Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, more and more organizations around the world are trying to get adapted to rapidly changing circumstances. Within such conditions, Agile seems to be one of the most powerful tools.
Nevertheless, remote work has generated certain obstacles for Agile processes, and many companies find it complicated to run efficient Agile development team’s remote mode.
Even though Agile cooperates properly with face-to-face communication, it might work perfectly in the work-from-home environment too. According to CollabNet, however, 78% of respondents who practice Agile with team members have succeeded at it and not collocated. Nevertheless, to make it even more efficient, you should not just utilize general Agile techniques and apply them to the work-from-home mode. You should adapt.
IT outsourcing organizations spent years on Agile adjusting experience to the remote environment and building the tools and processes to run efficient distributed Agile teams.
This is a reason why the experienced Agile outsourcing provider’s expertise might assist you a lot in managing and building your work-from-home software development team.
What are the Agile software development outsourcing advantages in this time of uncertainty? What are the main challenges? How to overcome the obstacles and manage efficiently Agile distributed teams?
Let’s find out the answers here.
5 advantages of Agile software development outsourcing
Gartner has conducted a survey of business experts and IT regarding Agile software development adoption. It was found out that 59% of organizations that have used the Agile approach are reporting the boosted ability to manage modified priorities. Moreover, 58% of them claim to have enhanced product delivery.
Agile management is treated as one of the most appropriate work methodologies, in particular, during the uncertain times, when you need to respond and adapt to changes fast. Backlog grooming, retrospectives, demo sessions, daily stand-ups, sprint planning make work more productive and manageable.
There are 3 fundamental key concepts of Agile software development: adaptability, value, and visibility.
- Adaptability is reached via iterative planning: the agile software development team can adjust the software good to the cutting-edge business needs.
- Value is boosted as a result of continuous feedback and planning that allows for constant product improvement.
- Visibility is achieved as a result of the constant software testing that assists in improving and monitoring the software’s quality at every development stage.
Agile offers the methodology and flexibility that was generated to adapt efficiently to modifications and respond fast to challenges.
Agile software development outsourcing is bringing advantages that are crucial in the lockdown time. Check out some of them:
1. Enhanced product delivery.
In the times of remote work, the Agile development team might be dispersed across various business locations. Usually, you might refer to this work mode as the distributed agile development. This approach assists in building software 24/7, therefore, boosting product delivery.
With fixed sprints and constant planning, the agile software development team can deliver new features regularly, fast, and with extremely high predictability level.
2. Accelerated ability to manage modifying priorities.
Flexibility is extremely necessary now as long as organizations need to respond to modifications fast to survive the crisis. Hence, one of the most important advantages of Agile software development outsourcing seems to be the ability to introduce and adapt modifications on the fly.
The Agile software development team might stay concentrated on delivering the features of the product. However, there is also an opportunity for re-prioritizing and refining the overall product backlog. Thanks to the Agile software development model, one might introduce new features and changes in a few weeks.
3. Mastered quality.
Agile software development supposes splitting your project into manageable, smaller units that assist in conducting reviews and testing at every iteration. So it is much easier to fix and detect defects at the very early development stage which brings us one more necessary advantage such as:
4. Eliminated costs.
The bug’s cost depends on the SDLC (software development life cycle) phase. According to the study by IBM, the fixing cost might multiply a hundred times between the phases. So, with the constant quality monitoring in Agile software development, the cost of the project might go down remarkably.
5. Better time predictability and cost.
Besides, before every sprint, the Agile development team assesses the amount of time it would take to develop a specific feature. Since there is a certain working hours number, it is much easier to assess the features’ cost. Therefore, the cost is much more predictable in Agile software development outsourcing.
4 obstacles of distributed Agile software development and the way to overcome them
The work-from-home environment creates obstacles for Agile software development teams. Limiting interactions, disrupting the team’s continuous alignment, and more threaten to make productivity go down. Moreover, remote work amplifies any previous clarity lack in objectives, responsibilities, and roles.
Work-from-home globally is an obstacle we all face, and the Agile processes might be used to overcome them efficiently.
For example, in the remote era, if you want to reach maximum efficiency, you will have to work in smaller agile teams. According to a survey by McKinsey, schedule, and quality adherence is much higher, with 10 to 15 project teams. Besides, the Agile distributed teams should concentrate on expanding and prioritizing technology use, which promotes efficient collaboration.
So, check out the key obstacles or challenges to get rid of them effectively:
1. Access to resources
As long as software development is rather concerned, there are 2 main types of resources: digital and physical ones. For example, digital resources are IT support portals, office suites, code repositories, etc. Physical resources are including both software (integrated development environment, code editors, etc.) and hardware (chargers, laptops, etc.)
Agile software development teams should access every source type. To address this issue remotely, your Agile outsourcing provider and you should extend and check the sources’ licenses and provide the employees with important credentials for resources remotely access.
Timely, smooth, and effective communication is the core key to mature Agile processes and productivity. In the work-from-home era, when it is hard to have a tet-a-tet communication, there are several rules that must be followed to make sure you have productive and clear communication.
- Establishing communication channels.
The Agile development team has to be available and responsive to react fast to any modifications announced. So, it is crucial to set communication channels in a way developers will stay in the loop with the cutting edge updates. It is vital to expand the technology use that promotes efficient collaboration.
- Keeping availability clear.
The response time of every team member must be clarified. When there are specific hours when someone might not respond, the time should be blocked out in a calendar, and it must be announced ahead of the time.
- Take stock of every single communication.
If it comes to communication, the perfect idea to call instead of messaging. So the process will be speeded up as long as video calls and voice communication take less time if compared to writing a message.
3. Prioritizing and setting targets clearly
In the era of remote work, it is exclusively necessary for every member of the Agile development team to view the whole project’s picture. As long as work should be divided into much smaller parts, it is crucial to communicate transparently what your expectations and targets are.
To overcome this obstacle, ensure that targets are unambiguous and clear. With Agile software development outsourcing, we strongly recommend implementing the measurement system that will clarify key results and objectives.
4. Physical distance.
As it was mentioned above, the Agile approach is combined with the distributed team management. Nevertheless, the physical distance among the team members that are working remotely and the individuals who work in various time zones and locations might make collaboration hard.
To promote the success of the team, you might use the following rules:
- Remind the team to facilitate the relationships within the group, not only the team outputs.
- Set the work results’ shared understanding.
- Acknowledge and recognize the obstacles brought by physical distance and use proper tools to get rid of them.
- Encourage remote team leaders to make the meetings feel more real and less virtual by utilizing technology to generate real-time connections.
How to select an Agile outsourcing provider?
Here are the key points to help you select the right vendor:
1. Pay attention to the organization’s communication culture.
The partner of the Agile software development outsourcing is interested in customer’s long-term success. Select the provider that tries hard to comprehend the business needs, sends the follow-ups, and sets up additional calls with you. The vendor’s ambition is to clarify with you every single nuance and detail to ensure the success of the partnership in the future.
2. Check whether the vendor has set Agile processes.
Browse through customer testimonials and references of your possible partners on their websites like Clutch or LinkedIn. For example, on Clutch, you might find the way the cooperation is successful, the fields of the vendor’s expertise, and the challenges other customers are facing.
3. Check the organization’s industry recognition and certifications.
Agile software development provider features certified experts such as Scrum Product Owners, Scrum Professionals, or Scrum Masters. Usually, reliable vendors are recognized by IAOP, Clutch.co, or by GSA UK Awards for their outsourcing competency and performance.
4. Select the agile so far well-structured organization.
Select the most experienced partner because the organization is proud of mature and streamlined business processes. Besides, mind that large or medium organizations feature a higher capacity to meet the business requirements. Nevertheless, choose the organization with a transparent hierarchy and low bureaucracy level for promoting maximum efficiency.
5. Look through the DevOps expertise of the provider.
According to McKinsey, the average infrastructure and engineering teams deliver the projects accordingly to their unique project estimates only twenty percent of the time. With DevOps, you might solve this issue via optimizing the deployment and development processes.
If you leverage DevOps, you will get more benefits like boosted development efficiency, eliminated bootstrap time for new projects, increased visibility of the project progress, etc.
For example, JatApp DevOps engineers boost progress visibility by deploying and building software in the stages with completely automated deployment cycles.
Deployment effectiveness is reached by standardized software development environments and automated deployments letting your team concentrate on their assignments.
6. Mind cultural compatibility.
In the era of remote, it is very common to have a fear of miscommunication since it might affect work productivity. Cultural variables are the factors that impact communication directly. So, choose the provider that is similar or close to your work ethic, communication style, and culture.