Agile Nearshore Development: Pros and Cons

Agile nearshore software development services

By definition, the model of Agile nearshore development is two-fold and combines the best of a nearshore development approach and Agile, a common methodology used in software development. Due to the deficit of software developers, many US-based businesses bet on the combination of these approaches to tap into the pools of IT talent located in the countries of the LATAM region. That’s how nearshore Agile development in Latin America rose to its current popularity. In this post, we review how Agile nearshore development can benefit your company as well. 

Nearshore Agile development: Pros of Agile 

Agile is a modern methodology used in software development, which allows teams to build software gradually via short-time development cycles, including such key stages as development, testing, and analyzing the results. 

Agile excels at dealing with the uncertainty associated with the ever-changing market. When it comes to nearshore units, it helps to tame the chaos that can potentially appear when two distributed units work together. 

The Agile approach facilitates effective management, communication, efficiency, transparency, and control over the project’s progress. All of these aspects play a great role when it comes to creating a seamless collaborative environment for Agile nearshore software development. Below, we go over the benefits of Agile and why it’s adopted by many tech units. 

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Focus on a high-quality product. The core aspect of Agile is flexibility, which allows you to change the project’s priorities instantaneously. Thanks to this, any changes needed for the sake of better quality within the development process can be fulfilled without impeding the overall workflow. Moreover, Agile nearshore development prioritizes testing the product as a part of the project execution phase, which enhances the quality of the final product.

Enhanced control over the processes. Thanks to transparency, ongoing communication, integrated feedback, and quality control, Agile lets stakeholders and project managers retain full control over the software development process, which is critical for remote teams. When going with Agile nearshore development, you can have regular progress reports using a wide range of tools and methods. 

Reduced risks. Agile ensures a more safe landing due to increased risk prediction and failure prevention methods. The approach offers excellent ways to identify and mitigate mishaps and ensure a more predictable outcome. For example, you can rely on backlogs (a document of features to be delivered) to boost visibility, estimate workload, and plan your future targets.

Continuous improvement. The centerpiece of the Agile approach is continuous improvement. Agile allows teams to develop software gradually, within a continuous process where each version of the product is tested to ensure it’s better than the previous one, which lends itself to better product quality. 

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More relevant metrics. When it comes to projects with unpredictable outcomes, there are a lot of unknowns. When software development milestones are in flux, so are the priorities and KPIs you set for the teams. With nearshore Agile development, it’s easy to cover all essential metrics within the software development process and make effective data-driven decisions. The methodology lets you keep track of the progress and the team’s performance in an efficient way for each team member using such features as lead time, cycle time, work in progress, flow efficiency, throughput, and more. 

Agile nearshore software development: Pros of nearshoring

Nearshoring is an approach to the formation of a tech team in a neighboring country. Provided by the vendor of Agile nearshore software development services, the team will work on your project together with your in-house squad while adopting the best practices of the Agile methodology. Here are the key benefits of nearshore units:

Lower rates. While onshore teams are out of the price range for many US businesses, nearshore Agile development in South America lets companies eliminate the costs for recruitment, onboarding, administrating, and retention of a team of developers. Working with an Agile nearshore software development unit guarantees lower software development costs, so you can further invest that money into growing your business. 

Solid expertise. It’s a fact that the world, and the US in particular, suffers from a lack of tech talent, especially when it comes to the latest technologies, for example, AI/ML, Blockchain, IoT, Cloud, Computer vision, etc. If you’re hard-pressed to add specialists of this caliber, you can bring in the needed talent from LATAM countries fast. A reliable company, for example, nCube, will provide you with a team for nearshore Agile development in Argentina, Brazil, or Colombia.

Geographic proximity | Time zone. Compared to offshore teams, nearshore units can work on the same schedule as your local staff. There’s minimal or no time difference between US cities and LATAM. This significantly simplifies communication between your local and nearshore units and puts your teams in a close collaborative Agile nearshore development environment. 

READ ALSO: Your Guide to Offshore vs. Nearshore Product Development Comparison 

Nearshore Agile software development: Cons

Cutting through potential cultural differences. This is a crucial function of a manager in nearshore Agile software development. In a diverse workplace, clashes between cultures are inevitable, which can result in misunderstandings or misinterpretations among team members. In LATAM, managers are expected to encourage cultural awareness when it comes to the perception of time, communication styles, social structure, work-life balance, and more. 

Overcoming a language barrier. English proficiency is unevenly distributed among LATAM countries. Some countries like Chile and Brazil have moderate to high English levels among the population. Colombia and Mexico stay rather low on the scale of English proficiency. In this context, the role of the nearshoring provider becomes pivotal in selecting software engineers with adequate English skills. We meticulously evaluate candidates’ language skills during the recruitment phase, aiming to help you secure a team with strong English language capabilities. 

It can be challenging for hardware and IoT projects. For US companies engaged in these fields, Agile nearshore development isn’t always the best bet. Whereas teams can work on software projects in a remote setting, hardware and IoT development often require working with physical prototypes and tangible devices. In such cases, US companies may find it inconvenient to build nearshore teams in LATAM due to the necessity of shipping prototypes across borders. This process is often associated with logistical complexities and increased costs, which contradict with the principles of rapid iteration and development cycle – typical of Agile methodologies. 

A need for impeccable project management. This one is the most significant cons of Agile nearshore software development and the reason why company leaders feel apprehensive about moving forward with nearshoring. With tech teams located in different geographic regions, there are two major tasks (and challenges) for the tech leaders – effective task assignment and quality control. It requires them to be at their best when it comes to coordinating activities, setting clear objectives, and allocating tasks to the right team members. Also, leading nearshore squads requires streamlining communication channels, constant progress monitoring, and maintaining consistent quality standards. These duties often rest on the tech leader’s shoulders. As a provider, we aim to alleviate this burden to the greatest extent possible, ensuring a streamlined communication process for all stakeholders involved.

How Agile software development nearshore can boost your business

The benefits of an Agile methodology and a nearshore development model tend to overlap in many cases. Batched together in one project, these approaches can increase the efficiency of your tech units, add to the transparency of the distributed engineering process, and help you to create a quality product within an optimized budget. Here’s a rundown of the key benefits that come with Agile software development nearshore:

A hands-on approach. Many companies choose the model of Agile nearshore development because it allows them to be personally involved in every aspect – from team creation to guiding a software development process. The benefit of this approach is that it allows firms to adjust the workflow and implement changes instantaneously – unlike other software development models. Also, the client doesn’t hand the keys to the castle to the provider when they work with nearshore units. In nearshore Agile development, they have the ability to manage the process as they see fit – unlike the outsourcing model. 

Budget optimization. Agile nearshore development is typically associated with reducing software development costs, as it allows businesses to source talent from more affordable locations. With this methodology in place, you can combine the benefit of lower developer rates with the increased efficiency of Agile methodology where making the changes costs nothing, which significantly reduces your IT budget. 

Easy scale-up. The backbone of Agile’s philosophy is flexibility. With Nearshore agile development in place, you can make the most of this benefit, as providers of Agile nearshore software development services typically let you expand or shrink your team on short notice. Nearshoring also enables you to add the needed talent fast, without having to grapple with the formalities associated with increasing or disbanding your team. 

READ ALSO: How Software Team Augmentation Helps Achieve Sustainable Results

Autonomy. Some firms prefer to build a nearshore unit to execute a certain type of task, for example, cloud migration or Quality Assurance. Agile nearshore development lets you build self-managing units with increased autonomy that will yet act as an integral cog in your software development project. Following Agile’s best practices, your nearshore unit will share the responsibility for the whole project thanks to the sense of belonging to the bigger unit promoted by the methodology. Providers of nearshore Agile software development can help you to create a unit just like that, guiding you in establishing the right kind of communication and collaboration processes. 

Reduced staff attrition. Agile nearshore development helps firms to cope with the biggest problem of IT staffing – tech talent attrition. The methodology lets developers feel that their ideas are valued and appreciated, which turns them into active participants in the software development process. Working in such an environment gives developers fewer reasons to consider other opportunities. 

Fast team creation. Building an Agile nearshore development unit is possible at record speed since it gives you access to vast pools of tech talent. With that in mind, businesses located in the US tend to seek partners in LATAM where they can enjoy a repository of over 1M developers with experience in Agile nearshore development. The team formation process can take less than a month if you work with a vendor who has a solid network of developers, for example, nCube.

READ ALSO: Five Software Development Success Stories by nCube

What to keep in mind when hiring a provider of Agile nearshore development?

When you plan to go for Agile nearshore outsourcing, it’s best to consider the following aspects in advance.

Determine the scope of the project. Before you dive into nearshore Agile outsourcing, it’s best to define your project scope and goals. By doing so, you will set up the venture to success – with a clearly articulated strategy it will be easier for your nearshore Agile software development partner to understand your requirements and expectations, which enables them to provide the right kind of Agile nearshore team. 

Ensure a smooth collaboration process. All team members need to be in perfect sync when it comes to the SDLC and communication. This is especially true for nearshore Agile software development teams where close-knit collaboration between the client and the team is essential. Your nearshore developers need to be “in the thick of things” when it comes to communication with your local team. Thus, it’s crucial to ensure transparent communication channels from the beginning.

Maintain agility throughout the project. A nearshore Agile approach assumes high levels of flexibility on the part of the client and the team. So, it’s essential for all to stick with an Agile mindset and make sure you’re prepared for adjustments and adaptations throughout the SDLC. 

Build trust. The process of Agile nearshore software development requires a great deal of trust, given that the teams are separated from each other. As such, it’s crucial to regularly share project updates, address concerns, and ensure common understanding. Regular updates, reports on the progress, and team-building activities (even remote ones) will help nearshore Agile teams stay on the same page. 

Overall, Agile software development nearshore is a complex endeavor, and choosing a suitable partner is key. As a company that provides nearshore Agile teams to companies worldwide, let us share more detail about how we work,

Agile nearshore software development services | nCube

At nCube, we provide Agile nearshore software development services for our clients from the US by sourcing tech talent based in LATAM. We know the ins and outs of the region’s labor market and spare you the task of seeking skilled team members to add to your squad. 

We have 15+ years of experience building tech teams who work in a nearshore Agile software development environment. We work with companies stemming from many business verticals, including such industry leaders as AstraZeneca, Green Peace, doTerra, and Dentsply Sirona, to name a few. When it comes to creating tech teams, we cover all fields, from generic programming languages (Java, Python, PHP, JavaScript, etc) to in-demand technologies, such as ML/AI, IoT, Big Data, Cloud, Blockchain, etc. 

As a vendor of Agile nearshore software development services, we can help you to build more than just a nearshore team – it can be an offshoot of your company with engineers fully integrated into your workflows while adopting your company’s best practices when it comes to collaboration and communication. 

If you’re a proponent of the Agile approach (or any other methodology), contact us to learn about the possibilities of building your own Agile nearshore development squad. 

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