San Diego, California September 13-18, 2015

Is the World Not Flat? A View of Off-shoring vs Agile in a Cost Obsessed World, Where Quality Really Might Not Matterding

Michael Mah

Has the digital revolution really made it possible to do almost anything collaboratively with people separated by time and distance?  Are the decisions to outsource offshore preserving quality, while reducing costs? Is cost reduction a myth?
Countering outsourcing is Agile; which seeks to cluster human creativity and talent imphasizing short feedback loops, and claiming that "powerful innovation and economic gains result when smart and talented people locate closely to one another," in the words of Nobel Prize winning economist Robert Lucas. 
Who is right? Are they both valid?
To answer this question, this talk looks at what measurement data says about outsourced projects and Agile, with teams separated by distance and co-located.  Michael will present actual case studies from real companies and contrast the results from these two philosophies.  What you find may challenge long-held beliefs about knowledge work, commoditization, and innovation.


Michael Mah Michael Mah is managing partner at QSM Associates Inc. He teaches, writes, and consults to technology companies on estimating and managing software projects, whether in-house, offshore, waterfall, or agile. He is also director of the Benchmarking Practice at the Cutter Consortium, a US-based IT think-tank. With over 25 years of experience, Michael and his partners at QSM have derived productivity and quality patterns for thousands of projects collected worldwide. His work examines time-pressure dynamics of teams, and its role in project success and failure. His background is in physics and electrical engineering, and he is a mediator specializing in conflict resolution for technology projects. He is also a private pilot and lives in the mountains of Western Massachusetts.

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