I haven’t been posting for a while because I’ve been extremely busy preparing for a process improvement initiative for an international telecom company. I’m at the moment at their Indian site in Bangalore, trying to understand their present software development process, both how they describe it in documents and also how they practice it in reality.
We have identified a number of potential areas of improvement and our approach is to start building an agile foundation from bottom up, by introducing Scrum and a few XP practices to a pilot project and spreading this to more and more teams.
To some extent we will also look at particular areas from a top down approach, trying to implement some LEAN principles. They have some issues with long lead times, especially in their requirements process. However it seems that it will take some effort to get management to realize that it actually takes some effort from their side to change this, it will not happen just because of our presence.
In this case major changes is needed to get major improvements and minor changes will only produce minor improvements.
Like I told them: We will not do any changes for you, you have to do that yourselves, but we will be coaching, mentoring, educating you.
Other difficulties with this project are that the teams are widely distributed over the world and that even the organisation is structured according to the waterfall model that they claim they are not doing.