“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” – Albert Einstein
Much has been and continues to be spoken about the positive and negative impacts of globalisation on the world’s business and financial markets. As the English language has been adopted as the world’s primary business language, so has the US Dollar ($) accepted as one of the world’s major trading currencies.
By way of an explanation, let’s assume that I live in the USA, and I would like a mobile business app developed. Before the rise of globalism, I would have to either employ software developers to develop my app for me, or I would have to contract the work out to a national, or even local, software development house.
In the last 15 years or so, Information Technology (IT) companies have sprung up all over the globe. The increase in high-speed Internet connections has been a primary driver of IT globalisation. Companies can now communicate with each other easily and efficiently. Therefore, if we go back to our example, I can now contract an offshore software development company from any country in the world to develop my mobile app.
Now that we have discussed the possibility of connecting with an offshore company to develop a mobile business app, let’s look at the concept of Agile, and how it helps software houses efficiently develop customised software.
Agile project management
“Agile project management describes a set of principles for software development under which requirements and solutions evolve through the collaborative effort of self-organizing cross-functional teams.”
In other words, the Agile method of software development is perfect for offshore software development teams. It breaks the software development process up into small increments or iterations. Agile methods essential equate to building the software or app in small steps.
The advantages of designing and developing the app in small steps are that the developers and testers are sure that a particular section works before moving onto the next section. It minimises the amount of time that is spent up-front in planning and designing an application, only to discover that the design is not satisfactory. Finally, a working product is demonstrated to all stakeholders at the end of every iteration.
Distributed teams and Agile
Agile Methodologies recommend that a customer representative or product owner should be present in every development team. If we go back to our original example, a product owner is someone who represents my business interests. This to make sure that the development stays on track regarding the operational requirements. Because of the distributed nature of global software development teams, the product owner does not need to be in the same country as the rest of the team. What is more important is that the whole team collaborates closely with each other.
From the above discussion, we can see that the Agile methodologies work very well for an offshore mobile software development company. The small development iterations, as well as the cross-functional team that works closely together will develop a successful business app based on the customer’s unique requirements.