Agile Bengaluru 2010


Cultural Challenges in Global Agile

Agile development practice has gained popularity in the last few years. India has so far been riding on CMMI bandwagon, with companies vying with each other to get CMMI certification. Recently, we are seeing more and more projects being executed using agile methodologies. This has also brought with it, some challenges. Not all of them are unique to agile, but they tend to manifest earlier and has higher impact in agile.

While there are different types of challenges, here, we are focusing on the Indian cultural ones. Also, we are looking at the challenges in a joint product development – where work is done both by offshore team (which is typically the outsourced organization) and the onsite team (the client team).

After we elaborate on the challenges, we present how we have tried to solve them in our current client engagement.





Theoretical focus

Indian educational system focus on theoretical knowledge – programming syntax

Tools to ensure coding standards, best practices, testability and coverage

Service Mindset

Experience in service/IT projects, where the focus is on finding immediate short-term solutions to problems

Design and code reviews

Distractions at work

Tendency of developers to get distracted on account of telephone calls, IMs, internet surfing, cricket matches, team celebrations

Two stand ups a day. Pre-lunch and post-lunch units of work


Comfort in working in a hierarchy – doing what you are told to do

Tracking through tools, stand ups, work assignments based on ability


Working together to achieve a common goal vs doing one's own work

Collaboration tools – wiki, instant messaging

Resume fattening

Work on a bunch of different technologies to fatten the resume

Specializations and work assignments based on it

Speaker Profile

Raghuram Bharathan is a Post Graduate in Computer Applications from REC (now called NIT), Trichy. He has more than 12 years of experience in software product development. He has worked for a Fortune 500 company and has extensive experience in executing projects for various enterprise customers, covering all aspects of software project lifecycle. He is currently working with a US based client to co-develop a product, using agile development methodology.


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