Models of Organization

Models of Organization

Barbara Russo (Free University of Bozen-Balzano, Italy), Marco Scotto (Free University of Bozen-Balzano, Italy), Alberto Sillitti (Free University of Bozen-Balzano, Italy) and Giancarlo Succi (Free University of Bozen-Balzano, Italy)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-681-5.ch004
OnDemand PDF Download:
$30.00
List Price: $37.50

Abstract

The essence of XP, but in general of AMs, is making the customer a part of the team who works very closely with the developers, ideally communicating on a daily basis. However, this is not always feasible: this is due to a number of different reasons, some connected with difficulties of the customer, but others may exist, for instance, situations where the development team is offshore. In this document, we will illustrate the organizational models of XP, also throughout a number of techniques used to obtain at least a part of the benefits of close interactions in case where they are impossible. In fact, the momentum to the development of a project deriving from an ongoing communication flow is the key point of AMs and XP, in order to have a prompt integration of the deliverables into the customer’s production environment.
Chapter Preview
Top

4.1 Introduction

The essence of XP, but in general of AMs, is making the customer a part of the team who works very closely with the developers, ideally communicating on a daily basis. However, this is not always feasible: this is due to a number of different reasons, some connected with difficulties of the customer, but others may exist, for instance, situations where the development team is offshore. In this document, we will illustrate the organizational models of XP, also throughout a number of techniques used to obtain at least a part of the benefits of close interactions in case where they are impossible.

In fact, the momentum to the development of a project deriving from an ongoing communication flow is the key point of AMs and XP, in order to have a prompt integration of the deliverables into the customer's production environment.

The reason to implement XP or AM projects with the proper organization model is to obtain the maximum outcome from the chosen methodology:

  • Lower risks. By implementing XP (or any AM) properly, it is possible to truly control the development spend by getting daily estimations of how far the allocated budget will take the project in terms of implementing the desired functionality. In short, what is possible to obtain is a “fixed price, variable scope” situation, with very close control over how every dollar is spent.

  • Scope prioritization and early release of the core functionality.

  • Possibility to throw in changes as the project goes (as many as possible). It is the projects with highly fluid requirements that especially benefit from XP. The cost of change relative to project phase is linear here rather than exponential as in conventional projects. This is where such XP practices as “no design in advance” and “keep it simple” really add value.

  • Projects can be started with a minimal set of requirements. Ideally a new project should have user stories, story tests and mockups, but this is not a must. Clients can kick off an XP project without the long preliminary phase of requirements preparation, because it is possible for the client, thank to the improved communication facilities, to define its requirements iteratively.

Top

4.2 The Agile Manifesto

Indications coming from the Agile Manifesto state the concepts of the organizational models in the Agile Methodologies:

  • Organizations must live with the decisions developers make

  • Organizations need to have an environment that facilitates rapid communication between team members

These sentences have two great implications in the usual structure of organizations:

  • Developers can make decisions for the whole project, and the whole team should just accept them

  • Any organization willing to embrace AMs or XP should provide facilities and adapt its environment, and not only in material way, to allow and ease communications between team members: as the team is composed by people from heterogeneous departments (business and technical), this is a great boost for horizontal communications inside a company.

Top

4.3 Culture, People, Communication

As stated by Cohen et al. (2004), an organization can be assessed by examining three key dimensions: culture, people, and communication. In relation to these areas a number of key success factors have been identified:

  • The culture of the organization must be supportive of negotiation

  • People must be trusted

  • Fewer but more competent people

  • Organizations must live with the decisions developers make

  • Organizations need to have an environment that facilitates rapid communication between team members

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset