By: Isla Ann Wright, Psychologist, traveler, teacher
More and more IT companies are opting for nearshoring solutions as the best logistics options for their businesses. With nearshoring come major communication requirements and it is important to have the right tools to tackle all the special, temporal and organizational challenges.
Agile methods have proven to be one of the best solutions when it comes to project communication and management. They shorten the production time, improve quality levels and enhance flexibility in ongoing projects. There are many benefits that come from applying agile development in nearshoring. This article includes the ones that are most relevant for successful IT project management.
One of the most widely used agile methods is Scrum. This method puts the emphasis on empirical feedback and team self-management. It has just three roles, product owner, team and scrum master who simultaneously handles two or three teams. These three Scrum roles share the responsibilities of a traditional project manager.
The Scrum method includes five meetings, backlog refinement, sprint planning, a 15-minute daily Scrum, sprint review and sprint retrospective. This way all obstacles that might appear during project realization are promptly caught and fixed so that the whole process can run more smoothly.
One of the major benefits of using Scrum is the communication that exists among all three parties involved. The focus is on building open and more personal relationships, thus facilitating the transfer of information, plans and tasks.
Agile methods break the project down into manageable units allowing the project team to focus on high-quality development, testing, and collaboration. The production of frequent builds along with testing and reviews during each iteration improves the overall quality by enabling much quicker finding and fixing of defects and early identification of expectation mismatches.
One of the main principles of agile development is the integration of testing throughout the lifecycle. This enables regular working product inspection during the development process, allowing the product owner to make any necessary adjustments and providing the product team with early insight into any quality issues.
Better risk management
There are often a lot of justifiable reasons when a development project misses its release target dates. From the fact that the team didn’t understand the level of difficulty of the usage of new technology to the unclear requirements and changing of mind by the customer near the completion of the project. However, businesses still require the products to meet shipping deadlines in order for the remaining business plans to stay on schedule.
The Agile method has several ways in which it helps IT projects achieve their release predictability. Firstly, it prioritizes high-risk aspects of development thus enabling risk reduction in the early stages. Secondly, Agile offers parallel risk assessment directed towards risk areas where multiple solutions are possible and the project team cannot agree on just one. In that case multi-set development comes into play, with it the need to have multiple teams working parallel on solving the same problem using different solutions.
In regular conditions most teams would not consider this approach due to possible time and cost requirements, but with Agile method this is double without the increased costs, so you are able to continue parallel development of alternatives thus increasing the overall chances of making the best key decisions.
Apart from the benefits already listed in this article, Agile methods, especially in nearshoring, are known for increasing the revenue and speed-to market. Also it allows better cost control and ensures a higher level of customer satisfaction. 54% of companies that are currently using the Agile method have reported enhanced collaboration between teams that don’t usually work together, while 52% have reported an increased software quality within the organizations.