Home > Articles > Software Development & Management > Agile

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Evidence: Collaboration across Organizational Boundaries

There is a side-effect from attending to personal safety, amicability within the team, and easy access to expert users: it becomes natural to include other stakeholders into the project, as well.

Géry Derbier, working with the French postal service (La Poste) to build software to run a new facility to handle all the mail going into and out of northern France, reported on his use of Crystal. With twenty-five people, his was a project in the Crystal Yellow category. However, he knew the principles of the Crystal methodologies family, particularly the "stretch to fit" principle, and therefore chose to extend Crystal Clear to his larger setting wherever possible.

We discussed his project, and at one point covered their project's linkage to the integration testing team located 30 km away and to the business and usage expert working for La Poste. I asked questions of the sort: "How often did that person visit the team? How did he feel about that? How did his manager feel about his coming over so often?" Géry's answers were, for both external groups: "One day a week; comfortable; happy to be involved so early."

After our discussion, I realized that Géry had built the additional safety of collaboration across organizational boundaries into his project. His project was happily linked into both the customer and integration environments with a colleague on each end. La Poste's contract measured and paid according to integrated test results every few months (frequent delivery). The La Poste executives got software delivered in growing increments and paid accordingly. Géry's bosses, who had no previous experience with incremental delivery, were happy about this also, since they saw regular delivery turn into regular payments. Géry had a support structure on all sides.

Collaboration across organizational boundaries is not a given result on any proj-ect. It results from working with honesty amicability and integrity within and outside the team. It is hard to achieve if the team does not itself have personal safety and, to a lesser extent, frequent delivery. I consider the presence of good collaboration across organizational boundaries as partial evidence that some of the top seven safety properties are being achieved.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account