There isn’t a business on the planet that’s not interested in saving money and minimizing risk. But traditionally, when it came to launching an IT project, expenses and risk were the only guarantees. From server purchases to salaries to energy expenditures to software maintenance costs, there were a number of challenges that had to be overcome. First of all, a business had to achieve a high level of success in order to cover these major expenses. And, on top of that, they had to be prepared to spend even more money mitigating risks — or solving problems.
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The integrated team is a new software development industry model under which the vendors’ team works closely with the clients’ IT department, integrating into their processes and procedures rather than working separately. This model is becoming increasingly popular, especially in scenarios where clients need to introduce a new product to the market quickly. Outsourcing and out-staffing might not necessarily be the most effective solutions in these cases, whereas the integrated team model encapsulates the advantages — in terms of pricing, quality, and process — of both fully outsourced and fully in-house models.
All stories of failed vendor-client software development relationships are similar. On the other hand, every successful collaboration is unique. The reasons for failure could include issues with communication, language and culture barriers, or lack of understanding of the business and technical requirements by the vendor.
While successful projects have more varied stories, however, that success is usually built on a variety of components that lead to successful partnership between the vendor team and the client.
Agile methodologies rule the software development world nowadays, and one of their goals is to build self-organized teams for every project. Of course, that raises the question of whether relying on self-organized teams will leave managers out of a job. If a team is capable of performing the work on their own, why would we need managers at all?
Part of this concern likely comes from the general uncertainty and opacity about a manager’s actual role and responsibilities. So before we answer the question, let’s give a brief overview what the role entails.
When you imagine a typical software engineer, what do you imagine? A grim-looking, withdrawn person in glasses, who enjoys coding quietly, alone, and hates having to interact with other people? This stereotype should be long gone soon, as the software development world is changing, and soft skills like communication are on the rise.
All modern software development frameworks emphasize the importance of communication. One of the core values of the Agile manifesto is that “individuals and interactions are more important than processes and tools.” Does that sound counterintuitive? Let’s analyze what is behind this principle.
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