Everything About Offshore Agile Software Development

1. What is Agile Development?

Agile development is a process for rapid software development that teams utilize on tasks. Self-organized, cross-functional teams routinely do situational analysis and user requirements analysis in order to modify projects. Scrum teams are continually striving to enhance the quality of their work during sprints with short-term objectives. They demonstrate how Agile development is carried out.

Agile has mostly gained wide attention of software development and is ready to expand into practically nearly every single industry. The issue is that many teams and companies who self-identify as “agile” appear to have nothing in common. This may be incredibly perplexing for a new team member, even more so if you’ve done work on a “agile” team with a completely different concept of “agility”!

Agile approaches have become nearly indistinguishable in many firms since the 2001 introduction of the Agile Manifesto, despite their enormous popularity.

So when the agile development teams tend to approach quality software development what exactly happens is they can easily concentrate on everyone, especially what they are working on. By this examination, they can decide how to make them work together. The agile development community is based on team collaboration and  several self-organized teams.

One of the biggest advantages of Agile development teams is that they are cross-functional. In simple words, nobody carries a specific role or responsibility. Everyone is involved equally so that in case, if anyone is not able to make it in time their teammates can assist them in performing things. So does this mean, there is no point in having a project manager here while conducting a software development project? Nope, there is a role for project managers.

As  project managers, they have to get the right skill sets. Here apart from project management they are bound to offer an environment enabling the remote team to be more successful.

Why combine agile methodologies and offshore development teams? Agile development approach has certain criterias that must be adhered to before combining with any other development, those are: 

  • The process has to be kept lean
  • Create Minimum Viable Product 
  • Quick feedback 

Overall,  when you combine agile principles with offshore development teams, you get a dynamic process where everyone is found striving hard for  meeting  business objectives.

2. What is Offshore Software Development?

Offshore development or outsourcing, means you are conducting the development process via another team in a different location ( it could be in your own country or a different country). Of course, there is a difference between offshore and outsourcing but we won’t get into that since we have a limited amount of time. Now, why is hiring your own offshore team the best bet at present? Well, when you are bound to receive customized solutions as per the organization’s needs, streamline business procedures and cater innovation according to a targeted market, I say why the heck not choose an agile team featuring the best offshore developers.

Moreover, they aren’t freelancers, they are much like your employees. The only difference is that they are situated somewhere else. For instance, Do you know that the research and development centers of Google, Microsoft and Apple are located in different countries of Asia? Wondering why? Isn’t this obvious, here you get access to a massive talent pool at low operating costs. 

Further, I would like to mention why one must hire an agile offshore development team.

3. Benefits of Hiring an Agile Offshore Development Team

Benefits of Hiring an Agile Offshore Development Team

3.1 Quality Product

Unlike other technologies, when conducting an agile  project it is very important to know that testing plays an important role here. Continuous integration and unit testing are involved at the iteration stage during the agile development process. If you want to execute the entire project easily, one shouldn’t ignore the fact that it’s the final product that matters. Here the client is asked to stay connected right from the beginning and has the right to ask for changes depending on the market realities.

And you know what the best part is? Agile teams are unstoppable when it comes to growing and improvising.

3.2 Improved Productivity

Of course, when you hire an agile development team there is a full chance for an increase in productivity. You see, unlike other methods, here software development projects can be quickly handled. As a result, it becomes more manageable for the offshore teams to accomplish. In fact, by hiring agile offshore development teams products can be rolled out at a quick pace and changes can be made at any point in time.

3.3 Collaborative Environment

Many of you have this misconception that offshore teams can never offer a healthy collaborative development environment. This is not true at all especially if you seek around an offshore agile development team. Agile methodology values individuals as well as their collaborations & interactions. Here all software development team members have to indulge in entirely.

3.4 Transparency

Since we are talking about hiring offshore teams, transparency through agile processes is a very crucial aspect just to avoid further trust issues. By considering the agile  approach, both business and the offshore agile development company get to work together pretty closely throughout the project. Everything is done in collaboration right from understanding the requirements to planning, choosing features, conducting sessions, and whatnot! All this is done so that software developers and clients are at the same pace. So you see, transparency is a major benefit offered when managing offshore development teams.

3.5 Customer Satisfaction

Last but certainly not least, high-end customer satisfaction is achieved by hiring an offshore team. After the project completion when the product is launched, Customers can easily use it and give their valuable feedback so that quick changes can be made and the product becomes equivalent to their predetermined expectations. The result: a more satisfied customer leads to more success.

4. Can Agile Approach Help in Overcoming Offshore Software Development Challenges?

Now you exactly know what agile offshore development is? How is it beneficial to hire an agile team featuring offshore developers? Apart from this host of benefits, there are some challenges faced by offshore teams and how agile the solution is.

4.1 Differences in Culture

Cultural differences and the language barrier is pretty obvious when you are working with geographically distributed teams. As a result, several issues can be faced such as due to different languages you don’t understand each other, you guys don’t follow the same working style, miscommunication and lack of common professional etiquette .

When you hire an agile outsourcing team what happens is you can begin by exchanging certain cultural values and communicating effectively. By doing this both your people and the offshore team members  understand and appreciate cultural differences. as well as identify and resolve language issues early. It’s all about setting up a robust workflow.

4.2 Differences in Time Zone

Since you will be working with an offshore team, I expect that time zone could be a huge challenge. So what can be done is, try making most of communication tools such as Skype, Google Meet to conduct team meetings regularly. Of course, the time difference still remains a question but communication tools work on solving it up to some extent. Well, fortunately, most of the outsourcing providers tend to offer 24*7 services and we have around 24 different time-zones, try figuring out something. This is important! 

4.3 Communication issues

This is quite inevitable. And business owners achieve transparency only by communicating well. Try to have face-to-face communication, this will surely create a bond! More or less, you can have different knowledge-sharing sessions at the weekend for work quality. 

5. Best Practices Agile Offshore Development Teams Must Consider

Still, have doubts about hiring an agile offshore team? Well, further I would like to mention certain practices agile offshore development teams must take into account.

5.1 Determine Scope of Work

In simple words, the scope of work is a document consisting of what tasks should be taken and in how much time they need to be accomplished. Now this doesn’t mean you have to mention each and every aspect in detail. Just try to come up with an overview and you will be sorted.

So what can be included here? Some project milestones with dates, a list of deliverables for each milestone, and the reporting scheme.

5.2 Create a Product RoadMap

Reaching a specific destination does require a specific roadmap. As soon as the list is created  offshore developers can create a roadmap featuring regular intervals. The roadmap can be considered as a bird-eye view to achieving the product vision. Of course, it can be reworked again and again so deadlines can change due to several internal and other external factors.

In the end, it’s more about creating a clear picture.

5.3 Hire a Team

Teamwork is extremely important when considering conducting an agile offshore development project. Hire a tech team that already has their agile infrastructure established. Of course, this is true that all team members might not be the same in terms of technicality but that’s what is actually required. I mean you need a certain kind of imbalance to maintain the balance. Different fingers when come together can convert into a fist.

5.4 Effective Communication Modes

As I mentioned earlier, communication is extremely important for development progress. The agile methodology incorporates: –

  • Daily stand-up meetings
  • Sprint planning meetings
  • Release planning meetings

Apart from these, you can consider other alternatives such as instant meetings, voice calls, video conferencing, and so forth. Real-time video calls mean the world for remote collaboration because they create this feeling of real presence regardless of miles and miles of distance. Some of the active collaboration tools for project management are : Jira, Asana and Trello. This is very effective practice especially while working with remote development teams as we would be able to have more face-to-face communication.

5.5 Treat your Offshore Team as Partner

See eventually you will be building a successful agile-based offshore software development team. In one way or the other, these distributed teams must be considered as your tech-partner or an integral extension to your onshore team for agile projects. 

6. Conclusion

So if you ask me if it is possible for agile to work in an offshore team  only on one condition, when you can work with both teams seamlessly. It is always a give and take relation since you are looking for the best offshore development teams who know reliable offshore development companies might be looking for you. So that’s all for now! I hope you enjoyed reading the post. In case you still have any doubts or queries on offshoring agile development services, feel free to mention that in the comment section below.

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Itesh Sharma

Itesh Sharma is core member of Sales Department at TatvaSoft. He has got more than 6 years of experience in handling the task related to Customer Management and Project Management. Apart from his profession he also has keen interest in sharing the insight on different methodologies of software development.

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