On, Agile, Outsourcing and the Social Contract with Our Teams

Israel Gat (BMC VP) and a number of commenters have been opining on the potential for agile development to increase our ability to make better social contracts (implied commitment for continuous employment) for our resident teams. The question is:

  1. Are the productivity gains of agile development sufficient to help us warrant that we can keep our local teams employed for many years to come? Is that a promise we can then make to our teams?
  2. Or, do the inevitable pressures for cost management and the continuing flattening of our world mean that we are forever doomed to treating our employees, agile or not, as “replaceable parts”.

Those are indeed some critical and thought provoking questions the agile executive faces as they plan for the future (it is OK to plan in agile!). For answers, or at least opinions on answers, read the blog post and its comments.

My personal opinion is that it is impossible to say whether adopting agile practices and thereby achieving the inherent productivity and quality benefits can assure us that we can maintain our commitments to our teams, but that failure to adopt these practices means that we most assuredly cannot!

One thought on “On, Agile, Outsourcing and the Social Contract with Our Teams

  1. Important subject I guess not only for execs but for teams too. From the team perspective it is much better to be agile than not. Because this strong cohesion with ‘business’, repetitive increments delivery and real predictability spawns trust between exec and engineering team. This often results in mutual loyalty. Thus ‘replacement’ is always an option but you would think twice before undertaking it – because trust is so good, although hard to establish with the new team, if possible at all.

    My take is – yes, agile naturally implies mutual long-term commitment .

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