Agile Outsourcing Failures That Can Set You Back For Miles


An agile outsourcing vendor is the best way to start working with a team that can speed up the entire software development process with all the right practices. But, even with such an efficient method, there are ways to fail that will affect your software project.

Agile Outsourcing Failures That Can Set You Back For Miles agile outsourcing failures

Today, we’ll be looking at agile outsourcing do’s and don’ts that can cost you an arm while delaying development indefinitely.

Common Project Delays That Increase The Time To Market

Let’s start with getting the most common issues out of the way. These issues arise with almost every project team, but they can be glaring when working with a distributed agile team acquired from agile outsourcing companies.

Communication Gap

This can affect the entire scenario in multiple ways. It can be a communication gap between the client and the developers or between development team members.

When the product owner isn’t communicating with the developers properly, they fail to express their exact vision for their product, and the developers fail to deliver exactly what the product owner wants. Deploying different versions till they get it right can take quite a lot of time.

If the team members are not communicating with each other, agile software projects start losing their focus. The agile model requires all the team members to be on the same page, and when the team members don’t know what their teammates are doing, they have to wait till all the team members have made equal progress on the project deliverables.

Insufficient Transparency

Due to the entire development team being remote, the product owner doesn’t have enough insights into the project to determine its status and progress. The product owner fails to identify additional risks, and there’s a higher chance of delays in that case.

A lack of transparency can also occur within the team when the team members are not submitting progress reports. It can cause the team leader to have inaccurate assumptions and lead to project delays.

Unclear Project Requirements

The product owner sometimes doesn’t define the requirements for the team well enough for them to work on a product. Lack of clarity from the product owner’s perspective can lead to delays or complete stoppage of work.

Insufficient Resources

The service provider should always ensure that they have enough resources to work on any project. A lack of required resources can lead to a project’s failure to reach the deadline.

Unrealistic Deadlines

Sometimes, even with the right resources, a development team with previous experience can fail because of an unrealistic deadline. Some product owners are too impatient for their good and set unrealistic expectations with a deadline that even the highest of professionals cannot reach. It can lead to delays or the release of a product without proper quality assurance.

Insufficient Technical Experiences

Clients hand over their projects to agile outsourced teams for completion. But most of the time, the client comes with only a vision and insufficient technical expertise to properly collaborate with the cross-functional teams. It can lead to a wide array of issues.

Demand For Unnecessary Features

Sometimes, the client may demand to add a feature that looks fancy on the outside but takes a lot of time to implement and offers no value to the product itself. Unreasonable requests like these can lead to delays for the beneficial features and defeat the purpose of agile software development.

Failure To Balance

Clients cannot often balance the software development costs and their minimum project scope simultaneously. This can lead to unnecessary costs exceeding the overall budget.

Not Choosing The Right Tech Stack

Clients often choose tech stack simply because it’s trending on the market, even though it doesn’t suit the development needs of the product. It can lead to the team working with an incompatible tech stack, leading to delays.

Not Determining The Technical Basis Properly

When project owners determine the technical basis of a product, they have to consider the following.

  • The current state of the business
  • Future of development for the product

But many clients don’t understand the long-term implications and only go for choosing only the best tech stack. But as we all know, the best is not always the answer; it’s about suiting your project goals, reflecting the previous issue we mentioned.

Failure of Timeline Estimation

Clients often cannot estimate the right amount of time it can take to complete the product development process. As a result, they often recruit an offshore team with an impossible deadline which is unrealistic in practice. It can lead to project delays or an imperfect product full of bugs.

Project Management Issues

When taking the help of agile outsourcing, the product owner or the client organization barely has any control over the entire development process.

Most of the time, the provider’s tech stack differs from the client’s tool stack. It can lead to the client being unable to track the entire project as needed.

Software development is linked to other business processes within the enterprise. A lack of clarity between both parties regarding the software development project can put the other departments to a complete halt.

The damages that come from this delay aren’t just monetary either. When the entire operation of an organization is jeopardized, it can lower customer confidence and ruin the face of your company within the industry.

Communication Issues From Language Barriers

The language barrier is one of the biggest issues with software outsourcing, and it’s something that’s part of the trade and not anyone’s fault. People from different regions and parts of the world come together to make a team of professionals and work on a product.

But the language barrier is still there even when the entire team is at its peak performance, and it can cause a few obvious challenges.

Unwanted Delays

Due to the language barrier, the teammates frequently need more time to communicate to convey the right message through communication tools. These small delays add up and affect the timeline of the project.

Inaccurate Information

Miscommunication can often lead to the wrong information being passed to the other team member since a lot can get in translation, making concise communication impossible. It applies even more to technical terminology and can lead to more failures.

Lack of Mutual Understanding

Team meetings can lead to confusion due to language barriers since most team members may not understand the complete context of the discussed materials and future orders. In that case, the meeting may not be as effective as the team leader expects.

Productivity Counting & Time Tracking

When the entire team is working from different geolocations, you cannot just tell everyone to work 9-5 and be done with it. You must ensure that everyone works constant hours over different time zones. That’s where time-tracking software comes in.

If you’re not careful with tracking, it’s very easy to lose sight of the total time spent on a project. You can also lose track of the fact if everyone’s putting their allotted hours in.

Though the vendors can keep track of the team they have provided you with, it can still lead to inconsistencies in the overall team and budget management.

Time Zone Differences

Though it reflects our previous point, this is the most pressing issue you can face during product development when working with an outsourced agile team.

In a distributed team, everyone is from an entirely different time zone. Arranging a meeting where everyone can agree on the same time can be a nightmare. Sometimes, waking your teammate up at 3 am seems to be the only logical choice if you want to meet the whole team together.

Time zone differences, such as customer support, can also make certain tasks more difficult to complete. Due to time differences, a customer might receive support later, reducing customer confidence.

To Wrap It Up

Agile outsourcing doesn’t always lead to a complete team outsourcing failure. But there are many things to be careful about, and failure to do so can only lead to disappointment. Our developers worked for other agencies, and this article is written based on their experience. They learned what the other agencies’ management was doing right & wrong. Their experience guided us to become the best software development outsourcing company.

Are you looking for the right team to partner with? Check out our agile outsourcing services at Impala Intech today, and you can rest assured with your project.


What Is the Biggest Reason for Agile Outsourcing Failure?

The biggest reason for agile outsourcing failure will always be miscommunication or a gap in communication between two parties.

How Can Project Managers Effectively Communicate With Remote Teams During Agile Outsourcing Projects?

The project can leverage different communication channels and collaboration tools to communicate with remote teams regularly during agile outsourcing projects. They can also arrange meetings online with video conferencing tools.

What Is the Impact of Cultural Differences on Agile Outsourcing Success?

Cultural differences can cause communication gaps or language barriers, which can lead to delays and other issues.

How Can Project Managers Mitigate the Risks of Agile Outsourcing Project Failure?

Project managers can ensure constant communication by making it a mandatory process while being transparent on both ends: with the team devs and the clients.

What Are the Consequences of Agile Outsourcing Failure?

Agile outsourcing failure can cause the development process to delay for longer periods, and in worst-case scenarios, it can cause the project to fail.