Qualifying An Agile NearShore Or Offshore Supplier
Nearshoring is more competitive in agile software development projects than offshoring due to closer geographical, and cultural proximity. That's the opinion presented recently by Karl Flinders on ComputerWeekly on Nov 19, 2012. Reading the article these points are made:
- Agile requires strong, continuous communication between the team and customer to succeed.
- Closer geographic proximity means teams are working within the same, or nearby time zones, augmenting communication.
- Similar cultural backgrounds reduce the number of misunderstandings and further enhance the communications needs of agility.
Nearshoring is "the transfer of business or IT processes to companies in a nearby country, often sharing a border with your own country", where both parties expect to benefit from one or more of the following dimensions of proximity: geographic, temporal (time zone), cultural, linguistic, economic, political, or historical linkages. The service work that is being sourced may be a business process or software development.
- Communications equipment and standards for sharing agile artifacts virtually is embraced and internalized.
- A partner that physically visits periodically and wants to "understand and know" your business and people.
- The firm truly accepts and embraces agile software development methodologies.
- The partner should have some overlap in time zones to make coordination of daily meetings easier.
- Agile offshore development can't be self managed and organic. There needs to be an active manager of the effort who can intervene when the process has become unglued.
Offshore vs. Nearshore
Many Asian countries have traditional hierarchical cultures that clash with the concepts of Agile. Even if this fact can be mitigated to a certain extent, it will take an effort. In my experience nearshore works far better for European outsourcing buyers than off-shoring to more distant regions.
- Cost of travel is significantly lower
- Cultural gaps are small
- Communication (English, French, German) is easier
- Attrition levels are lower
- Availability is generally very good
- Time zone differences are minimal
Here is an article explaining further: colabpro.com/wwwcolabprocom/blog/bid/191634/Whe...
Martin Thompson Jul 27, 2014