How to Build an Agile IT Project Team
Building Agile Project Teams
IT organizations have significantly changed over the past several years as project teams move away from traditional waterfall methods to more Agile ways of delivery. While changes to standard project methodologies and workflows are morphing into more feature-focused sprints, the composition of the traditional project team is changing as well.
The Slow Drip of Waterfall
In the past, most organizations utilized the Waterfall approach to IT delivery. Projects were broken down into phases starting with a requirements gathering phase, then a design phase, implementation phase, and so on. Typically, funding to continue the project was allocated after each stage was completed following a stage gate review with a typical steering committee. Because most waterfall-based projects were slow-moving, multi-year initiatives, from an organizational perspective, hiring long-term employees and consultants was the typical sourcing strategy. The main problem with waterfall was that IT delivery was very slow and failed to adapt to changing market conditions and customer demands.
The Need for Speed
Because end-users demand immediate, customized solutions to solve today’s business problems, IT organizations now approach projects utilizing Agile methodologies such as Kanban or Scrum, where the focus is on completing a product backlog derived from real-time user stories. Teams now churn out high priority features in 2-4 weeks, not to 2-4 years. The challenge for most IT organizations is how to scale their department when IT projects exceed the number of employees to meet the demand.
Independent Pros: An Agile Workforce
For years, Corporate HR departments have been slow to adapt as their workflows, policies and personnel have been deeply rooted in attracting and retaining employee, W2-based IT talent. With the rise of independent IT professionals and staff augmentation firms that specialize in recruiting them, that’s all about to change.
Independent IT professionals receiving a 1099 from the IRS are one of the most abundant, most capable but often most underutilized sources of Agile IT talent in the marketplace today. Since 1994, the number of independent professionals has consistently outpaced full-time employees by 2:1. Independent consultants don’t carry a lot of the same baggage (e.g. benefits, performance reviews, training, etc.) as traditional employees, require little to no red tape to remove or replace and are located in every major city. They’re the ultimate Agile workforce – if you have the right partner to find them.
Leveraging AI & RPA to Find IT Pros
At Darby Consulting, we’re focused on finding, selecting, developing and managing networks of independent IT professionals so our clients can gain faster access to the best, most qualified talent at a lower cost. We use consultant matching tools backed by artificial intelligence and robotic process automation so our clients spend less time interviewing IT professionals and more time responding to the needs of their customers.