Procurement Management Done Agile (Part 2)

Don is an entrepreneur and business leader with over 15 years experience specializing in aligning management-driven technologies and initiatives together with business and project strategies resulting in thoroughly planned and comprehensive business solutions. His expertise as a project manager, developer, tester, analyst, trainer, consultant, and business owner has spanned across diverse industries such as finance, retail, health care and information technology

In my previous article, I outlined the issues and problems inherent when procuring the services of a vendor to deliver software and systems using agile development under a traditionally linear and sequential project procurement process. Contemporary research has shown that the likeliness of change to the project requirements is proportional to the increasing complexity of the system being delivered. Boehm and Papaccio found that a typical software project experienced 25 percent change in requirements, with the percentages going up as the complexity of the software requirements grew[1].

The most common reason for this phenomenon is that during project execution, hidden requirements may be uncovered--leading to the discovery of new requirements. Part of the process improvement inherent in agile software development is that as the delivery of the system is being explored, the functionality becomes better understood in each iteration--which leads to changes in the ordering of the product backlog. It is typically after a few iterations that a customer gets some meaningful software to examine and explore, leading the customer to focus on new, re-prioritized or clarified requirements.

Yet when selecting an outsourced vendor to develop software using agile practices, the vendor is generally selected as a result of a typical waterfall-style tendering and contracting process--…

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