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April 18, 2016

Get It Done Faster with Agile Software Development

What ever happened to Keynes' 1930 prediction that our generation would be working only three hours a day and probably by choice? With new technologies and business models, today’s work environment moves faster, is more connected and lasts longer than 40 hours a week. These modern business pressures affect organizations across all levels and functions, and this is particularly true of IT and software development teams.

old-phones-telephones.jpgIn response to demands for more flexibility and the ability to complete projects more quickly, software development teams began adopting a set of principles that promote early delivery, rapid response to change and adaptive planning called Agile Software Development.

The Origins of Agile Development

In his 1970 paper “Managing the Development of Large Software Systems,” Dr. Winston Royce criticized the development practices of his time, then known as sequential development. He maintained that software was fundamentally different from building a car on an assembly line, where each piece is added in sequence until the car is complete. The problem, he noted, was that utilizing a phased approach to software development limited communication among cross-functional team members, which could create delays and cause information to be lost.

Fast-forward to today, and it’s easy to see how his critique was spot-on. Changing the game and utilizing agile methodologies to assess a project’s direction throughout its life cycle allows clients to react to developments as they occur and helps developers build the software their clients actually want. Imagine getting to the end of a project and your software development partner built exactly what you asked for in the time you set, but the outcome is nothing like you imagined. Agile helps mitigate that risk.

How Do People Use Agile Practices?

If your internal teams are still using waterfall or your newer developers have suggested you move toward a more agile approach, there are a few leading frameworks to be familiar with namely: Scrum and Kanban.

Scrum: One the most popular ways to bring agile development practices into and organization, scrum emphasizes organizing work into small, manageable pieces that your team can complete in a sprint (on average two to four weeks). By assigning specific roles to members of the scrum and hosting daily meetings, scrum emphasizes agile working as a way to lead to improvement.

Kanban: Derived from the Toyota Production System of manufacturing, kanban is a visualized form of process management. Unlike scrum, kanban is not a process itself, but strives to improve existing processes. Therefore, kanban does not exclusively focus on being agile, rather on improving, which may lead to increased agility in your process.

Maybe You Knew that, but Did You Know You Can Outsource Agile Development?

If you’re already working on a project that is underperforming or you’re struggling to manage a complex release schedule, you might have already considered – and discounted – outsourcing your software development. Perhaps the thought of trying to scrum with a team in India or expecting an outsourcing partner to help improve your own processes seems too difficult.

At Accelerance we’ve seen first-hand how agile practices can be preserved when outsourcing to countries like Argentina and how partners help you launch great products through innovation. Our certified network of partners is intimately familiar with agile development and stays up-to-date on the latest frameworks and methodologies for effectively completing software development projects on time and in budget.

When looking for an outsourced software development team, it’s important to consider your development process and finding the right team to align with your specific needs. If you’re having trouble sifting through all the information on outsourcing or are frustrated searching for the right vendor, contact us and we can help you get started on the right path for free.

Andy Hilliard

As CEO, Andy leads and advocates for the globalization and collaboration of great software teams with companies in search of talent, innovation and a globally-distributed extension of their engineering function and culture. Andy founded the ground-breaking nearshore software development services company, Isthmus Costa...

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