Earlier this month, PC Advisor in the UK, reprinted an article from the US by Stephanie Overby – an IDG reporter – entitled: 7 Tips to Agile Offshore Development. The article explains how companies used to think that if you were going to offshore your software development, you wouldn’t be able to use the Agile methodology. It then gives examples of how that is no longer the case and talks of “niche offshore providers” who have been “developing their agile development offerings.” I guess we are one of them.
Around 90% of our software development projects now follow some form of Agile or SCRUM methodology. As an aside, some of the big players like IBM and even Tata and Infosys use agile-type methods in less than 20% of their software projects. As I mentioned in a post in July, offshore agile does require a bit more planning and flexibility than ‘same room’ agile and there is no getting away from that.
However, we find that in most cases it can deliver quality software, with less technical debt, more quickly than the waterfall method. And some clients say that offshore agile better meets their real project requirements than offshore software development via waterfall. If this isn’t enough to convince you to look into agile, how about this from the VP of research at US outsourcing consultancy HfS: “One experienced offshore agile project manager told me [that while] the usual view is that you must be in the same room to do agile, his view is that if you’re not in the same room, the best way to do software development is with agile methodology.” One last point: In July I shared some pointers on how to get the best from offshore agile. They were with the input of one of our customers in the healthcare sector. In the PC Advisor article, Stephanie Overby shares her tips.
The one that caught my eye is about picking the right partner. She advises that you don’t automatically go with your existing offshore software development provider, but rather choose one with a proven track record in offshore agile. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts and experiences on both choosing the right agile partner and more generally on making offshore agile work, so do feel free to leave a comment here or on our new twitter account: @FutureProcessin