To remain agile while offshoring software development, you have to invest time to make agile practices work under conditions where they are not supposed to work. Giving up is often not an option; you need to stretch agile practices by going back to the principles and collaboratively find ways to scale them and make them work effectively in a distributed environment.
Fundamentally offshoring and nearshoring software development are at odds with the principals of agile software development. But the financial and labor supply realities of the world have forced this principal to be bent and teams now seek guidance on how best to qualify an agile nearshore or offshore supplier. This articles tries to take a deeper on this topic.
In his famous book “The world is flat”, Thomas L. Friedman talks about the convergence of events which led to many countries becoming a part of the global supply chain. This resulted in definition of new rules of economics. Israel Gat takes the concept further to suggest that software development has ceased to be location dependent, thanks to Social networking and collaborative techniques.
Though collocation is one of the prime recommendations of Agile, more and more projects are executed in a manner in which the teams are distributed. Safari Asad started an interesting discussion on the Scrum Development group to discuss about a project in crisis, which not only had a remote customer but also had remote developers.
Software development is challenging and lot of fun, but there are several factors that interrupt teams from succeeding in IT projects. These are usually not tools or technologies but it is the people that affect the success of software projects. In a keynote presentation at the recent CodeMash 2009 conference, Venkat Subramaniam talked about facts and fallacies of everyday software development.
Kevin Coleman told his story working with an offshore team that claimed to be 'Agile' and the woes and worries that came with that experience in last month's issue of the Agile Journal. Several readers validated his experience with their own. In practice, can Agile methods be used successfully with offshore teams given today's business reality?
In a recent Datamation article, James Maguire noted the challenge of staying employed in an environment in which the rules are continually rewritten. He spoke with Gartner analyst Diane Morello for 5 predictions for those of us thinking about career directions over the next five years.
Swedish consulting firm Softhouse recently published the second part of an interview with Jeff Sutherland, in which he describes how one company used Scrum to integrate with an offshore development team.
Many trainers agree that co-location is essential to really see the benefits of Agile, but proof of this has been largely anecdotal. On the ScrumDevelopment list recently, an interesting conversation was launched when a member pointed out a study conducted at a Fortune 50 auto maker, comparing productivity gains in collaborative workspaces versus traditional cubicle culture projects.
Proponents of Agile methods suggest they can spare organizations some outsourcing nightmares, by helping in-house teams produce ROI comparable to outsourced solutions. Stories from Sprint and Sears provide incentive to at least give them a hearing.
Draper Fisher leads an $11 Million investment round in SOA Software. Intel Capital, the Venture arm of the Santa Clara chipmaker has invested $4 Million dollars in WSO2, an open source software company.
Scrum co-creator Jeff Sutherland has just finished a paper on the SirsiDynix project, which he calls the most productive large Java project ever documented. The project used Distributed Scrum and some XP practices. Although distributed teams are often expected to experience reduced productivity, this team's productivity level matched that measured by Cohn on a co-located team!
Scrum, being an Agile approach to teamwork, emphasises team co-location. So why is Esther Derby, ScrumMaster, writing about distributed teams? They pose real communication challenges, but are a reality in many organisations adopting Agile, and Esther notes "you can't just hope that communication will work." In this article, she offers Five Tactics to Compensate for Distance on Distributed Teams.