Agile Anti-Pattern: Sub-contractor stick & carrot approach.

Pattern Description

Your IT department is doing pretty good in using Agil, but somebody from the C-level forgot to ‚agilize‘ your purchasing department and/or sub-contractor management.

Thus the contracts with your vendors did not change since 1980 and may be summarized as:

  • Fixed price contracts,
  • Contractually binding requirements specification,
  • Contractual penalties based on
    • Quality gates
    • Error levels
    • Reaction times (typically: analysis only, not resolution)
  • Project plan including milestones.

Issue, Problem, Risk

If your company is going Agile and your suppliers don’t, you are in trouble.

Root Cause

You startet an isolated bottom-up implementation of Agile.

Mitigation, Remedy, How to avoid

Agile has to start on the C-level and should be iteratively implemented with E2E in mind.

If contractors are involved in your E2E processes (or value streams in SAFe lingo), then you either have to exclude these artifacts explicitly from your Agile universe or your should consider a different contracting approach. Think about PRINCE2 Agiles view on Agile Contracting.