Agility was initially devised for co-located teams, sharing the same physical environment. Back in 2000, when the Manifesto for Agile Software Development was only beginning to take shape, it was already considered common knowledge that face-to-face communication was the most effective way to collaborate, considered far superior to reading an e-mail or taking part in a poor quality conference call. Blackberry was just switching from pagers to its first e-mail ready smartphones, while the first iPhone wouldn’t launch for another seven years.
One of the founders of the Agile movement, Alistair Cockburn, had just published “Agile Software Development”, which was among the books that popularized the concept. On the very first page of this book, he addressed communication challenges:
Knowing that perfect communications are impossible relieves you of trying to reach that perfection. […] “Managing the incompleteness of communications” is core to mastering agile software development.
This communications focus was reflected in face-to-face communication’s supremacy becoming one of the 12 Agile principles, and the co-location of teams was viewed as a natural enabler of this communication. These principles were absorbed throughout the industry and became undisputed best practice. Fortunately, another Agile principle is to Inspect-and-Adapt continuously, aiming for what works most effectively, which means responding to the changing tides of technology, the outsourcing explosion as well as the race for talent, all of which have changed the landscape dramatically over the last 20 years.
There was a further shake up in 2012 when Spotify shared its ideas about a startup-like Agile organization, which it called Squads. Many industry players began to review the way development was done as a result, with business outcomes and benefits replacing “working software” on the center stage of Agile projects, and multi-disciplinary Squads seamlessly joining together people with quite different backgrounds.
Today, a global pandemic is testing the stability of industries and of society, and the world has responded by embracing Digital. While the distributed fully digital workplace is only nowadays becoming part of the new normal, it has been part of Stefanini’s DNA for decades, forming the backbone of Stefanini’s global nearshore delivery model.
Stefanini’s Virtual Squads offering merges two powerful concepts into a single consistent solution: the outcome orientation of our Squads approach with the delivery flexibility of a virtualized, digital-empowered agile organization.
Our goal is to expand the borders of collaboration by capturing talent anywhere in the world, taking advantage of teamwork and enjoying the facilities provided by modern technologies and agile methodologies.
We use our experience and maturity in distributed agile teamwork, our expertise and technology advances in the Digital Workplace and our global footprint to deliver on this goal.
Join us on May 27th to learn how, through a Virtual Squads approach, Stefanini’s customers benefit from a proven end-to end solution that maximizes team skills, business alignment, speed and flexibility, while minimizing costs and distributed work risks. There will also be an opportunity to discuss the challenges and unexpected opportunities presented by the current times with our experts.