These days, it’s common for companies to hire offshore software developers to fulfill their development needs. For that reason, there has been an increasing rise in offshore Agile development in the software development field.
There’s no doubt that Agile is a reliable and cost-effective way to deliver high-quality software that’s reactive to customer needs. The challenge for companies is how to assemble the right team at the right price – one that uses an Agile approach to development.
What is Agile offshore development?
Agile offshore development combines the principles of Agile with outsourcing software development offshore. In this model, the client or project owner is based in one country and the agile development team is located in another.
The agile project management approach values individuals and interactions, working software, customer collaboration, and responding to change. It comes from the Agile Manifesto, a set of core principles for software development.
Agile encourages cross-functional teams to work closely and collaborate with stakeholders throughout the development process. The aim is to deliver working software in short, iterative cycles, rather than waiting until the end of a project to deliver a final product.
This approach allows for feedback and adjustments to be made throughout the development process, resulting in a final product that better meets the needs of the customer. Here are some common methods for implementing Agile:
- Scrum is a framework for managing and completing complex projects.
- Kanban focuses on visualizing work and limiting work in progress.
- Lean emphasizes reducing waste and maximizing customer value.
Why is Agile used in offshore development?
Agile principles are a good fit for offshore software development – when a company outsources work to developers in another country. This can be done through a dedicated offshore development company or by hiring individual freelance developers. Here’s why it works:
- Collaboration: Agile teams work closely, communicating via daily stand-up meetings to share progress updates, identify blockers, and adjust priorities. This deep collaboration ensures that everyone is aligned and working towards the same goals – no matter where in the world they’re located.
- Adaptability: Offshore development projects sometimes face unexpected challenges, such as changes in scope or communication delays. Agile enables teams to quickly adjust, ensuring development stays on track and meets its milestones.
- Iteration: Breaking down development into smaller, more manageable chunks, the Agile approach delivers features and improvements faster and more regularly. This enables stakeholders to provide feedback early, avoiding costly mistakes.
- Improvements: By encouraging regular reflection on processes and outcomes, having an Agile mindset supports continuous improvement by identifying areas that need attention and making improvements that result in a better product.
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How Agile solves the challenges of offshore development
Offshore software development comes with its own set of challenges that can impact the success of a project. Here are the main challenges and how Agile helps solve them:
- Communication barriers: Communication can be challenging when your team has different time zones, languages, and cultural backgrounds. Misunderstandings and miscommunications can lead to delays, rework, and costly overruns. Agile development emphasizes frequent and open communication through daily stand-up meetings, regular check-ins, and collaboration tools. This means developers stay informed and aligned, and are able to quickly address any issues.
- Quality control: When working with an offshore team, coding quality can sometimes be a challenge. Differences in development standards, testing protocols, and quality assurance practices can lead to inconsistencies. Agile development promotes a culture of continuous improvement and feedback. By delivering pieces of working software on a frequent basis, issues are identified, addressed, and resolved sooner.
- Planning and coordination: Coordinating multiple team members – possibly located in different time zones – is a logistical problem. Teams that are not co-located can be challenging to coordinate. Agile development emphasizes collaboration and cross-functional teams that work in short iterations, allowing team members to work together regardless of their location.
- Cultural differences: Different working styles, communication norms, and business practices can sometimes lead to misunderstandings and issues. By promoting a culture of respect and openness, having an Agile mindset helps overcome cultural differences and work together more effectively. Agile helps to build trust and understanding between team members.
How to implement offshore agile teams
Successful implementation of agile development in offshore teams requires careful organization and execution. Here are 9 tips for getting it right:
- Build a strong team culture that fosters open communication, trust, and collaboration through regular team meetings, video conferencing, and team-building activities.
- Use collaboration tools such as project management software, video conferencing, and messaging apps to help team members stay connected and work together more effectively.
- Establish communication channels for team members to share progress updates, report issues, and ask questions. Regular communication helps you identify and address issues early on.
- Define clear roles and responsibilities for each team member, to ensure everyone is aligned and working towards the same goals.
- Prioritize tasks and plan sprints to ensure that work is distributed evenly, and developers work on the most important tasks first.
- Use Agile ceremonies such as daily stand-up meetings, sprint reviews, and retrospectives to promote collaboration, communication, and continuous improvement.
- Conduct regular performance reviews to evaluate each team member’s performance, provide feedback, and identify areas for improvement.
- Foster a culture of continuous improvement by encouraging team members to provide feedback, identify areas for improvement, and experiment with new ideas and approaches.
- Manage cultural differences by promoting cultural awareness, respecting different work styles and communication norms, and providing relevant training and support where needed.
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Getting the most out of Agile offshore development
To achieve your goal of a high-quality software product that meets the needs of your customers and investors, you need to get the most out of Agile offshore development. As with any project, it’s important to clearly define and communicate your goals and expectations from the start.
This includes the scope, timeline, budget, and quality standards so that everyone involved understands the project’s objectives and is aligned with its requirements.
An Agile approach requires regular communication with your development team using the Agile ceremonies listed above. This keeps everyone in the loop on progress, issues, and changes.
It also supports transparency and visibility – making project information, including progress updates and issue logs, easily accessible to everyone on the team. This can help you identify and address issues early on.
To get the most from offshore Agile developers, you also need to carefully monitor progress and adjust your plans accordingly, based on feedback and changing priorities. This may require changes to the project scope or timeline where necessary.
Top Agile offshore software development companies
There are a number of well-known software development companies that offer offshore Agile development as a service:
- Accenture: A multinational professional services company providing a range of services, including technology and outsourcing. It has a strong global presence, with over 500,000 employees in more than 120 countries. Accenture offers Agile software development services and solutions to clients around the world, including offshore development.
- Infosys: A global technology services and consulting company based in India. It offers a range of services, including software development, cloud computing, data analytics, and more. Infosys has a strong Agile practice and serves clients across multiple industries with offshore development.
- EPAM Systems: A software engineering services company offering a range of services, including software development, product design, and consulting. It has over 41,000 employees across 35 countries and offers Agile software development services offshore.
- Wipro: An Indian multinational corporation offering IT consulting, and business process services. It offers Agile software development services to clients around the world.
- Cognizant: An American multinational corporation that provides digital, technology, consulting, and operations services. It has a global presence, with operations in more than 40 countries. Cognizant offers Agile software development services and solutions.
- Proshore: Founded in 2009, Proshore provides managed Agile offshore software development teams. Experienced and ready-to-code IT professionals help scale software development for Software as a Service (SaaS) companies. Schedule a consultation today and get a free outsourcing plan.
Offshore Agile development from Proshore
Co-located in the Netherlands and Nepal, Proshore offers highly-trained and ready-to-code offshore development teams to clients all over the world.
Our talent pool consists of experienced and English-speaking professionals including software developers, Scrum masters, and Quality Assurance specialists. In fact, we have over 80 Agile-trained IT professionals and counting.
Here are some examples of work we’ve done powered by our agile way of working: