Introduction to Agile Methodologies
“Agile software development is an approach to software development under which requirements and solutions evolve through the collaborative effort of self-organizing and cross-functional teams and their end user or customers. Agile methodology advocates adaptive planning, evolutionary development, early delivery, and continual improvement, and it encourages rapid and flexible response to change” - Wikipedia
The factors contributing to an increase in the popularity of working with agile methodologies include increased transparency and more favorable outcomes. According to a report published by PwC, projects utilizing agile practices are 28% more successful than traditional ones. These include multiple frameworks such as Kanban, Crystal, Scrum, Extreme Programming and Lean Software Development.
The core values adding to the success of an agile project are interactions over different processes and tools, collaborations with the customer on all levels of project delivery, comprehensive documentation on software and responsiveness about changes in plans. In a nutshell, agile project management stands on two pillars – collaboration and flexibility. When individuals work as per the principles of agile management, they often end up making several useful iterations to the development processes.
A timebox is created for a month, wherein all stages of development such as planning, designing, coding, and testing come into the picture. This is owing to the risks inherent to the continually evolving nature of market trends. This management system can become null and void in the absence of continuous feedback, which is why the product generated is its best possible version. Another exclusive part of any agile methodology is effective communication through regular team meetings such as daily stand-ups, sprint planning or retrospective.
Using Agile Methodologies While Software Outsourcing
As of late, a practice gaining popularity among many well-known organizations is outsourcing software development to offshore companies. Many organizations have noted that adopting agile practices while outsourcing software development leads to significant savings of both time and money. Companies can access a wide array of talent around the globe. Outsourcing software development to offshore companies may initially seem tricky to organizations, due to a prevalent lack of mutual understanding and face-to-face interactions, but these can be overcome by inculcating a particular working approach. Organizations need to keep the following in mind before outsourcing software development.
- Build partnerships based on trust. The offshore company must share the same vision and work towards the overall growth of the organization. It is imperative to be on the same page as this helps in avoiding confusions during different stages of the project.
- Regular communication with the offshore company becomes a mandate during agile project management. This should be at its most exceptional level since agile projects involve less documentation and more direct communication. This could be in the form of direct calls (Skype), messages, emails or regular meetings. This also helps in increasing the project’s overall visibility. According to research published by Gartner, 76% users prefer to opt for agile practices to increase the visibility of their projet
- Follow Agile Manifesto - Both customer and offshore development Company should follow the Agile manifesto for best practices in Agile development
Agile in Practice: Key Principles
- Customer Satisfaction
A project becomes successful when the outcomes are as desired in the goals and objectives. This is what theory states. However, when it comes to business, a project is successful only when a customer is satisfied. Agile methodologies used for software development ensure higher chances of customer satisfaction. Scrum, a tool used in agile project management enables effective communication between the two parties with the help of continuous feedback. This does not leave scope for bugs to appear in a finished project, as they are already eliminated during the different stages of development. Covering up errors when a project is completed is comparatively more time consuming and incurs greater expenditures. Agile methods while outsourcing software development can help you avoid this hassle.
- Regular Adaptations
With different technologies continually emerging in the market, it becomes difficult to incorporate them when other practices are used for software development. Agile project management paves a way for regular adaptations during the different stages of software development. This also enables a reduction in reported errors, as the software is always in flux and has room for changes to be incorporated.
- Project Delivery
Agile practices by offshore companies during all stages of software development ensure that the product is delivered to the client frequently. Rather than taking up months for the entire software delivery, agile practices make it a point to deliver software within weeks’ time. While developing any software it is essential to keep all stakeholders involved in the process which, agile takes care of. Inputs by the end users are taken into consideration on a regular basis thereby enabling all inputs to be incorporated in the final version of the software. Such practices pave the way for cooperative ownership of the end product and ensure that there are ownership and acceptance of the final product delivered to the client.
The final take: Agile Practices While Outsourcing Software Development
Outsourcing is a sector that has been continually evolving. To save time and expenditures on software development, agile practices by offshore companies is the definitive need of the hour. One final question that arises is: who is going to undertake the software development of an organization? A trustworthy partner, after all, is essential to business. Finding the right offshore company for software development tasks may often seem tricky, but with RSK’s premium agile software development services, this is no longer a concern. The technological professionals at RSK ensure that users enjoy a top-notch experience while working with them. Check out RSK’s Agile Software Development services here.