Making Agile Nearshore Software Development Work: The Definitive Guide
Developing software products offshore has become the norm rather than the exception in the software industry. And what is described as “offshore” is simply a matter of geography: if you leverage developers that are several time zones (or more) away from your home country, it’s called “offshore” but if you have resources in countries that are in the same or similar time zones it’s called “nearshoring.” But regardless of location, the mechanics are all the same!
Offshore development has clear benefits that have driven its popularity, including lower costs, greater access to talent and faster speed to market. However, it also brings a few challenges, including staying flexible and efficient in the development process.
One way to address these issues is utilizing an Agile methodology, which promotes adaptability and ongoing improvement. When paired with nearshore (or offshore!) development, the Agile methodology allows for frequent communication between team members, resulting in a streamlined process and successful project outcomes.
Agile also emphasizes transparency, allowing each member of the remotely-located team to stay informed on project progress and potential roadblocks. Ultimately, using an Agile approach with nearshore/offshore development can ensure a smoother and more effective development process for distributed software development teams.
This guide will break it all down for you: what nearshore software development is, what is an Agile nearshore software development process, and why the two can bring the most value to your startup or high growth company when combined.
List of Content
- What Is Nearshoring and How Is It Different from Offshoring and Onshoring?
- Key Benefits of Nearshoring
- What Is Behind Agile Software Development?
- Agile Nearshore Software Development: Keys to Success
- Best Practices for Combining Agile With Nearshoring for Software Development
- What are the Benefits of Agile Implementation for Nearshoring?
- How Can You Keep Improving Your Agile Software Development?
- How Can Nearshore Agile Development Help Your Startup?
- Why Choose TurnKey as Your Nearshore Agile Development Partner?
What Is Nearshoring and How Is It Different from Offshoring and Onshoring?
As mentioned above, hiring software developers from another country to complete tasks and projects is called offshoring, which is a catchall phrase to mean any developer that is literally “off your shore.” Companies look to offshore developers primarily due to a lower cost structure, a much broader pool of talent and faster recruiting and onboarding times (which then translate into more and better product being delivered in a shorter time period).
Nearshoring is pretty much the same thing as offshoring but the range of locations for hiring offshore software development talent is limited to the neighboring countries with the same or very similar time zone. Both solutions have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it ultimately depends on the startup’s specific needs.
For example, offshoring to distant locations may bring increased language barriers or difficulties with communication. Thus, many times nearshore Agile software development teams can offer better communication and quicker turnaround times since there is more overlap in working hours and therefore more opportunities for collaboration. Ultimately, it’s crucial for companies to carefully consider their options before deciding on offshore or nearshore Agile software development services.
Finally, “onshoring” means keeping product development within the country, which may result in higher production costs and a frustratingly long (sometimes never ending) search for talent, but can also support domestic job growth and reduce supply chain risks.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for a startup’s staffing needs; each option has its own unique benefits and drawbacks that must be carefully considered.
Key Benefits of Nearshoring
Beyond the lower costs and greater access to talent that is true of all offshoring efforts, nearshoring offers unique benefits on top of this. First, a similar time zone means less of a need for schedule juggling and communication challenges. Nearshoring can help start-ups integrate new members more quickly and create a cohesive team dynamic by building relationships from the start. Additionally, closer cultural similarities can also lead to better collaboration and understanding between team members.
Nearshoring can also have a positive impact on company culture and values. By choosing to work with Latin American countries if you are a U.S. company – or by choosing to collaborate with Eastern European countries if you are a Western European company – startups can support and promote diversity in their workforce and global partnerships. Ultimately, nearshoring provides an opportunity for companies to not only find talented tech professionals but also make a conscious effort toward creating an inclusive and socially responsible workplace.
What Is Behind Agile Software Development?
The primary goal of Agile software development is to deliver exactly the software products that customers need at the right time. The old (okay, let’s call it “traditional”!) software development model follows a sequential Waterfall approach where progress is meticulously planned and each phase is completed before moving on to the next. Agile, on the other hand, is a decentralized method where teams work in smaller sprints and prioritize flexibility over strict planning.
Why did Agile become popular in recent years? Many point to the rapid advancements in technology and the increasing presence of digital products in our daily lives. In this fast-paced world, startups need to quickly adapt and respond to changes; Agile allows for quicker iteration and testing, allowing teams to improve their product more efficiently.
Agile also values collaboration and communication within teams, fostering a culture of innovation and problem-solving. So while Agile may seem chaotic at first glance, it ultimately helps startups and high growth companies stay ahead of the game in today’s constantly evolving technological landscape.
According to recent research, after adopting Agile, companies experience an average of 60% growth in revenue and profit.
Agile Nearshore Software Development: Keys to Success
For nearshore Agile software development to be successful, it’s important for all parties involved to have clear communication and establish a collaborative product development culture. This means regular meetings with both remote and onsite team members, setting specific goals and priorities, and creating a sense of trust and accountability among the team. Open communication, a collaborative culture, a well-defined process, and flexibility are key components to making nearshore Agile software development work.
It’s also important to have a well-defined process in place so that there is structure and consistency in the product development workflow. Finally, having software developers whose minds are open to feedback will help ensure smooth roadmap execution.
By taking these steps, nearshore Agile software development teams can be highly effective, synergistic, and able to deliver quality results for your product development.
Best Practices for Combining Agile With Nearshoring for Software Development
There are a number of best practices when it comes to optimizing your Agile nearshore software development efforts, including:
Leverage virtual communication channels
Agile is all about communication and teamwork, and that can be a challenge for remote teams. However, daily meetings via video conference can actually improve communication and coordination in Agile nearshore software development teams. Being able to see each other during these meetings helps build rapport and trust among team members, leading to better collaboration.
Foster toxicity-free feedback
One of the Agile framework’s main focuses is creating a psychologically safe environment, where development team members feel comfortable speaking their opinions and sharing ideas. This promotes creativity, as individuals are more likely to offer unique perspectives without fear of judgment or repercussions. With nearshore developers, it’s important to make sure that every member of the team has a clear understanding of their individual responsibilities and how they fit into the larger scope of the project.
Schedule regular retrospective meetings
Retrospective allows software team members to take stock of their progress, identify areas that need attention, and come up with strategies for future iterations. By continually looking back on and learning from past experiences, teams can continue to improve and adapt to new challenges. In fact, regularly scheduled retrospectives have proven to be one of the most successful ways for Agile teams to increase productivity and drive innovation.
Use and display a virtual organizational board
With both nearshore and in-house teams, it’s crucial to stay organized and on top of tasks. This is where the virtual board can really come in handy, which helps streamline communication and keep everyone on track toward accomplishing common goals.
Since people tend to ingest information visually, creating a board of all tasks and deadlines allows team members to plan their days, prioritize tasks, and monitor the progress, with updates and changes easily made as necessary. Overall, implementing a virtual board can greatly improve the organization and efficiency of a distributed team.
What are the Benefits of Agile Implementation for Nearshoring?
Utilizing Agile with a nearshore team creates a range of key advantages, including:
- Predictability. By implementing sprints that range from two to four weeks, nearshore development teams receive feedback and can make necessary changes as needed. This ensures you get reliable results in a predictable timeframe.
- Adaptability. Staying current and competitive means regularly updating products and adapting to shifting markets. Working with an Agile methodology allows for flexibility and the ability to pivot quickly in response to user demands and market research.
- Focus on Priorities. By defining the most important tasks and focusing on them first, you can ensure that your efforts will have the maximum impact on your software product development. In the long run, getting your priorities straight is key to making Agile project management successful.
- Quality Assurance. Ultimately, feedback on quality is integral to success in the Agile methodology. This approach allows for parallelizing quality assurance and software development to maximize the value of feedback while saving delivery time.
- Personal Engagement. The beauty of nearshoring is that it allows for constant communication and engagement with your team, regardless of location. Individual teams may only be responsible for a small portion of the overall product, making it crucial for them to stay in constant communication with their peers.
- Focus on a High-Quality Product. Agile nearshore software development services allow for more efficient decision-making and problem-solving, resulting in improved code quality and overall product quality.
- Enhanced Control over the Processes. By breaking down a project into smaller chunks and assigning responsibility to individual team members, Agile allows for a more focused approach and better accountability.
- Reduced Risks. Daily check-ins and constant reevaluation of priorities ensure that any problems can be quickly identified and rectified.
- Continuous Improvement. The Agile methods implemented within the nearshore development model create a feedback loop that can lead to more valuable improvements in the product.
How Can You Keep Improving Your Agile Software Development?
Continual learning allows startups to stay up-to-date with Agile, which in turn can lead to more efficient processes and better results in Agile software development. The key to learning is ongoing communication and feedback among team members and end users. Also, regular check-ins and retrospectives allow you to identify any potential issues and areas of growth, as well as brainstorm ways to address them.
How Can Nearshore Agile Development Help Your Startup?
Unlike Waterfall, where tasks are completed in sequential order, Agile focuses on a constant cycle of planning, execution, and adaptation. Based on the Standish Group Report “CHAOS 2020: Beyond Infinity”, Agile projects are more than 2x less likely to fail than Waterfall projects.
The ever-increasing competitiveness in the tech industry forces startups to search for new ways to cut costs and maximize profits, and nearshoring is quickly becoming a popular option. A recent survey by Deloitte found that a vast majority of technology startups are considering hiring software development teams in countries with lower wages in order to save money. The overall offshore market is even expected to grow by $40.16 billion over the next five years.
#2. Flexibility to address emerging challenges
The Agile development approach allows for working closely with customer-facing colleagues who have direct interactions with customers and can provide valuable insight. Gathering this information helps ensure that any new features that are added resonate with the target audience, rather than just being exciting for the development team.
#3. Scalable teams and faster recruitment
By expanding the search for developers to include nearshoring options, the hiring process becomes much easier. Not only does the larger pool of talent increase the likelihood of finding someone with the exact skills and experience needed, but it also opens up new possibilities in terms of diversity and global perspectives.
#4. Details matter: work ethics and culture
The principles of responding to change and valuing individuals and interactions over processes and tools cultivate a productive yet supportive environment for software developers to thrive. While the big picture is important, it’s often the little details that truly make an impact on work ethic and culture.
#5. Maximize your software development efforts
When you combine the advantages of Agile nearshore software development services and continuous product improvement methodology, you create the most value for the company. Together, these strategies ensure that you are constantly maximizing the value proposition for your customers and thus setting yourself apart from the competition in a dynamic marketplace.
Why Choose TurnKey as Your Nearshore Agile Development Partner?
Does your startup need a fully dedicated team of amazing software developers? We have the perfect solution for you!
Here’s what makes TurnKey better than the rest:
- We custom recruit your team from scratch so that you get the best possible talent for your specific needs.
- We only recruit the Top 3% of talent, regardless of which region you choose.
- We build full time, fully dedicated teams that you completely control.
- We have a transparent pricing model so that you always know how much each developer is paid.
- We have a talent management program that results in a 50% better retention rate than the industry average.
- We are headquartered in California so you always have someone local to call at anytime and for any reason.
These bangin’ benefits make TurnKey a perfect one-stop-shop for all your development needs!
The Agile development framework includes four main phases: planning, development, testing, and deployment. In the planning phase, a team brainstorms ideas for a product and sets goals and objectives for the project. During the development phase, the team collaborates to build the actual product or service. The testing phase involves running trials and collecting feedback to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the product or service. Finally, in the deployment phase, the product or service is officially released to customers. This iterative process allows for constant improvement and flexibility in response to changing demands or needs. Overall, Agile development helps software development teams work more efficiently and prioritize customer satisfaction.
Nearshoring means offshoring to neighboring countries. For U.S. startups, hiring software engineers based in Latin America will be 'nearshoring.' For startups based in Western Europe, Eastern European countries like Ukraine and Romania fit this definition. In addition to shared cultural backgrounds and language similarities, nearshore countries often offer the added bonus of being within a relatively short flight distance for face-to-face meetings or on-site collaborations.
Nearshoring is a subset of offshoring. Offshoring is an umbrella phrase that refers to hiring software developers from another country to complete tasks and projects, often due to the lower labor cost and wider pool of talented developers. Nearshoring is offshoring but refers to hiring software specialists from a neighboring country with a similar time zone and cultural background, which can lead to more streamlined communication and collaboration.
The key distinction between Agile and Waterfall lies in the approach to planning and execution. In the Waterfall methodology, the entire project is planned out in advance, and tasks are completed sequentially. Agile focuses on short iterations, with the ability to make adjustments as needed. This allows for more flexibility and faster adaptation to changes in the project. However, Agile also requires more frequent communication and collaboration among software development team members. Ultimately, it's important to choose a methodology based on the specific needs and goals of your startup.