Jharna Software, a medium-sized software company based in India with around 180 employees, also operated as an offshore center in the United States. Over the past few decades, India’s offshore software industry has experienced significant growth, and Jharna Software found success by providing customers with high-quality and cost-effective services. However, the evolving demands of customers and intense competition in the market compelled the company to decide whether to adopt agile methods as an alternative to the traditional plan-driven development approach.
The agile method, with its iterative nature, proves to be a great option for software project management. However, due to its significant divergence from traditional methods, Jharna Software had to employ a flexible and practical change management approach to implement agile. The importance and urgency of change management in terms of adopting a customer-oriented business model cannot be denied, especially considering the case of Ampersand, a rival company that closed down after losing a major client.
Khan, the head of Jharna Software, planned to implement organizational changes in order to enhance the current business model. Organizational Change Management involves aligning expectations, communicating effectively, integrating teams, and providing training for employees. This typically encompasses strategic changes, operational changes (including structural changes), technological changes, and modifying the attitudes and behaviors of personnel. Jharna Software’s strategy involved using both traditional and agile methods simultaneously. This approach seems rational since both methods have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Using the agile method in the XP as an example, its drawback is that “while individual practices are suitable for many situations, overall view and management practices are given less attention,” indicating that the agile method does not scale well. Consequently, Jharna Software can carry out large software projects using its established software development approach while tackling small projects under the agile method. Simultaneously, Khan expressed concern about the culture clash between two teams implementing the traditional and new methods, respectively. However, I believe that this is not a negative thing as it commonly occurs during the transition period.
The agile method is more effective in promoting teamwork compared to the traditional way. This is because in an agile project, team composition is typically cross-functional and self-organizing, and does not take into account corporate hierarchy or roles. Implementing this new method could help boost employee morale at Jharna Software. Additionally, Khan is considering the possibility of hiring professionals from other companies who have experience with agile methods, as his current project managers lack this expertise.
However, it is my belief that Khan should persuade the other members of his management team to prioritize a common objective, despite their differing viewpoints. The implementation process should adhere to the hierarchical approach, involving a large number of employees in order to foster participation. While external resources can be useful in facilitating the procedure, they should not be assigned pivotal roles. Jharna Software may consider implementing change management in three stages: 1. Initiate with a methodical evaluation of the present circumstances to ascertain the necessity and feasibility of change.
To effectively manage change, it is recommended that Jharna Software develop a concise and specific change management plan that encompasses the objectives, content, and process of the change. This plan should also include measurement of performance based on key indicators such as financial results, operational efficiency, leadership commitment, communication effectiveness, and the ability to make necessary adjustments. By implementing a change management plan promptly, Jharna Software can secure customer loyalty and achieve greater profitability in relation to its competitors.