committment ? While the topic is quite relevant in any projects thats contracted, it is all the more important in an outsourced, distributed projects. Hence to that extent would you be giving examples or experience from such projects ?

     

    Regards,

    Srinath

    • Dinesh Sharma
      By Dinesh Sharma  ~  4 years ago
      reply Reply

      Srinath,

      I will give example to how to build Trust and Commitment in an agile offshore engagement. I recently blogged about it (From customer point of view) at http://agileandoffshoring.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/customer-trust-and-commitment.html. I will blogging again this week from an Offshore organisation point of view.

       

      Thanks,

      Dinesh

      • Srinath Chandrasekharan
        By Srinath Chandrasekharan  ~  4 years ago
        reply Reply

        Hi Dinesh,

        While the topic is interesting and definitely one of the chief needs in an offshore and distributed team, the content seems generic in nature.

        One of the biggest challenges I have seen is the ability to sustain the trust and committment.Usually in IT services scenario, there is a churn in the projects which leads to resources moving out ( rotation, attrition etc.). In this scenario, it become very difficult to keep the same level of trust and committment.

        Any thoughts around this ?

        Regards,

        Srinath

         

         

         

        Regards,

        Srinath

        • Dinesh Sharma
          By Dinesh Sharma  ~  4 years ago
          reply Reply

          Srinath,

          I see Trust and Committment at two level. One at Organisation level and other is at team level. In my own experience maintaining trust and committment is much easier at team level when teams are working in agile way. The reason is that you have less heros and more team level engagement within team that means that knowledge is not containined within individuals but spread within whole team. So attrition has little impact (I am not saying no impact) in agile teams. Committment doesn't change as teams are based on core principles. The key concept here is to understand that Committment to deliver is not delivering lots of stuff but delivering what's required by business based on team's sustainable pace. Committment is that we will always deliver the work that add value to my customer (be it PO, End User or Product itself) by understanding and contrinbuting towards a product success. I have also seen that there is a less attrition within agile teams as team stays motivated for longer provided they get enough support from Customer and their own management.

           

          Hope I clarified your question.

           

          Thanks,

          Dinesh


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