Third Parties in scrum

Last post 07:08 pm July 7, 2018
by Ian Mitchell
9 replies
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01:30 pm July 3, 2018

Hi all,

On my organization when we are building improvements over the software we use, the developers are usually providers that are on another countries. Some times these providers do not work under an agile framework as scrum.

Since there are several components involved, we use several providers.  We are transitioning to the scrum framework from waterfall and its very challenging to do scrum events, and even plan accordingly as a unit.  

What approach can be taken on this situation?

Thanks

01:56 pm July 3, 2018

What appetite does the organization actually have for creating teams which deliver feature-complete increments?

02:02 pm July 3, 2018

Local teams are not a possibility right now.  So we need to rely on third party providers to do the development for now

11:28 am July 4, 2018

If the development is being done by third parties, why are you trying to dictate the processes and methods that they use to develop the software? Why can't you issue something like Request for Proposals or Statements of Objectives that include any constraints that you have and let the third parties choose the appropriate methods and tools for achieving the objectives within your constraints? Once you build up your own development organization, you can choose the methods and tools that you use to develop the software.

11:28 am July 4, 2018

If the development is being done by third parties, why are you trying to dictate the processes and methods that they use to develop the software? Why can't you issue something like Request for Proposals or Statements of Objectives that include any constraints that you have and let the third parties choose the appropriate methods and tools for achieving the objectives within your constraints? Once you build up your own development organization, you can choose the methods and tools that you use to develop the software.

02:22 pm July 4, 2018

I have the same problem... 

Some of my teams depends on third parties providers.. We have a lot of struggle trying to fit their development with our own.. Actually we use scrum just do demand and organize the requisition and negotiation with the third partie development team :/ ... 

03:46 pm July 6, 2018

Our company is fairly new to adapting scrum, and we often encounter the same issue. We use a number of third party libraries, and part of our industry involves interfacing with 3rd party devices. We often have bugs or features we look into and find we need to correspond with these companies to either get guidance or to help make the issue clear so they can reproduce and provide a fix. We aren't sure how to estimate and account for this work. For example, we might need to run some suggested tests to provide more info to the third party. Do we estimate just time for the action and pull that into the sprint and not create further tasks until we get a response? This doesn't seem transparent since we know there may be more work to test or integrate a solution, and just doing the action doesn't bring the task (or it's parent task) to done. I could use some suggestions of how to estimate, track, and pull this work into sprints.

04:20 pm July 7, 2018

Do we estimate just time for the action and pull that into the sprint and not create further tasks until we get a response?

This sounds good to me. Of course, having a sprint only full of such things would be no good, so have some things that actually provide business value and can really be DONE within sprint.

04:23 pm July 7, 2018

Some times these providers do not work under an agile framework as scrum.

As Thomas mentioned before, you could probably negatiate with them to include you as a stakeholder during their, let's say, bi-weekly progress demo (hoping they would internally just make it Sprint Review).

07:08 pm July 7, 2018

We aren't sure how to estimate and account for this work.

If you aren’t doing the work, you can’t. Only the team doing the work can really estimate it. However, multiple teams can reference the same Product Backlog, and collaborate in refining it and in planning which team does what during a Sprint.

Failing that, you might be able to elicit a service level agreement or expectation from the third party which your own team can rely on enough to make a forecast.