Lean/ Agile Adoption in IT Services


NimbleWork products have been the core execution platform for many IT service companies in India. We have a leadership position in the market, given that 4 of the Top 5 India based IT service companies use our products.

In my position within NimbleWork, I have often interacted with senior leadership in these organizations about Lean/Agile adoption. Their customers have often pushed them in this direction, often driven by a desire for flexibility in requirements and reduced timelines. They wonder if there is serious merit in adopting it or is it just a passing fad!

Several quarters ago, I started a Lean/Agile transformation journey for an IT service provider with their Leadership team. They brought out concerns that resonated with what I had heard before in my past interactions. They had heard many good things about such transformation. They had heard some bad things too. So, we conducted a 1-day Leadership workshop where we discussed these concerns at length.

In this Whitepaper, I discuss some of these concerns for the larger community:

  1. How does Lean/ Agile recommend that projects be estimated in the Presales stage before the deal has been won and a SOW issued?
  2. How do we deal with Changing Requirements? If Lean/ Agile thinking pushes us to keep taking customer feedback at the end of every Sprint, how do we deliver the original scope of the project on time and budget?
  3. Should we do Automation? Further, should we do Automation if the Testing phase of the project is outsourced to another company by the customer?
  4. We get large Requirement Documents. How does Agile recommend we handle such large requirements that come in bulk?
  5. How do we appraise people in Lean/ Agile?
  6. What does Lean/Agile have to say about people utilization?
  7. What metrics should a Lean/ Agile project follow?


7 Key Concerns Of Lean/ Agile Adoption

These are the most commonly occurring questions during my training/discussions with leadership/middle management teams in IT service organizations.

Once you read this White Paper, you will be convinced that Lean/Agile thinking is as applicable to IT services as it is to product companies. Of course, it has to be adapted but then, Lean/Agile has always been about “Inspect and Adapt”.

If you have other questions that I have not addressed above, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected] or detail them in the Comments section of this blog.

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Sudipta Lahiri

Sudipta Lahiri

Sudipta Lahiri - Head of Products and Engineering, Digite - Sudipta (Sudi) has been in the IT industry for nearly 3 decades. He brings together a mix of experience across various IT Services and product companies. At Digité, he heads our Engineering and Product Management functions. He leads the development of SwiftEnterprise and SwiftKanban products. Sudipta is passionate about Lean-Agile transformation. He led Digité’s transformation process and helps various organizations in that capacity. Sudi holds a Master’s degree from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras. Follow Sudipta on Twitter @sudiptal

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