With every breath, there is one application launching in the app store. The scenario of launching the application is showing how the app development industry is flourishing. With every app launching in the store, the harder and more fierce competition is becoming along with keeping up with agile team structure.
To minimize the cost and maximize the quality, many businesses around the globe are taking the support of Outsourcing their app development project. Apart from that, there are multiple benefits one can get by outsourcing app development like technological skill set, and great results in a cost-efficient manner.
Among numerous advantages, we have noticed and found out that many of the clients often find it challenging to go ahead with outsourcing their app development beyond their geographical boundaries and other reasons like time zone difference, cultural understanding, language barriers, etc. We understand that “How to be Agile with Distributed Teams” is the most talked about topic of the time.
Here in this article, you will see how we at Appenturez works with our offshore clients to provide them what they ask for along with calming their other concerns and doubts all by using a distributed development cycle.
Before indulging in the long list of things and practices we follow, let us gain some quick understanding of what is distributed agile team means.
A Quick Overview of the Meaning of Distributed Agile Team
Before moving forward, it is essential to understand “what is an agile team”. A distributed team refers to the 2 or more teams spread across two or more geographical locations. Here, the team lacks the physical space but they do maintain all their work by relying on digital technologies in order to bring in the final product.
What is the Need for Having a Distributed Agile Team?
There are many reasons that made it necessary to look for a distributed agile team. A few among them are-
- Unavailability of experienced and skilled mobile app developers.
- For market research before investing,
- For getting better service in a cost-effective manner,
- For getting advanced technological service from experienced developers.
These are the major benefits of having agile distributed team that makes Appventurez work seamlessly.
What it is meant by the distributed agile team and the need to have one, let us check out how we at Appventurez carry forward our work while showing you the typical distributed structure look.
Our Approach Towards Distributed Agile Development
Most of the times, we get project requirements from clients living far from our zone, in such a situation, we never make connectivity, time gap, the distance an excuse for delivering what promised. Here, we dedicatedly focus on planning and working with Agile in a Distributed Team Environment to meet the end result on time while making changes if required from the client side that too in real-time.
We never use to make fall and fake promises regarding the project and always ensure timely delivery of the project while keeping communication our top priority.
Distributed Agile approach becomes a need when you need a skilled person for your job or working with a team sitting in another corner of the world.
If you are still not convinced why we actually believe in Distributed Agile Development approach, let us give you a straight answer in a few words-
Advantages of Agile Distributed Teams
- By appointing global human resources, the overall skill set of the teams automatically increases.
- Does not require more office space to accommodate additional team members and other associated work items and facility.
- Increased feedback due to the iterative nature of Agile.
- Reduced expenses on travel.
- Here we never bring the seed of discrimination that comes between our work and ideology be it against race, caste, culture, gender or disability. A disabled person with talent is also welcome in our project.
- Flexible working arrangements foster an increased commitment to the company.
- Increased cultural diversity.
Now is the Time to Look at the Distributed Agile Development Method We Use for Our Mobile App Development Projects.
Once done with the meeting and introducing all the software development team structure, team members and collaborated with project management software, the actual work begins then.
We strongly believe and follow scrum and methodology, which means having a standup meeting of 15- 20 minutes where each team member shares the status of their tasks along with informing about the next task to be taken for that particular day.
But, in a situation where team members are far away from the location or sitting on some other corner of the world, it becomes impossible to follow our traditional process. In such a case, we follow certain tips for Successful Agile Distributed Teams to ensure that projects run smoothly.
Not to make such a situation an excuse, we simply hold video calls for the decided time that fits in everyone’s comfort. By using screen sharing and opting for tools like Jira or Trello, our Agile Scrum Master runs through the virtual sprint backlog enabling each team member to update their project status report.
Another approach called Scrum of Scrums which we follow is all about appointing one scrum master. In this process, every individual teamwork gets a separate scrum team with a scrum master and product owner. Apart from focusing on the type of team structure, we make sure to follow up the process as well.
Here at this process, all the members are required to provide their answers to the questions like-
- About the work, the team has completed since the last Scrum of Scrums.
- About the strategies and planning, the team is planning to execute before the next scrum meeting
- About the hindrance, the team is facing.
- What can be done next to avoid hindrance or cut the same.
This methodology ensures that all the team members working on the project get the chance to meet each other on a daily basis, something that keeps misunderstanding at bay. The practice ensures open, clear and transparent communication between all the members as everyone shares their own status report. The practice is somewhat similar to the typical Agile methodology including project management team structure.
The mile distance between our team and our clients has brought us new learnings that can be used to enhance the overall work experience. We believe that good things should be shared with everything, thus here is a glimpse of what we have learned from the time, and distance gap.
Things We Learned During Our Distributed Agile Development Process
1. Distributed Agile Team is not about the Process but Building Culture
No matter how skilled and experienced your team is, if they are not able to work together, there is no use. If there is no sense of ownership and responsibility about the allotted task or the knowledge of how close they all are towards the ultimate goal, there will always be loopholes.
We learned that it is not a process but the culture, the culture of following daily practices in a subtle and acceptable way. We follow up the recommended size of an agile team system to ensure that work can be completed smoothly.
2. SMART is the New Definition
A project that involves different team members settled in different countries, in such instances, it becomes a priority to focus on the theory of SMART– Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Framed.
3. Underestimating the Power of Online Tools
When working with Distributed Agile Team, we realized that no matter how costly the online tools are, they are a necessity and cannot be neglected at any cost. The tools should provide real-time information with no lags and buffering.
4. Appreciation is Must
Occasionally appreciating the team is important, just like nagging them for the best result. By appreciating our team for all their hard work and dedication they are putting towards the ultimate goal, we realized that giving them good words is way more workable. Hence, it is vital to know that one of the major factors to focus on the agile team structure is to appreciate the members for their work.
5. Right Team Lead
In a distributed Agile team, there is nothing more dangerous than choosing the wrong team lead. Working in a project is demanding and choosing the wrong lead can divert the overall flow of the project in another direction- Failure. They will always be filled with an excuse or playing the blame game instead of doing their intended task.
By working with the Agile team, we learned that finding the right and worthy team lead is a need and should be taken seriously.
There are more things we learned when we first made our Distributed Agile Team and still following the learning drawn at that point in time. Our team is growing, so does we. From managing the software development team structure to working on projects, we got it covered.
Meanwhile, it is also a fact that we also face a few challenges and never let them hamper even the single aspect of our project.
Let’s have a look at those difficulties which we all together solved.
Challenges We Solved Effectively
There are a number of challenges that are faced during mobile app development and mixing agile to it can be a bit frustrating. There can be instances that can be challenging even for agile methodology. Let us give you hang challenges that one might go through with agile that are solved by us effectively and efficiently.
1. Cultural Difference
As shown above, we have marked the difference in culture as an advantage. We understand that the Distributed Agile team is not only about different people living in different countries working but also about the amalgamation of different cultures. Before portraying cultural differences as an excuse, we work closely with other teams to get accustomed to their lines and contexts.
2. The Difference in the Time zone
Distributed Agile Team itself shows the diversification of team members and the difference in the time zone is the most common occurrence. For simplifying the task of curbing time zone differences, we always fix a time as per the availability of all the team members. We understand that working with Agile in a Distributed Team Environment can be beneficial for the business and work, but it requires to ensure that project is timely managed.
3. Blurry Goal
The difference in time zone, cultural difference, strategies, working structures, and policies can pose a hindrance between the team and the ultimate goal of the project- a complete fully functional mobile application. To cure this situation, a meeting, a reminder scrum becomes the ultimate tool, appreciation remains there by-default.
4. Ownership Code
As there is no ownership code allocated to a particular person, the obviousness of blaming other people when things get wrong is a risky affair. To solve such issues, what we do here is we apply a version control system for keeping track of who is working on code, when and the ultimate effect of it. By doing this, the picture becomes clear and transparent.
This is how we at Appventurez work with our Distributed Agile Team in order to deliver nothing but the test. If you wish to discuss something more with our app champions, connect with us today.
Co-Founder & Managing Director of AppVenturez Mobitech. An entrepreneur who is tech-savvy and aims to build the largest software business through technological innovation, keen business strategist and a passionate technocrat. He firmly believes in learning and earning by planning and performing.
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