Agile software development and talent shortage: changing perspective

Agile software development and talent shortage: changing perspective

For many leaders, three questions summarize the successful digital transformation of their company.

  • Is the velocity of my teams sufficient to reach this objective?
  • Do my teams have the expertise and experience to reach this objective?
  • Are my teams composed of a sufficient number of players?

There is little doubt that the answer to any of these questions is negative. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada was experiencing an unprecedented labour shortage, more so in Quebec than anywhere else. In the information technology (IT) field, we believe that the shortage and the nearly full-employment situation will still be current after the resumption of economic activities. In this context, the successful digital transformation of one’s company primarily means taking up a recruitment challenge. Whether temporary, permanent or of variable geometry, “recruitment” can also mean calling upon experts by the unit or intervention teams dispatched to your company to collaborate with your teams on a specific fixed-term development project. In fact, “recruitment” can take all the forms you want. 

Changing perspective

Winning companies implement all kinds of tactics to counter the scarcity of skilled labour, innovate and stay in the race. They know that a talent shortage (glass half-empty) and a full-employment situation (glass half-full) create economic conditions that favour growth. It is a question of perspective and of change in perspective. Cofomo’s expertise, approach and practice facilitate this change in perspective. Cofomo can even help you to do better with less. Who said that, in order to become agile, you have to hire at great expense a scrum master, five developer analysts, a product leader and two DevOps engineers? It may be a lot more advantageous to call on teams who master all aspects of software development and agile project management to work with your talents, for a while, in order to help them increase their achievement velocity and acquire new skills. Referencing its manifest, agile software development means valuing:

  • people and their interactions more than processes and tools;
  • operational software more than extensive documentation;
  • collaboration with clients more than contractual negotiation;
  • adaptation to change more than the implementation of a plan.

In a talent shortage environment, being agile also means dealing with:

  • ad hoc talent needs, to be met immediately;
  • anticipated talent needs, with a view to positioning the company in advance right now;
  • budgetary or business constraints limiting the increase of payroll expenditures;
  • your teams’ skill upgrade needs.

Primacy of people, operational software, collaboration, adaptation and variable geometry multidimensional recruitment, if one adds these success factors, the increase of your software development teams’ velocity and the satisfaction of your skilled labour needs are closely linked. In fact, the conjunction of both is the answer to an environment evolving in an unpredictable manner and where decisions must keep pace with rapid change. 

Agile development is not an end in itself, its purpose being commercial agility

Business and IT constitute Cofomo’s DNA. For Cofomo, adopting the Scrum framework, using the Kanban method, documenting the product backlog and practicing sprints, in short, doing DevOps and being agile, are advantageous for the customer if they:

  • place his business objectives at the heart of software development;
  • allow him to take advantage of a proven technological solution that contributes to the success of his business.

To do so, two questions govern our approach.

  • What commercial benefit does this solution provide the customer?
  • What value does this solution offer its users?

Customers and users do not have any understanding of terminology. Adopting that of agility to be “with it” can even prove counterproductive. What really matters is the leverage effect offered by a solution. On the customer’s side, it must maximize the commercial value of solutions aiming to grow revenue and increase the supply that enable it to distinguish itself from its competitors and from potential new players. On the user’s side, it must always offer more value in order to ensure retention. Winning on both sides requires a paradigm change in the management of software development. For example:

  • continuous delivery based on the evolution of needs, that enables quick feedback, replaces delivery based on needs defined in advance, once and for all, which, in the end, might not satisfy them adequately;
  • indicators quantify success according the a continuous flow of value creation, which is defined by users, and not according to an inflexible deadline and a rigid budgetary framework.

Beyond software development per se, agility is a means of successfully bringing about the digital transformation of a company thanks to a better use of its implementation capabilities. In the end, the challenge you face corresponds to one of the following options:

  • the capabilities exist, but they are not aligned with your strategy and its execution;
  • the capabilities are insufficient;
  • the capabilities do not exist and they have to be acquired.

Cofomo offers an answer to all these cases. 

Collaborating to better support the customer

Becoming agile through the optimization of your way of doing things means nothing if you don’t have the talents and the know-how, at the right time and at the lowest cost. Acquiring these talents on a permanent or temporary basis, individually or in the form of intervention teams who collaborate with your teams, are key components to improve or implement agility, master good practices, succeed in the digital transformation of your company and progress. The first challenge of agility is the growth and the continuity of your business. In order to ensure both, your company, its business model, its culture, its organizational structure, its computer capacity and its talent management must adapt to the new economic reality induced by digital innovations. Cofomo’s 25 years of experience in information technology and in workforce management, as well as its solid record of accomplishment in the conduct of business and operational excellence, are a guarantee of its capacity to help you successfully take on this challenge. Are you looking for software and commercial agility? Contact us right away.

Navigating your digital transformation: opportunities, challenges and key steps 

Digital transformation is crucial for modern businesses, fostering innovation, competitiveness, and efficiency, while meeting the…


A Local Solution To A Global Problem

Simplifying the development and maintenance of a multi-jurisdictional insurance portal Another Cofomo Applications Support Success Story…


Don’t fall off the digital map

A lot has happened at a fast pace over the last year. Is technology the…


Delivering a real added-value customer experience

More than ever, it is crucial to deliver a customer experience that generates added value…