Agile in India

I seem to arrive in India the past few years at the start of monsoon.  Not that I’m complaining, it’s one of my favourite places on earth, a wonderful mix of tradition and technology.

Yesterday I was fortunate to attend the Bangalore Scrum user group, kindly arranged by iSense Prowareness.  It was an excellent event, over 70 folks attended and I have to say I was hugely impressed by the knowledge of those present.  Scrum seems to be growing exponentially here since my last trip in 2010 and it’s lovely to be involved, regardless of how small a contribution I’ve made 🙂

One of the hugely positive side effects I’ve witnessed is a leap in confidence amongst Indian professionals, which in turn is resulting in a deepening respect from their customers.  It’s about time I say.

When I started working with Indian teams back in the late 90’s there seemed to be a huge gulf of cultural differences that hampered effective communication between us and them.  The key one that sticks out in my mind was that often our Indian counterparts would often be reluctant to ask for clarification which led to all sorts of interesting deliverables (often our parochial English contributed to the confusion).  It took many months of building close relationships and fostering trust so that we were all on the same page, although as a result though I personally gained a lot of good friends.

Technological expertise has always been here in India, we just didn’t seem know how to leverage it effectively and now with early feedback practices we are all learning together how to communicate with each other helping to build a single team regardless of the continents involved.

I’m glad to say that Scrum and Agile are empowering my Indian colleagues to ask those difficult questions, to probe and most importantly to shine around the world and be respected for their skills and tenacity 🙂


Julie Hendry

2 Replies to “Agile in India”

  1. Unfortunately not my experience at all. The past 18 months I have spent working with another Indian company who fail at every level to adopt any form of agile practices. Their company culture is one of downward autocratic management coupled with team staffing of very junior people who are to new into their career to challenge the very heavy waterfall metholody they persist in adopting.

    Unless senior management in these companies buy into agile approach, then there isn’t a chance of it gaining ground at the team level.

    You are in a very lucky position

    1. This was a repost Keith, but I agree that there are challenges everyday in persuading senior management that they too need to change 😉 especially in the baby boomer generation who are also typically those in senior positions. And location in India makes a huge difference too – Bangalore is modern and cosmopolitan, some other cities are much more traditional in every way.

      Been drafting a ‘senior managers need coaching too’ post for too long now 🙂

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