How to make Outsourcing Work with Agile Software Development?

How to make Outsourcing work with Agile Software Development

Quick Summary: Many software outsourcing organizations are looking to outsource their work, but at the same time, they also want to adopt the agile methodology for software development. Learn the common challenges and how businesses can make outsourcing work with agile development!

Agile methodology’s significance in software development is now widely acknowledged. Agile improves project management coordination and enhances the performance standards of your development team.

But in today’s globalized environment, outsourcing agile software development has risen to the second-most popular trend in the industry.

“There are so many ways to improve efficiency in a company’s operations. Reviewing processes, finding leaks, and consolidating department tasks can help, but isn’t there an even more effective way? Yes, there is. Through outsourcing some of the non-core aspects to the experts!”- TeleCastPH

In reality, several businesses are currently incorporating the agile technique into their procedures for offshore development.

Outsourcing Objectives

Their goal is to integrate agile development techniques’ flexibility with outsourcing’s benefits. However, this brings light to the question:

Can software outsourcing and agile development work together?

The Importance of Agile Development for Enterprises

Do you often need help with your project details? Does going through all these drive you up the wall?

Experience the benefits of working in agile with these benefits of agile development for enterprises:

The Importance of Agile Development for Enterprises

1. Faster time to market

Because of the perfect time frame and goals, implementing agile methodology reduces the time to market. Every piece of software built here is instrumental.

2. Better predictability

With the help of agile practices and tools, you can quickly predict the timelines and estimate the cost of the whole project.

3. Bigger productivity

Agile teams can easily maintain the working code with proper iterations that tend to be more productive.

4. Enhanced quality of the software

In Agile development methodology, you get access to a number of processes such as automated testing that helps reduce the number of problems.

5. Improved product visibility

In agile software development, each iteration has different goals, and hence you know what you expect and what you will receive at the end.

Challenges of Implementing the Agile Methodology in Offshore Software Development

Although there are numerous advantages of agile offshoring development, many organizations haven’t still adopted the same. Have you considered why? This may be because adopting an agile methodology isn’t as easy as it may look. 

These are a few challenges why clients shy away from working with agile offshore teams or vendors:

1. Poor collaboration

Since collaboration is the key to the team project, coordinating with an offshore development team is very challenging and complex. Dealing with challenges such as cultural differences is hard. Some of them include the spread of informal news, low team morale, and common communication language.

2. Software development Issues

Sometimes, the project’s productivity is hampered by poor IT infrastructure, the disparity in design and architectural expertise between the offshore and in-house teams, configuration issues, and the challenge of determining code ownership.

3. Requirements and customer management

With outsourcing, managing the clients become a challenging process with issues including communication breakdowns between the team and the client, protracted feedback loops, and challenges building trust.

4. Project management

The manager frequently must deal with issues like effort estimating, task progress monitoring, knowledge management, and regulating while overseeing an offshore development team. Teams frequently disagree on what constitutes “work done,” as well. As a result, it is challenging to assess the efficiency and productivity of your agile software development team.

The agile technique can be used effectively & efficiently used in outsourced projects. However, the client and offshore teams will need a new strategy.

Tips for Combining Outsourcing with Agile Software Development Process

Do these challenges mean that going agile with an outsourcing team is challenging? Absolutely not! 

By making a few decisions and implementing changes, you can make agile development work with agile development. The following advice may be helpful for those looking to combine the benefits of outsourcing with agile approaches.

Tip 1: Look for an Agile Partner

Many software development organization take their clients as a bunch of requirement specifications. The team directly implements the requirements as specified by the client, without going into any research. The developers don’t look outside the box or provide clients suggestions for how to save time or effort or boost the market worth of the product.

According to the 2022 Statistics, agile project success rate is 64% and waterfall success rate is only 49%.

When choosing a vendor, you should look for a software company that possesses the necessary technical skills, is familiar with the agile approach, and has relevant expertise in the industry in which the product to be built will be used. Ranking and evaluating agile vendors should emphasize factors like:

  • Company culture: Do they possess an attitude of adaptability, agility, and constant improvement? The long-term success of the client is essential to a genuine software partner. Software partners try to understand as much as they can about their client’s business philosophies and objectives. They see the initiative as a way to support customers in meeting their objectives while upholding the corporate culture.
  • Relevant experience: Consult with their references to find out what worked and didn’t. Inquire from the references if there is anything the vendor should adjust or do differently.
  • Check their certifications: Verify their qualifications, such as whether they hold certificates like Certified Scrum Master, Certified Scrum Professional, or Certified Scrum Product Owner. Have they won any prizes for their technical prowess or outsourced results? A vendor’s competency would be demonstrated by holding certifications in testing like the ISTQB, if you’re seeking an agile software development team.

Tip 2: Evaluate the Team & the Individuals

Verify their qualifications, such as whether they hold certificates like Certified Scrum Master, Certified Scrum Professional, or Certified Scrum Product Owner. Have they won any prizes for their technical prowess or outsourced results? A vendor’s competency will be demonstrated by holding certifications in testing like the ISTQB if you’re seeking a software testing provider.

Finding individual programmers with extraordinary talents who can work on a software project for a customer is a relatively easy task. Agile development, on the other hand, necessitates intense teamwork; it is all about teamwork, not individual perfection.

Each team member is crucial to the project’s success and must feel at ease working with others in the same nation or elsewhere. Therefore, the programmers’ track record working in a team setting is more significant than their triumphs. Think of choosing the team members using behavioral interviewing techniques like choosing workers for your business.

Tip 3: Communication, Communication, and Communication

Software outsourcing and agile development are two ideas that do not necessarily complement one another; instead, they need careful customization of the agile development methods and communication channels between the outsourced provider and the customer.

Communications in Agile Project

Excellent client-offshore development team communication is essential for agile projects. Each party must be open and honest with the other. Sometimes, outsourcers speak to customers in a way they believe the clients want to hear and avoid making ideas that would irritate them. 

Both parties occasionally misinterpret one another or “fill in the gaps” with false information. It is advised to “over-communicate” to enhance success. Create as many avenues of contact as you can.

Clear contact points must be established on both sides. The team for an outsourced project must include at least one native speaker of the client’s language. 

This individual often acts as the client’s representative on the offshore team. The person can take on the roles of team leader, project manager, scrum master, or “proxy product owner.” The person must be dependable, accountable, and meticulous.

Tip 4: Automation, Automation, and Automation

The Agile technique emphasizes releasing functional software regularly, every few weeks to months. Automation must be included in every process stage to accomplish that.

Fixed Scope Agile Model

The test automation framework should be created to offer tests that the business stakeholders can understand. The framework should be quick to execute, simple to maintain, and performed at the appropriate level. Test failures should be instantly fixed, and the framework should allow for regularly scheduled executions. 

To enable quick turnaround of internal releases for customer distribution, a more extensive automated infrastructure for acceptance testing should be in place. All team members, including your offshore ones, should have easy access to the automated test suite.

Continuous integration is a well-established Agile development method that involves testing code against a more extensive code base while verifying code in tiny increments. Collaborative tools, source control builds, and test automation should all be considered.

Continuous builds and shared source control are essential for preventing surprises and delivering problem feedback as quickly as possible.

Tip 5: Frequent Team Visits

The best and most efficient approach to developing trust is via face-to-face interactions. Budget money aside for regular in-person meetings between your offshore team, your in-house software team, and your customer (in the ideal scenario). 

These trips may last for one to two weeks. During these brief visits, many issues that may permanently harm the project can be fixed quickly and easily with a human touch.

Tip 6: Risk Mitigation – Plan for the Worst, Start Small

Everyone will boast about how agile they are. 

So, if you are satisfied with the supplier overall, condition the project award on a successful iteration or sprint that results in the delivery of functional software to you at the conclusion. 

Ensure that your sprints are brief. Define the success criteria in detail, considering factors relevant to you and your business, such as acceptance testing and the delivery schedule. 

You will have the chance to assess the performance of the offshore team after each sprint, make any required improvements, and guide the project in the proper path.

You should determine whether you can achieve your company goals while working with this offshore team after analyzing the team’s performance and method of operation.

In Conclusion

Agile methodology implementation for software development is increasingly becoming the norm across the IT sector. Additionally, many businesses have started enlisting suppliers as their development partners. In the partnership method, businesses and vendors must work together on various levels, continuously learn from the outcomes, and change jointly. 

Once implemented successfully, the strategy offers incredible benefits, including cheaper costs, access to a bigger pool of technology resources, and quicker attainment of targeted outcomes.

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How to make Outsourcing Work with Agile Software Development?
John Ogden
Published on
May 11, 2023

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