Advantages & Benefits of Agile Methodology

Businesses in about every sector have gotten wise to the benefits of the Agile methodology and responded by applying its core fundamentals to business functions both in and out of the IT department.

Agile software development is defined by its short production cycles that repeat over and over–allowing teams to systematically deliver the best possible end-product as efficiently as possible.

For in-house teams, the hardest part of implementing Agile is mastering the mindset–at scale. And while that’s no small task, teams that overcome that initial challenge stand to see significant improvements in the way they work and the quality of their output.

Agile’s emphasis on close collaboration and quick turnarounds put the methodology at odds with traditional outsourcing models. Any sense of urgency flies out the window when you’re working with teams on the other side of the globe on completely different schedules.

Here, collaboration on that level means one party loses sleep to accommodate the other, and Agile’s iterative process is hindered by delays and poor communication.

While cross-border Agile development can be challenging, nearshoring offers a solution: combining the cost-savings of traditional outsourcing with the advantages of the Agile methodology.

Video – Advantages of Agile Nearshore Software Outsourcing

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The Values of Agile

As per the Agile Manifesto, the Agile methodology centers around four core values. Together, they promote a development process that puts customer needs first.

  • Individuals and Interaction
  • Working Software
  • Customer Collaboration
  • Responding to Change.

In these next few sections, we’ll explain each of these values and how nearshore outsourcing supports them.

Nearshrore Survey Communication

Individuals and Interactions Over Processes & Tools

Essentially, this means that relationships take precedence over documented processes and what kinds of tools are used during the development process.

When software development teams put client relationships first, it creates a group dynamic that enables clearer communication.

Clients know how they want their software to perform and what they want it to look like. However, they may not have the skills, knowledge, or time to understand the technical aspect of development.

An external development team can fill those gaps. To do so successfully, they need to have a deep understanding of what the client is trying to accomplish.

In a situation where a client “places an order,” software developers receive detailed specifications for a project but little context.

The best way to understand the client’s needs and their software is by establishing strong, two-way communication. In a recent survey, we found that nearly half of all respondents said communication was a major barrier they faced with offshoring.

When communication becomes a top priority, the client and the development team are dedicated to the efficiency of building the highest quality software to market and usually in less time than the traditional approaches.

Working Software Over Comprehensive Documentation

Traditional software development processes, such as Waterfall, focus on completing the project, then sending it to beta-testing. Here, testers look for bugs or glitches in the code.

This approach allows small mistakes to accumulate over the course of the project, growing into complex problems that require developers to work overtime or even push delivery.

Saving mounting problems for later is inefficient, which is why most developers have largely abandoned Waterfall for more iterative development methodologies like Agile.

One of the primary benefits of Agile development is that the software is less susceptible to errors due to its repetitive sprint cycles, where software is coded and tested in segments until the project is complete. This idea of coding software to maintain high-quality standards is known as Working Software.

By completing and delivering software in installments, problems are solved throughout the process. This keeps development momentum stable to completion and helps to ensure client satisfaction throughout the process.

When you work with a team based on the other side of the world, conflicting schedules and communication problems often mean reverting back to a Waterfall-style approach.

With nearshoring, outsourced teams operate on the same schedule as their clients, allowing internal and external workers to collaborate as a unified team.

Customer Collaboration Over Contract Negotiation

“Customer collaboration over contract negotiation” refers to how Agile developers define the relationship with the client.

Agile focuses more on proactive collaboration and makes room for clients to get involved directly with the development process. The benefit here is that clients can ensure the project matches their vision and quality standards, while developers don’t rely on guesswork to make critical decisions.

By contrast, other software development methodologies define the relationship between the developer and the client at the contract level–outlining requirements upfront and setting deadlines for key deliverables.

Generally, there’s little communication between pre-defined milestones, which can result in a final product that meets the bare minimum requirements, as defined by the contract.

As you might imagine, a disconnect can lead to time-consuming conflicts, rework, or even force the client to find a new developer to complete the project.

Responding to Change Over Following a Plan

One of the main benefits of the Agile methodology is that it allows teams the flexibility to respond to the changing demands of the market and the client.

Agile teams use schedules and burn-down charts in their iterative delivery approach, designed to accommodate change, unlike a fixed project plan.

So, in the context of a nearshoring model, clients and developers can quickly incorporate customer feedback, fix bugs, or add more features without pushing back deadlines.

Creating software in intervals also gives teams more control over technical debt, a term that describes the implied cost of rework caused by choosing the cheapest or easiest solution over the better approach.

With Agile, developers have a clear vision of the problems they might encounter, instead of losing momentum when they hit an unexpected snag.

Traditional outsourcing models don’t allow for this level of flexibility.

Agile Flexibility

Software Outsourcing with the Benefits of the Agile Methodology

Agile’s repetitive delivery cycles and relationship-centric approach allows developers to deliver the highest-quality software in the least amount of time.

Tiempo’s nearshore business model combines the benefits of Agile software development with the advantages of outsourcing. Our process is designed for productive client-team collaborations, with on-demand access to IT experts that work the same hours as your in-house employees.

Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we use Agile to deliver the best possible results.