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Sourcing for Agile

“Because it’s tradition.” That line is not just annoying when your spouse says it as they drag you to the same horrible lunch buffet every weekend. Tradition can be extremely restrictive, especially in the world of IT innovation. An article on emergn.com details this and explains why the “waterfall method” that predicts what the future holds upfront is becoming increasingly detrimental to emerging technology: Waterfall often works perfectly well in situations full of certainty, and where the marketplace and technologies are already well known and understood. However, it is highly restrictive when applied to innovative leverage and strategic programs, which are evolutionary by nature and require both the customer’s and the supplier’s understanding of the value achievable to grow as new knowledge is gained. The waterfall method can also be painfully slow. Long feedback loops can mean a large gap between a request being made and the supplier being able to respond to said request. Although stepping out of the traditional customer/supplier comfort zone is daunting, it prevents old methods from slowing down new ideas. This is why agile has become more and more accepted as an advanced software development methodology since 2001. Agile offers more opportunity more prioritization, value, visibility, feedback, and overall reward than most traditional methods do. The article states that responding to change rather than adhering to a strict plan leads to greater productivity and less tension. There is no “one size fits all” approach, and finding what works best for each individual customer/supplier relationship will yield greater results than traditional methods. As the article suggests, forging solid partnerships will lead to the delivery of more desirable results.

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