Software Development Outsourcing Hub

Agile Methodology in Software Development Outsourcing

January 29, 2024

Agile is the ideal modus operandi for any software development project. After all, a strong agile culture can boost project performance by 277%. This approach emphasizes fast, iterative cycles to align your product with your vision. In turn, this enhances the project’s overall efficiency and quality. 

Specifically, agile software development outsourcing prioritizes key values that are highly beneficial. For example, agile deepens collaboration and focuses on elevating your value proposition. 

Here we’ve detailed how the agile methodology is the ultimate blueprint to build a product. At the same time, this method unlocks optimal use of your company resources. 

The Advantages of Agile Software Development Outsourcing

(Source: 17th State of Agile Report)

Your best bet for fruitful software development is the agile methodology. This collaborative coding environment enables top benefits for your business and your client. 

  • Accelerated project delivery. Agile is based on short, iterative sprints. Doing so allows for quicker end-to-end development.
  • Cost reductions. Agile unlocks efficiencies on your team, so that your resources are used efficiently.
  • A higher quality product. Constant feedback loops means that your teams can make changes and respond to users. It also reduces bugs and downtime. 
  • Improved business alignment. Your vision will be the guiding strategy for determining agile milestones. This means your teams will align and define your MVP early in the process. 
  • Flexibility in software development. Navigating ongoing change is easy with agile. You can adapt milestones and scale up/down teams as needed.
  • Unified team processes. Under agile, your team will have consistent workflows. This will set up seamless knowledge transfer, expectations and communication channels. In turn, this gives your business optimal control over your project. 
  • Better team morale. Agile also supports teams as they work independently towards their assigned milestones. This sense of autonomy leads to stronger relationship-building and team morale.

Ultimately, agile software development outsourcing will boost your chances of project success. It also supports businesses as they work to create a truly innovative solution. In fact, 78% of projects involving next-gen technology are handled by IT outsourcing. 

Key Principles for Agile Project Success 

Agile software development outsourcing is the gold standard. It’s used by 71% of businesses building software today. 

Overall, the principles behind agile can empower any project to become more effective. Below are agile best practices that can help green-light project success. 

1. Adopting a Learning Mindset

Agile embraces change as a way to achieve the best-fit product. As a result, it’s based on the value of continuous learning. Teams constantly get new insights, adjust features and validate results. This iterative process instills a learning mindset in developers. In this scenario, changing requirements are opportunities, instead of sources of frustration. 

2. Aligning With Stakeholders

Close connections with your stakeholders is vital for success. (This includes executives, end users and other company departments.) Agile emphasizes constant communication with stakeholders, starting from the kick-off meeting. Key areas may also involve market research, cross-department interviews and customer feedback. Doing so enhances your business value and guarantees the product meets stakeholder expectations. 

3. Undergoing Effective Communication

Effective communication lays the critical foundation for any software development project. Agile software development outsourcing is based on transparent, collaborative practices. In fact, collaboration is the #1 most cited benefit of agile at 59%. For example, agile teams tend to undergo:

  • Daily/weekly stand-ups and sprints
  • Ongoing feedback loops with stakeholders
  • Continuous progress reports
  • Clearly defined short- and long-term milestones

Candid communication is essential to agile and allows for no-hassle planning. As a part of this process, agile teams aren’t afraid of change. They have robust change management practices in place to pivot or modify as needed.

4. Supporting Team Autonomy

Managing remote teams with agile methodology can be a balancing act. Yet this methodology is well-suited to supporting autonomous developers. Agile establishes clear, collaborative workflows so that nobody is working in a silo. However, it also allows teams to do work using their ideal conditions, tools and practices. For example, 88% of IT workers report that agile enhances quality of life for teams. 

For best results, your business will need experienced leaders and regular check-ins. You may also need to clarify logistics regarding remote work, culture, time zones, etc. 

5. Leveraging Risk Management

Finally, reducing risk is a pillar of agile software development outsourcing. To start, agile is highly adaptive and allows for continuous project scope management. This way, you can continue to assess and update as needed. 

Additionally, having flexible software outsourcing contracts helps businesses make changes without extra costs and delays. Agile also minimizes risk through initial assessments, feedback loops and goal tracking. 

Choosing the Right Agile Software Development Partner

It’s clear that utilizing the agile method can save you headaches. However, you must find the right partner with agile software development outsourcing. Although we’ve outlined everything you should look for in a partner in our “How to Choose a Software Development Company” guide, here are some extra factors.

Evaluate Your Partner's Agile and DevOps Expertise

You should always verify the expertise and quality of your partner’s past projects. With agile, it’s even more important. Check that your ideal provider has extensive experience in agile and DevOps. In particular, look at the team roster for experts and leaders with agile backgrounds. 

Whenever possible, you should also find agency case studies that showcase agile. In case of any doubts, ask for documented agile working processes. 

Align Remote and Asynchronous Communication

Next, you should ensure that your partner is ready to undergo agile processes in a remote context. Hiring remotely can open doors to talent, but it also requires thoughtful management. 

Ask your provider about their virtual teaming logistics. (This may include time zones, cultural/language barriers and so on.) Experienced partners will have transparent, asynchronous communication practices in place. Don’t forget about security and IP protections, too (check out our “How to Protect Software Intellectual Property: Best Practices” guide). Your partner should have top protocols to lock down your security within a virtual set-up. 

Undergo a Rigorous Compatibility Assessment

Finally, there are plenty of other factors that go into hiring an agile-based IT partner. Most importantly, you should evaluate your business compatibility. Depending on your priorities, this may include verifying:

  • Working and communication style
  • Company culture
  • Team dynamics and management
  • Business values (i.e. innovation or transparency)
  • Long-term commitment

Ideally, do a compatibility assessment to check if your partner has the “soft skills.” Also, understand the culture, as internal resistance is the #1 reason for agile failure

Reap the Benefits of Agile Software Development Outsourcing

Agile is the ideal roadmap for your team to navigate the ups and downs of your next software project. Principles such as continuous learning, business alignment and more will ensure top development. To get high-performing teams, use our expert tips for agile software development outsourcing.

Embracing agile and organizing elite teams starts with hiring the right partner. At Netcorp, we empower companies through our agile-based experts and values. Get in touch to learn how we elevate agile throughout the product life cycle.

Paavo Pauklin
Executive Board Member

Paavo Pauklin is a renowned consultant and thought leader in software development outsourcing with a decade of experience. Authoring dozens of insightful blog posts and the guidebook "How to Succeed with Software Development Outsourcing," he is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. Paavo hosts two influential video podcasts: “Everybody needs developers” and “Tech explained to managers in 3 minutes.” Through his extensive training sessions with organizations such as the Finnish Association of Software Companies and Estonian IT Companies Association, he's helped numerous businesses strategize, train internal teams, and find dependable outsourcing partners. His expertise offers a reliable compass for anyone navigating the world of software outsourcing.

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