Nearshore Agile Software Development

Agile is the Standard for Software Development Teams

For businesses of all sizes—from startups to large enterprises—Agile development is the dominant approach. The vast majority of organizations engaged in software development or technology production of any kind rely on the philosophy, recognizing that it conceptualizes the software development life cycle in a revolutionary way.

In fact, when Agile was originally released, it was created in response to problems with the status quo at the time. Prior to Agile, Waterfall was the dominant approach, and many developers and professionals in the industry believed it was fraught with issues, including quality concerns. Now you would be hard-pressed to find a team in the technology sector that doesn’t believe Agile is the gold standard.

Nearshore Agile Software Development 1

BairesDev Best Practices

Agile and Scrum are fundamental components of successful software development and delivery. While there are many approaches towards achieving this goal, these are the Best Practices that we follow and recommend at BairesDev and have proven to be successful across many customer engagements. Our Agile/Scrum Circle is the center of excellence that outlines and maintains these standards and ensures that knowledge and practices are shared across our organization. Throughout our engagements we:

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    Abide by the Agile Manifesto, and Its Values and Principles
    Our highest priority is to satisfy customers/end-users through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
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    Promote a Growth Mindset
    Always open to change with a desire to Learn, Innovate, and Improve, as opposed to a fixed mindset.
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    Embrace Change and Adapt to It
    We believe in delivering value as opposed to rigid structures, impossible deadlines, and commitments written in stone.
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    Work in 2-Week Sprints
    And deliver working software that can be used by the customer and stakeholders at the end of each sprint.
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    Ensure That Each Day the Team Openly Discusses What They Have Done
    Call out any blockers, and actively help each other if needed.
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    Add Product Features Incrementally
    New versions build upon previous versions by adding usable functionality. This allows for verification and discussion of the next steps and adaptation to change.
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    Define the Best Mix of Scrum Ceremonies
    For each team, product, project, and customer while ensuring Agile principles are followed.
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    Have Short and Concise Daily Standup Meetings
    Where each team member gives a brief status update and raises any blockers. We facilitate the resolution of blockers by driving the conversion and teamwork beyond the daily standup.
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    Ensure the Team Demonstrates the Working Software
    From a deployment environment during the Sprint Review. Demos done from a local host or from slide presentations do not prove working software. We collect client feedback in the demo to keep iterating the product.
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    Analyze and Adjust the Frequency of Retrospectives
    To match the team’s needs.
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    Make Sure Every Voice Is Heard
    And everyone feels safe sharing their thoughts during Retrospectives. This can be done by enabling the team to share feedback anonymously using tools such as Easy Retro.
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    Perform a Backlog Grooming Session Every Sprint
    To ensure the right features are prioritized, ready to be worked on, and that the backlog does not become a black hole.
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    Perform the Sprint Planning Before Starting
    Or at the very beginning of a sprint, when the goals and priorities can be adjusted to the project’s current status. We use tools like Planning Poker to enhance the planning process and estimate tickets.
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    Estimate Issues
    Using previous issues as a reference instead of trying to consider the amount of time they will require to get done. We use the Fibonacci sequence to estimate (1,2,3,5,8,13,…) unless the team is not ready to size ticket velocity by previous ticket reference. If the latter happens, we use t-shirt sizing (S, M, L, XL).

At BairesDev, the Scrum Master’s primary concern is the team. They are a servant leader who strives to work for the team giving them all the tools and support to aim to be the best. The Scrum Master will work with the team each sprint to reflect on the work done and value delivered and will incorporate the lessons learned into the next sprint. 

What is Agile in Software Development?

Agile is not referred to as a methodology—instead, it is considered a mindset and a philosophy. This is a way of approaching software development based on the central principle of continuous improvement.

It is based on 12 principles, as outlined in the Agile Manifesto:

1. Customer satisfaction is the highest priority, which can be achieved through the continuous delivery of valuable software.
2. Changing requirements are always welcome, even in the late stages of development.
3. Delivery of working software should be frequent, with a preference for a bi-weekly time frame.
4. Software engineers have to work with executives and stakeholders throughout development.
5. Developers need all the support and motivation to get the job done.
6. Team conversations and discussions should mostly be face-to-face.
7. Working software is the primary measure of progress.
8. Development should be sustainable (i.e., have a constant pace)
9. Agility is enhanced through technical excellence and sound design.
10. Simplicity is essential.
11. Self-organizing teams provide the best architectures, requirements, and designs.
12. The team should reflect on their work at regular intervals as to come up with improvements to the way they do things.

Agile teams are tasked with keeping these principles in mind during the entire software development life cycle, while also focusing on the Agile values.

What is an Agile Methodology?

If Agile isn’t a methodology, what exactly is an Agile development methodology? There are, in fact, many different methodologies that follow Agile principles during the development cycle. While the approaches vary, they all embrace the overarching philosophy.

Scrum is one well-known Agile methodology. It is by far the most popular approach of its kind—so much so, that it is sometimes erroneously used as a synonym for Agile itself. 

Other Agile methodologies include:

  • Adaptive Project Framework (APF)
  • Extreme Programming (XP)
  • Learn
  • Kanban

Benefits of Nearshore Agile Teams for Software Projects

Outsourcing itself offers plenty of benefits to organizations, including reduced costs, faster time to market, greater efficiency, and an ability to focus on your core business. But why is nearshore Agile software development the best approach?

There are numerous benefits associated with employing Agile. And as a client, you will reap the rewards. For example, you will always be kept abreast of the status of your project and have the opportunity to deliver frequent feedback. There will never be any doubt in your mind that the development team is working to align their work with your goals. And you will see outcomes more quickly—high-quality ones at that.

Teams and other stakeholders see plenty of benefits, too, such as:

  • Stronger collaboration and communication
  • More flexibility and adaptability
  • Lower possibility of scope creep
  • Reduced risk
  • Greater transparency

Of course, customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal, and the Agile process is conducive to this outcome—in fact, it is central to the entire philosophy.

The 6 Steps in an Agile Software Development Life Cycle

  • Concept/Ideation

    The first step in the Agile development cycle is creating the concept of your product. This is essentially the brainstorming phase when you will hammer out and fully envision your idea. It’s also the stage when you will prioritize various ideas and determine their feasibility, as well as the scope of the project.

  • Requirements Gathering/Project Mapping

    Also called inception, at this point, you will determine the requirements for your product and map out the project. You will create an outline, identify the resources and materials you need, and put together a team to achieve your goals.

  • Development/Construction

    This is in many ways the meat of the Agile development process. Here, you will build the actual product. The developers will work with other team members, including the QA testers and the UX designers, to build quality software. Stakeholders will be able to deliver feedback after brief development cycles.

  • Testing/Production/Release

    Prior to the ultimate release of the product, the QA team performs final testing and analysis. The development team will need to resolve any issues they encounter before the software goes into production.

  • Maintenance

    Software requires ongoing maintenance. It needs to be updated, and problems need to be resolved in order to keep the product running well. The Agile team is responsible for maintaining the system, such as by resolving bugs or providing updates.

  • Retirement

    Software becomes outdated with some regularity. When a system becomes obsolete, it will be retired. Often, it is replaced by a new version or updated software, but this isn’t always the case. At this stage, the Agile team phases the product out and stops maintaining it.

Is Agile Nearshore Outsourcing the Right Decision for Your Company?

Whether you’re grappling with complex requirements, lack a solid in-house team, or need to spend more time focusing on your core business, nearshore Agile software development could be the answer. At BairesDev, we look forward to taking on your challenges and building you quality solutions. We are an Agile company first, and we make it our mission to prioritize customer satisfaction.

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