10 Best Practices For Effective Agile Offshore Development


10 Best Practices For Effective Agile Offshore Development agile offshore

Offshore outsourcing is a great way to partner with higher levels of expertise from all around the world. It’s even better when the offshore team working on your project is an agile development team.

While it sounds like an amazing idea, a lack of proper management can defeat agile’s true benefits and purposes. To ensure that doesn’t happen, here are ten ways to make the most of your agile offshore development team.

How To Make The Most of Your Agile Offshore Development Team

1. Define Your Vision With Your Product Statement

Before starting the development process, defining all the visions you wish to achieve with your product is better. Defining visions helps create a comprehensive workflow for the entire team that allows the team to see the full picture.

Any project’s vision or scope should contain all the necessary milestones, reports, and timeline expectations for all deliverables.

2. Create A Precise Product Roadmap

After the list of general tasks has been created, you should divide the entire scope of work with proper time intervals for creating a product development roadmap. But a product roadmap shouldn’t be like a constitution; it’s more of a flexible instrument.

Deadlines and functionality of the entire roadmap may vary depending on the complexity and speed of the development process, as well as the user requirements and other external factors.

A great way to make changes and better monitor progress in the roadmap is to divide the project into short iterations, known as “sprints.” For each sprint, your team should create a list of tasks they aim to complete within a certain time frame.

3. Conduct Regular Demos

A demo represents the intermediate result of the work progress of your entire team after each iteration. A demo showcases the progress the whole team made during a sprint and helps the project manager and team leader determine whether the whole team’s performance met the standard requirements.

Demos allow the product owner or project manager to provide valuable feedback to the development team by analyzing each past iteration and identifying all the issues to develop solutions for them.

4. Invest More In Collaboration Technology

Collaboration and seamless communication is the key to optimized and efficient product development by keeping all the team members on the same page. When team collaboration is ensured with the right tools, it increases transparency for the entire project and is highly effective for offshore team management.

5. Use Agile Retrospectives To Sync All Team Members

It doesn’t have to be a big meeting that lasts for hours. A simple 15-minute get-together is a good idea for a daily standup and is also perfect for sharing information between team members living in different time zones.

The goals of daily standups include:

  • Sharing plans for the day
  • Setting agendas
  • Discussing individual issues
  • Offering suggestions for solutions to one another
  • Short retrospective on past progress

6. Constantly Communicate With Clients

Customer satisfaction is the biggest concern in agile software development, and it’s essential to constantly be in touch with members of the target audience to understand the project’s requirements and then pass the information to the developers for proper implementation.

It’s tough to communicate the exact product vision when working with a distributed agile team since there’s a high chance of miscommunicating or misunderstanding requirements, resulting in a final product that may not appeal to the customers.

User stories, customer feedback, and visual information like videos or infographics are better ways of communicating the users’ requirements with the development team.

7. Prioritize Asynchronous Communication

Agile emphasizes communication to ensure the parallel progress of all team members. Distributed agile teams are mostly remote, so they’re not all gathered within the same office space.

On-site communication is the best way to keep the team on the same page, and asynchronous communication is the best solution for better team collaboration.

Here are some helpful tips to enforce asynchronous communication within your team:

  • All team members must be available to communicate with each other on time
  • All communication between team members must be transparent
  • Team members must communicate and document each decision made
  • The team should work towards a single vocabulary that eliminates the possibility of misunderstanding and increases overall clarity
  • The product owner must conduct regular short meetings to improve the coordination of the entire team
  • For time zone differences, the product owner should arrange a common time for all team members to conduct online meetings to increase collaboration

8. Build Trust Between Team Members

Without trust between the teammates, no one will be willing to communicate with one another, and it defeats the true purpose of agile. To ensure proper communication, it’s important to create an environment of trust where all team members can rely on each other.

The project’s success depends on the contribution of all team members, not just an individual. When all team members feel like partners and help each other out, it’s better for both the team and the project.

9. Minimize Internal Friction

An offshore team is full of specialized professionals with extensive experience working on previous projects. Distributed agile teams like these rely heavily on processes and tools.

To keep friction to a minimum, the team leader should provide the right guidance and tools for all the team members so they can focus on doing their best and provide the most value to the customers.

10. Create Guidelines For Increased Effectiveness

Offshore outsourcing has a common understanding of the best work practices that align with all the best work practices worldwide. The team leader keeps the standards high and ensures that all instructions and expectations are clear to the team.

To make information more accessible, the team leader can leverage the idea of creating visual information like infographics and short informative videos to convey the idea to the team without losing anything in translation.

Challenges That Come With Making Offshore Teams Agile

1. Time Zone Differences

Time zone difference is a double-edged sword for agile offshore teams. While the team members can utilize the time zone difference to constantly keep the development wheel rolling, the difference also means that not everyone will be online simultaneously to exchange information.

This can cause delays in information exchange and inevitable delays in development timelines.

2. Mismanaged Onboarding Process

Onboarding for offshore teams is rather easier compared to in-house team members. While the formalities for onboarding are minimal, they’re not non-existent.

Most businesses make the mistake of not managing the onboarding process properly or skipping the process entirely for senior offshore team members. This can result in poor engagement and lower productivity.

3. Cybersecurity Concerns

Data security is the biggest concern for modern companies since all the modern software is mostly cloud-based. The risk increases even more when you’re partnering with an offshore development team and have to share access to confidential company information, including information about your organization’s Intellectual Property.

Rogue employees or third-party malicious actors can easily compromise information integrity and steal confidential company information. While you can enforce NDAs and security compliances to lower the risk, said risk still stands.

4. Flexibility Concerns

Flexibility can become an issue for offshore teams when they have to spend additional time and resources adapting to new resources or tech stacks to apply their learnings to the product.

5. Cultural Change

Work ethics and cultures differ from one country to another, and the sudden change of working in an entirely different work culture can be more of a cultural shock for most offshore employees. Getting used to a new work culture takes time, and often, the delay can be a detriment to product development.

To Wrap It All Up

Distributed agile offshore teams can be more productive than in-house teams, considering that the whole team receives the right guidance. Agile offshore teams are a great way to achieve high levels of effectiveness, and Impala Intech can offer you the same effectiveness with our professional dedicated teams.


What Tools Are Commonly Used in Agile Offshore Development?

Tools like Jira, Trello, Slack, and Confluence facilitate Agile project management and collaboration.

What Is the Impact of Time Zone Differences on Agile Offshore Development?

If used strategically, time zone differences can be advantageous, allowing for round-the-clock development and problem-solving.

How Can Agile Offshore Teams Ensure Data Security and Compliance?

Strict security measures, encrypted communication, and adherence to data protection regulations are essential.

What is the Role of Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) in Agile Offshore Development?

CI/CD automates the testing and deployment, enabling faster and more reliable software delivery.

What Strategies Can Agile Offshore Teams Use to Foster a Collaborative Culture?

Regular video meetings, team-building activities, and cultural sensitivity training can promote collaboration.


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