Valerie Berset-Price, Consultant
The search for global talent coupled with cost reduction through outsourcing is nowadays perceived by most multinationals as necessary to remain competitive. As a result, software engineering teams tend to be culturally diverse and spread around multiple time zones. In this environment, Agile is often considered the solution to achieve transparency, maneuverability and effective communication within the team. While Agile is a powerful project management method, it focuses on corporate culture while downplaying the national culture that team members bring to the equation. Moreover, Agile pushes a philosophy rooted in the linear culture defining U.S. nationals, assuming that everybody on the team has been brought up to think, solve and act in a linear manner.
In this session, we will look at the tenets of the Agile principles, such as team ownership, self-organization, trust and respect, macro-management, easy-access communication, prioritization and continuous realignment. We will examine how those concepts are inherently interpreted in multi-active and reactive cultures, placing an emphasis on how the cultures of India, the Philippines and Brazil compare with the United States. Armed with that knowledge, we will look at the essential tools multicultural distributed teams need to excel within the Agile framework.