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Why Your Agile Team is Better Off Dispersed: The Case for Location-independent Agile

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In our work with global enterprises that have experimented and reinterpreted the agile methodology, we’ve identified four new agile principles. Know more about these principles and why overturning agile orthodoxy makes sound business sense.

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Why Your Agile Team is Better Off Dispersed: The Case for Location-independent Agile

  1. 1. Why Your Agile Team is Better Off Dispersed: The Case for Location-independent Agile Krishnan Ramanujam President, Business and Technology Services August 2018
  2. 2. Location-independence is a Must Location-independent teams are no longer an anomaly. They are the backbone of digital transformation. Global landscape, co-located agile teams have largely become impractical and unnecessary Location-independence provides benefits in digital transformation: skills, knowledge, and speed The capability to have agile team members working from different locations is both paramount and possible Companies must prepare to make their agile initiatives location-independent
  3. 3. Most Agile Teams are Globally Dispersed The majority of agile organizations now use remote team members: Of 3,880 people at mostly North American and European organizations, 86% have location-independent agile teams - VentureOne Survey One in eight agile development teams in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific organizations is co-located – Forrester Survey 71% companies have agile teams working offsite - Scott Ambler + Associates ABN AMRO, with five million retail customers, is delivering on location-independent agile projects and launching digital innovations
  4. 4. Reasons for Location-Independent Agile Companies are fast moving towards location-independent agile teams because they need to: Tap important but rare skills from afar Make rapid decisions and not force people to travel to make them Have essential knowledge that does not exist locally
  5. 5. Tap Rare Skills from Afar Agile teams need to tap into globally dispersed skills that are important but rare: Multi-disciplinary skills such as software development, business processes, and data science are necessary for agile These skills may not be locally available, and need to be tapped from globally dispersed locations Each agile team also needs an agile expert A company working via location-independent agile teams makes this possible effectively 699 employees of Automattic, the parent company of WordPress, work from home across 62 countries
  6. 6. Access Essential Knowledge Teams need to tap the minds of experts – not just the skills Agile teams also need access to knowledge: Experts who possess immense information on specific topics are in huge demand and short supply. Such requirement to tap into the knowledge will arise frequently
  7. 7. Make Rapid Decisions Agile teams need to make important decisions effectively: Agile teams need to access skills and knowledge of professionals from other locations This access has to be efficient and quick; professionals should not have to travel to the location of the agile teams to provide their expertize Location-independent teams will be able to tap into professionals using tech-options and make key decisions without delaying schedules
  8. 8. Co-located Teams have Drawbacks It may not be cost efficient when teams have to make business trips for geographical proximity Assembling a co-located team has some disadvantages: A large organization may have more number of agile teams than business experts required to assign to all of them Leaders face resistance from in-house business experts being forced to relocate to locations of agile team members
  9. 9. Make Location-independent Teams Click New agile principles for leaders working with location-independent teams: Promote role equality with unwavering respect for everyone’s expertise Ensure intellectual harmony between all agile team members Protect strongly the dispersed agile team from the internal corporate attackers Convert widely to convince skeptical executives to become agile advocates
  10. 10. Use Location-independent Teams Co-location, though well intended, does not make business sense any more. It is time to: Work efficiently with location-independent agile teams Convert widely to convince skeptical executives to become agile advocates Tap the talent, wherever it resides in the world, to innovate and remain competitive
  11. 11. Why Your Agile Team is Better Off Dispersed: The Case for Location-independent Agile Download the Article Contact Us

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