Agile Outsourcing: The Advantages When Agile Methodology & Outsourcing Act Jointly
The business realm in the IT sector has undergone massive alterations over time, fueled by the ever-growing demand for digital transformation and technological advancement. And it is no secret that software outsourcing is the ideal model for any company to access a broad range of advantages, such as required external resources, cost reduction, faster development, and risk mitigation, to name a few. Also, in the domain of software engineering, Agile methodology is generally accepted as one of the most effective approaches for project development and management due to its benefits. Diverging from the traditional method - The waterfall model, the Agile approach places a premium on collaboration, communication, and adaptability. It boasts the ability to adjust quickly and adapt in complex environments, and its frameworks promote constant feedback and team collaboration. These days, every IT company or software project is applying some version of the Agile model in practice, or they plan to do so at least.
What if these two good things join each other? Yes, you heard it right: Agile Outsourcing. It is a combination of the two concepts which offers various unique advantages that neither outsourced software development nor Agile can provide separately. Let’s uncover what this duo has to offer.
What Is Agile Software Development Outsourcing?
By its essence, Agile software development methodology is a project management approach that places a premium on iteration and collaboration between development teams and stakeholders during the development cycle. By breaking a software project into manageable chunks, the Agile model enables the development team to rapidly receive feedback and make necessary changes. This way, developers can stay adaptive to the ever-changing technologies and customers’ demands, thereby building the final product that reflects the users’ stories and expectations accurately.
In the scenario of outsourcing, the Agile framework is implemented in the same way, enabling smooth communication and cooperation between the offshore development team and the in-house team, ensuring that both parties are on the same page and work toward the common project goals. This can range from a single element of the software project, such as design or testing, to complete product delivery. The Agile model provides software development companies with more flexibility when dealing with changing circumstances or customer requirements, making it easier to review the outcomes of every iteration quickly.
To cut this short, Agile outsourcing is the hybrid of Agile methodology and software development outsourcing, and it enables businesses to access the benefits from both simultaneously. This practice encourages team collaboration among all the team members, including the in-house teams and ones from the outsourcing vendor.
How Agile Methodologies Benefits Outsourcing Software Development
Can Agile and software development outsourcing make a perfect match? The answer is an absolute yes. Agile software development outsourcing can buy businesses the best of both worlds, so if you miss out on this, you are leaving tremendous value to waste. And look like you must run over them to find out:
Shorter Cycles & Faster Delivery Time
Agile methodologies are designed to be iterative and adaptive. Thanks to its iterative approach and feedback loop, the complex software development process is divided into parts and delivered in cycles. It enables both in-house and outsourced teams to work on a single task at once and move from one phase of development to another quickly, thereby shortening the delivery time.
As each phase is conditionally released after being tested, reviewed, and approved by stakeholders, Agile teams can be confident that they can launch the final product on time and up to the quality standards and clients’ requirements. This also minimizes the risk of reworking or missing deadlines due to unexpected changes and requirements. Statistics show that the success rate of Agile projects is around 64%, while it is only 49% for Waterfall ones, which is approximately 1.5X.
Enhanced Quality Assurance & Reduced Cost
An Agile team prioritizes the quality of each iteration, making certain that they secure accurate results at every stage. This means when the product is delivered, it already passes all the quality gates and meets up with the requirements of stakeholders, so your teams do not have to spend extra time and resources on redoing or adjusting later on. Additionally, you can make small incremental changes or fixes in response to customer feedback, which helps ensure that your product is of high quality before reaching the end result.
Furthermore, Agile outsourcing does save development costs. This is the best thing about outsourcing, of course. As the project is separated into smaller portions, you will only have to pay for the actual parts of development done until then. And since the quality is ensured at each and every stage, you can reduce the time and resources spent on debugging, fixing errors, or making amendments.
Fuel Your Project with Required External Resources
Agile-oriented software development outsourcing provides you with the resources and access to specialized skills that can be difficult and expensive to acquire internally. By leveraging external experts, your in-house teams have the liberty to focus on their core tasks while having an opportunity to tap into a pool of professionals with technical capabilities and Agile practices in place. This increases the productivity of your remote teams and enables them to start off on Agile projects and deliver results faster than ever.
Greater Collaboration & Transparency
Most of the time, outsourcing Agile projects to an offshore development team can pose several challenges in operation and communication due to organizational culture, cultural differences, varying time zones, etc., and a majority of businesses find it cumbersome to manage distributed teams. This is when the duo of Agile and outsourcing comes in and changes the scene.
Agile outsourcing ensures that there is transparency and communication between the remote teams and stakeholders. With the help of advanced project management and collaboration tools, effective communication can be established among cross-functional teams, no matter which corner of the world they are in. This helps them to communicate, coordinate tasks, monitor progress, measure performance, and stay updated with every task accomplishment.
Top Success Criteria for Agile Development Outsourcing
To maximize the business value derived from Agile outsourcing, businesses should own a better understanding of the following elements:
Set Clear Goals & Expectations for Both Teams
It is essential to keep all the parties, both your team and remote counterparts, posted about what you expect from them. This includes setting clear objectives for each stage of the project, defining roles and responsibilities for each member of the remote team, and having a timeline with appropriate milestones.
By doing this, you will be able to track the progress and make necessary adjustments to ensure that all your goals are met. Additionally, you must provide adequate training and support to remote teams in order to help them understand the objectives and get up-to-speed with their roles.
Monitor & Adjust as Needed
Agile software development outsourcing requires constant monitoring and adequate adjustments to ensure that the process is conducted smoothly. You should track the progress of the remote teams on a regular basis, manage them through daily standup meetings, and provide feedback when necessary. This helps you keep an eye on the project’s performance in real time, identify potential risks, and course-correct if needed.
Pay Heed to the Outsourcing Challenges
There shall be some challenges along the way of outsourcing software development, and you should come prepared for them. These include cultural differences, language barriers, communication gaps, time zone discrepancies, and different approaches to dealing with problems.
To address these issues and make sure that the Agile process is successful, you need to assign a dedicated representative from your part to manage the distributed team, assign tasks, monitor progress and make sure that everyone is on the same page in addition to coming up with solutions for each potential obstacle beforehand. Additionally, you must provide adequate training and team building for your remote teams so that they can be on par with your company culture and practices.
Establish an Open Line of Communication
Communication is a crucial factor in the success of any distributed team as well as a long-term partnership. When outsourcing Agile projects, you must be able to trust that your remote teams are equipped and capable enough to handle the operations with little or no supervision. Thus, set up as many communication channels as possible to ensure that all the stakeholders are connected, from remote developers to project managers, product owners, and customers. This will enable you to get an update on progress regularly, making it easier for you to manage your distributed teams.
Finally, make sure that you have periodic team meetings with all the stakeholders so that any possible roadblocks can be removed in a timely manner. By doing this, you will be able to communicate effectively, coordinate tasks better, monitor progress more efficiently, and measure performance accurately. This way, your Agile outsourcing project can run smoothly with all the members staying updated on task accomplishments.
Make Sure You Find the Right Agile Outsourcing Partner
Before you can unlock all the promised benefits of combining Agile and outsourcing, you must track down and choose the right outsourcing partner first. This process can make or break the entire outsourcing endeavor, so it deserves nothing less than a crystal-clear strategy and a well-prepared plan. The true software partner for a successful project must be able to provide you with the right technical expertise, be flexible in its approach, and have a strong command over the Agile framework.
There are certain things you should do as well as some you should avoid when choosing an Agile partner. While assessing prospective Agile companies, review the company’s portfolio, read customer testimonials, check out their team size and experience, and discuss the project scope (including the budget and timeline). Last but not least, don’t forget to verify the Agile maturity of the outsourced team and their ability to deliver on commitments.
At Orient Software, our teams are well-versed in both Agile and Waterfall methodologies, and we are responsive to the unique requirements of our clients. If you are seeking a trustworthy partner for Agile outsourcing or other software solutions, Orient Software is your best choice. Reach out to us today for further information.
Topics: Software Development Outsourcing