Monday, April 16, 2007

Oursourcing Strategy: Only Work with Scrum Teams

I had an exciting week in the Amsterdam area at the beginning of April working with Xebia, a consulting company that has set up a subsidiary in India that uses a SirsiDynix style Scrum where geographic transparency rules and teams are made up of people from multiple locations that meet daily. Aggressive, well functioning Scrums can use this style of organization to radically force teams across geographies to function as one entity. If you want to outsource to India, work through the Xebia India team. You have to try this to see how it works. Set up a test case. Outsource one project to an India waterfall team. Outsource another through Xebia to an India Scrum team and see what happens. You will be surprised by the results.

There are only a few hours time difference between Amsterdam and India so their daily working relationship is excellent with overlapped schedules. I spent some time with the leader of the Indian organization who worked for Xebia in Amsterdam for many years and took the opportunity to return to India and build Agile teams. He and his Indian teams have a tight working relationship with the Amsterdam consulting group.

For information on Xebia, check out Serge Beaumont's blog item on the manager's role in Scrum. We were discussing this over a few beers at an outstanding Dutch restaurant and Serge asked me about the PatientKeeper MetaScrum which meets on a weekly basis. It is led by the Chief Product Owner. However, the CEO is almost always there and aggressively removes company impediments. This led Serge to a brilliant insight. The PatientKeeper CEO is the ScrumMaster of our MetaScrum! That's one of the reasons it works so well.

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