As noted in a recent Baseline Magazine article, agile organizations have processes and structures that enable them to know what is going on both internally and externally, as well as to provide the mechanisms needed to act quickly on that knowledge. This agility not only helps them to respond to changing market conditions, and survive tough times, but also helps them in their global expansion and global sourcing efforts.
As per a recent article in Global Services on globalization & agile, the key principles of agile, which is not just for software development anymore, provide us with the cornerstones of global sourcing. Specifically:
- Collaboration and Cooperation
Agile requires a higher level of collaboration and communication across cross-functional teams than exists in an average organization. Done right, agile drives the formation of relationships, problem resolution, decision making, consistent delivery on (global sourcing) projects, and faster time-to-market than other approaches.
- IT & Business Alignment
Iterative refinement of requirements and project plans allows the stakeholders to buy into a new system or software acquisition sooner and to adapt to changes that support market conditions and trends quicker.
- Risk Mitigation
With an agile mindset, plans and proposals are analyzed for potential problems and risks sooner, allowing them to be addressed, and mitigations to be devised (and, if necessary, incorporated into a contract) before a project is completed or a contract is signed. Risk is controlled, managed, and communicated continuously.
- Financial Management
Agile focusses on managing project value, continuously monitoring estimated costs and expected returns, and insuring the ratio is sensible and profitable to the business.
In other words, an agile mindset goes beyond simple software selection, development, and implementation to the core of a new global sourcing strategy that allows you to be more productive and more effective in your global sourcing efforts.