Becoming agile through mindfulness

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Organizations dealing with information systems development (ISD) have started shifting to agile methods. This has been necessitated by the fact that the previous traditional methodologies, such as waterfall methodology, have been restrictive in terms of processes and extensive planning (Lee amp. Xia, 2010). The agile manifesto has been derived from the following four main tenets. interactions and individuals over roles and processes, contract negotiation through customer collaboration, response to change over plan following and a working software rather than an exhaustive documentation. Through these four doctrines, the agile manifesto came up with 12 principles that have led to the creation of different other methodologies. Such methodologies as XP (eXtreme Programming), FDD (Feature Driven Development), DSDM (Dynamic System Development Method) and Scrum have had lots of support from leading industry practitioners. Agile practices can be fused with mindfulness to ensure effective delivery of software applications to customers. Mindfulness involves attention to changes and the surroundings during the software development process (Argote, 2006). Through mindfulness, it is possible to achieve a certain degree of flexibility that allows an organization to be strategically at an advantage compared to the others. Literature Review Agile Global Information Systems Development (GSD) Many Information Systems Development Companies are migrating to Agile methods as a way of coping with the increased demands placed on such organizations. Most of them have gone further ahead to introduce a substitute solution, Global Systems Development (GSD). This alternative has resulted in numerous benefits including an increased potential for innovations, reduced costs of software development, large pools of talent, reduced proximity to markets or clients, transfer of knowledge, division of work across sites and reduction in duration for developing the software especially due to the effectiveness in time zones (Conchuir, Agerfalk, Olsson amp. Fitzgerald, 2009). According to Carmel and Agarwal (2001), firms and organizations should be well aware of challenges posed by the implementation of such methodologies. Just like Agile methodologies this area has not been well researched. The little research that exists on this area represents problem reports rather than extensive research that provide solutions in terms of significant techniques and practices (Smite, Wohlin, Gorschek amp. Feldt, 2010, p. 91). However, developing distributed or global software development through the use of Agile methods has been an area of great interest (Agerfalk, Fitzgerald amp. Slaughter, 2009). Such collaboration between distributed development and Agile methods has been conceptualized due to the capability that is produced when the two are fused together (Ramesh, Cao, Mohan amp. Xu, 2006). According to Turk, France and Rumpe (2002), such collaboration was regarded as highly unlikely. This was largely due to the fact that distributed development methods rely on formal methods while Agile methods are reliant on informal processes. Further research into this area has indicated that apart from the excellent blend that results from this collaboration, it is also possible to address issues of control and communication that arise during development of distributed systems (Ramesh, Cao, Mohan amp. Xu, 2006). This is an indication that Global Software Development is becoming much popular (Stotts, Nagappan, Baheti, Jen amp. A J, 2003). Such systems have