Achieving Successful Agile Offshore Software Development

agile offshore softwar development

The rosy future is about to happen, thanks to several software development companies deemed by major dynamic industries worldwide. Now anyone can have an incredible software idea but the only hurdle is that the dream cannot become a reality as you don’t have the required skill-set to do it. Thus, looking for a reputable custom software development company around is the only option we have.   

It is truly said that software development has become such an obvious part that businesses no longer require it. In fact, most of them seek a reputable development service provider and end up creating a robust website or a web app. And all this happens even before their actual business is commenced.

Now, do you think picking any firm on a random basis will do? Of course not! Your purpose does not matter, whether you want to streamline the company process or expand the organization in scale and size, as long as you choose a reliable team of developers who have the potential to serve every possible niche out there on your behalf. 

Believe me, choosing a development provider is more like choosing a panel of doctors for the delivery of your baby. You need to triple check the organization, analyze its credibility and ratings, get in touch with their clients on a personal level, go through their working culture and employee strength and so forth. Overall, you need a bulletproof checklist when choosing a software development service provider.   

The Concept of Outsourcing or Offshore Software Development

Since software development has gained so much momentum, I am sure you must have bumped into offshore development somewhere in an alley. First comes first, let us understand what offshore software development is all about? When a company hires a dedicated software development team in one place. Now when the same company opens a new office in another country and hires employees there, it is said to be an offshore development centre. For example, many US-based and Australia-based software development companies tend to have offshore development centres in countries like India, Vietnam, Philippines. To be precise, IT giants like Google, Microsoft, and Apple have all established their R&D centres in Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of Asia.

Lower development cost, wide talent pool, high scaling opportunity, technical expertise without Underdue are some of the core reasons why businesses choose offshore software development. Some of the interesting stats to consider: 

  • The global market size of outsourced services – 92.5bn USD
  • ITO Contract Value WorldWide – 66.5bn USD
  • BPO Total Contract Value WorldWide –  26bn USD

How Does this work?

In a normal scenario, businesses prefer choosing freelancers over-development teams but this is not the best idea unless you are a product management enthusiast. In case, what you should be doing is try taking full control over the development progress and do not forget to keep your remote workers in touch with one another.

Apart from this, what can be done is to look around for development service providers who comprise an already formed software development team. After all, here one no longer needs to bear all the headache especially in regards to finding an agile developer or other people to manage the working processes or what to do when a team member quits/falls sick/disappears. All these issues and many more will be solved by the development company instead. In addition, choose a software development company that focuses well on the agile methodology. 

When to look for such a development team? Further, I would like to mention some circumstances that favour offshore software development over in-house hiring. 

#1 Low Cost – With offshore software development, be sure to save a significant amount. Also, you don’t need to worry about expenses such as rental, costs, salaries, yearly bonuses, software licenses, travel allowances, among others. On the contrary, in-house hiring is pretty expensive. 

#2 Inadequate business scaling – Why do you commence a business or why does anybody establish a business? Simply to soar hire. Above all, you require the right team to drive your business towards achieving your objectives. But how do you scale your business? Well, it can only be through offshore development. The technique gives you a wide range of experts who are ready to add value to your business.

Pros of choosing Offshore or Outsourcing 

#1 Great Talents at your service – Have you ever given a thought to why many businesses hire more in western countries and not anywhere else? It’s simply because of the talent skill. In addition, their rates are extremely high when compared to other countries. This implies that the development field has a higher demand in such areas. And best of all, you will realize that there aren’t enough software developers to fill in all the missing gaps.

#2 Low operational costs –  What happens when you settle for in-house hiring, you eventually will end up spending more. This leads to high costs of operation. Imagine when looking out for top talents in western countries, the salaries you have to pay are always high due to high living standards. So, whether they have worked on more significant projects or not, you will have to pay bigger wages. Apart from the salaries, you have to fulfil other expenses such as office space, furniture, software licenses, among many additional costs. But if you go for offshore software hiring, you will only pay for the work done to high quality within the required time.  

#3 Focus on core business activities – Another interesting aspect here in contradiction to in-house development is where you have to stay accountable for every step while hiring. Everything is different from offshore hiring. The vendor takes care of everything, from hiring to product delivery until the payments are made. As a result, you get more time to concentrate on other business activities, build a good client base, and interact with other business partners.

Enters Agile Software Development – Why choose one for your upcoming project?

Agile and offshore have been quite a in sync these days. In fact, they both are the two most popular trends in the development sector – offshore development and agile methodology. The ultimate objective is to enable the delivery of maximum output while investing minimum resources and cost

by combining agile and offshore, you get a lightweight framework to maintain focus on the rapid delivery of business value. In addition, organizations can: 

  • Reduce infrastructure and maintenance costs
  • Drive innovation and quality
  • Enjoy round-the-clock development, support, and maintenance of software
  • Focus on the core business strategy
  • Leverage all the shared responsibility
  • Auto-scale resources

The effectiveness of working with an offshore and agile team is said only when you implement the right practices. So how to get the most of an offshore team in an agile environment? 

Now Combining Agile development & offshore software – Agile Offshore Development 

  • Hiring well-rounded teams

Teamwork plays a significant role here! Conducting offshore in an agile environment is said to be successful only when there is effective teamwork. Every member of the team requires certain technical skills and the right attitude in order to add value to your business. Not only this, but they also require me to work well with the rest of the team. 

A successful offshore in an agile environment is said when you avoid focusing on simply qualifications and technical skills while developing a team together. Try giving interviewees a test project where they must depend on their teammates for success. You can track their performance and assess whether they have the personal skills to succeed in your Agile team. The most effective recruitment process might take some time, but it will be worth it once you’ve built a team full of your ideal candidates.

  • Define the product vision statement

Another crucial factor to consider while conducting offshore in an agile environment is defining the product vision statement prior. In simple words, try determining the volume of all the tasks that must be completed by the given date. By doing this, you will not just be able to build a comprehensive strategy but also analyze the scope of work and present a complete picture to the team within time. The Scope of Work should contain the milestones, reports, and timeline for all deliverables that are expected to be provided by the team.

Of course, one can think of dividing the project into several parts and specific sets of tasks, depending on the scope of agile work. By doing this, the development of the product becomes more flexible and makes it way easier to change the priority of the tasks mostly depending on the user feedback and other external factors.

  • Communicate effectively

Once you are done preparing a proper agile agenda, try to set up all the necessary tools such as Skype, or an appropriate video conferencing system just to streamline things appropriately. The success of agile in creating standards for communication tools along with the software tools and method for collaboration, sharing and discussing artefacts. 

  • Language Barrier elimination

Whenever we talk about agile offshore development or outsource the agile team for the upcoming project, most of you come up with a common concern – cultural variances and language barriers. Differences in culture and language between onsite and offshore agile teams have been pretty common. This can lead to language problems, misinterpretation, conflicting work styles and contrasting professional etiquette. Always start by facilitating cultural exchange, and enable teams to understand and appreciate cultural differences. Identify and resolve language issues early – organizations need to set up a robust workflow for document translation and code before they start developing the software.  

  • Leverage the time difference

Whenever you choose an agile software development team, you get to leverage the time difference. For example, let’s say your business is located in the UK and you have an offshore development team in India so what happens is the time difference lies around 6 hours. Plus, there is minimal overlap between working hours for both countries. This is not a disadvantage, think when your UK team is still sipping their morning coffee, the Indian team has already done a full morning’s work! 

If you can leverage the time difference effectively with your team, there is virtually no barrier whatsoever. 

  • Automate Work

Last but certainly not least, business owners often tend to look around for processes that automate work. And nothing works at its best than Agile. Therefore, automation needs to be built into each step in order to achieve the required frequent deliveries and to ensure the software is working. Ideally, a framework has to be easy to execute and maintain. Also, it has to be able to run quickly and executed at the right level. 

Moreover, a framework should ideally be able to run at scheduled executions and tests that fail should be addressed as soon as possible. With agile development, everybody on the team is on the same page, which decreases the possibility of surprises and even provides fast feedback on issues found.

That’s All! 

With day-in/day-out, information technology seems to be bridging the gap of physical distance with the high-end communication system, the line between outsourcing and offshoring has become fuzzier. So what are you waiting for! 

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