It is costly mistake choosing the wrong outsource software development model. As a project manager or product manager you want to always be delivering value to the customer. You don’t care about software engineering practices. Its outcomes you want not outputs.
The software development model will determine how you will communicate with the team going forward. It manages expectations and set ground rules for ways of working. we know communication is the reason most projects fail.
Choosing the right outsource software development model
If you plan to have a long standing relationship with the software development team it needs to be an agile approach. That is an absolute MUST HAVE. The real decision is to choose lean project management vs agile methodology such as scrum.
Lean Software Development focuses on delivers outcomes
When you should use lean is you want to have your development team part of the mission to service your customers. You need to provide them with your problems not requirements. The last thing you want is to spoon feeding the development team requirements as this just leads to poor results. You want the team to be focused on delivering outcomes.
Scrum focuses on delivering outputs
When you should use other Agile methodologies such as Scrum Agile Framework work is when you are outsourcing your software development. You need to realize though what you are doing is staggered waterfall not Agile per se. Scrum gets lost in following the framework vs delivering value. If you want your IT department to be a cost center and think its okay you should read LeanEssays: The Cost Center Trap.
Avoid Feature Factories
John Cutler came up with the term feature factory as he saw some companies become more interested in completing story points than learning what types of functionality users actually wanted. John viewed these organizations as factory workers assembling features without thinking about what they contributed to the product.
We discuss how you can avoid this by implementing a lean methodology vs agile in our latest blog post.