Agile Software Company: Is Your Provider One of Them?

One can count on the fingers of one hand the number of companies that didn’t choose to outsource part of their software work to providers offshore or nearshore, in Eastern Europe or India. The same number of fingers can be used when counting the Western companies that don’t use agile development processes.

But an agile software company that is able to retain its agility when working with external partners is the exception, rather than the norm.

Many companies have chosen to either outsource, or become agile, in order to obtain more software per dollar, since the two concepts might seem diametrically opposed. However, if you find the willingness and discipline to merge the two approaches, you will be on the winners’ side of the table.

Why choose nearshore outsourcing?

Choosing a nearshore company to take on the challenges of your regular IT team gives you the flexibility of allocating as many resources as needed to your project, with reasonable costs, for as long as needed, with the end goal of maximizing productive output, and getting past headcount cost approvals.

Why choose Agile development?

Agile is one of the big buzzwords that has been circulated, praised and blamed equally for successes and failures of recent years. Rapid delivery? Trustworthy team? Sustainable development? Isn’t that what everybody hopes for? The Agile Manifesto promises all these and more.

Why not connect the two of them?

Blending outsourcing with agile processes has the potential to:

– Improve time-to-market
– Boost team morale
– Yield higher quality and efficiency

OK, straightforward to do internally, but a bit harder to turn your external provider into an agile software company when it comes to them dealing with you.

How can you help your external team be more agile?

– Treat your onshore and nearshore agile teams as one;
– Considering the nearshore relationship, the provider and the customer are situated in a very close timezone, therefore, they can and should easily join each other’s meeting;
– Ensure access to means of communication (international phones, instant messaging, Skype)
– Provide for periodic on-site visits (both from on-site to nearshore and nearshore to on-site)
– Factor in reliability as an utmost important factor when choosing your agile software development company. You need to make sure that the team members will not skip or be late for stand-up meetings, fail to respond to Skype calls, respond to e-mails untimely. This is valid for all engineers involved, both on your and the nearshore provider’s side. Setting-up a penalty system for not being able to follow the agreed ground rules will surely help.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *