Agile methodologies have become a favoured approach in software development due to their flexibility, faster delivery, and improved collaboration. Statistics also favour using agile methodologies. According to Zippa, agile projects have a 64% success rate, whereas initiatives using the competitive waterfall technique have a 49% success rate. Companies that have implemented Agile have seen an average 60% increase in revenue and profit. Agile initiatives fail at a rate of 9%, compared to 29% for waterfall projects. Defect density is greatly decreased when teams use Full Scrum to develop products. Those that did not estimate had more than 20 faults, but those who employed Full Scrum had fewer than ten.
Why do projects still fail when using agile methodologies?
Due to a lack of familiarity with Agile methodology, 44% of Agile initiatives fail. Other prominent causes for failure include a conflict between business culture and Agile ideals (42%), a lack of management (38%), and external pressure to maintain traditional traditions like a waterfall (37%). And this may come at a high price, as the US government has lost a whopping $32 billion due to botched IT initiatives alone. However, when engaging a software contractor to develop software for your company, implementing agile can present unique challenges. In this article, we’ll discuss the main challenges companies face when working with software contractors employing agile methodology, along with strategies to overcome them. All statistics are from Zippa.
Ensuring Alignment with Company Culture and Processes
Ensuring that their agile approach aligns with your company’s culture, decision-making processes, and resources is essential when working with a software contractor. A misalignment may hinder the successful implementation of agile methodology and affect the project’s outcome.
- Communicate your company’s values, goals, and expectations to the contractor.
- Establish a contract outlining the roles and responsibilities of each party.
- Engage in ongoing dialogue to address potential misalignments and ensure smooth collaboration.
Embracing the Agile Mindset and Change
Adopting agile methodology requires a willingness to embrace change and let go of traditional project management methods. Resistance to change can stem from a lack of understanding, fear of losing control, or attachment to previous processes.
- Educate your team on the principles and advantages of agile methodology.
- Review case studies and success stories from similar industries.
- Seek guidance and coaching from the software contractor to facilitate a smoother transition to agile practices.
Fostering Effective Collaboration and Communication
Effective collaboration and communication are critical for agile projects’ success. Establishing a seamless flow of information and maintaining a solid working relationship can be challenging when working with software contractors.
- Utilize collaboration tools and platforms to ensure everyone stays updated on project progress.
- Schedule regular meetings, reviews, and feedback sessions with the contractor’s team.
- Encourage a culture of openness and transparency to promote active participation and input from all stakeholders.
Addressing Skill Gaps and Training
Your team may need more expertise to implement agile practices effectively or require additional training to adapt to the agile mindset. Identifying and addressing skill gaps is crucial to the project’s success.
- Assess your team’s skills and capabilities early in the project.
- Collaborate with the software contractor to develop a tailored training program addressing any identified gaps.
- Encourage continuous learning and improvement throughout the project.
Managing Contractual and Legal Issues
Traditional contracts may need to accommodate the flexible and iterative nature of agile projects. This can create confusion around deliverables, timelines, and payment structures, leading to potential disputes and dissatisfaction.
- Draft contracts that support the dynamic nature of agile projects, including provisions for scope changes, iterative delivery, and flexible payment schedules.
- Define clear performance metrics and success criteria to minimize ambiguity.
- Consult with legal experts to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
Conclusion on how to succeed in outsourcing when using agile methodologies
While working with software contractors employing agile methodology can present challenges, it also offers an opportunity to enhance the value delivered to your company. By proactively addressing these challenges and implementing effective strategies, you can successfully navigate the complexities of agile projects and reap the benefits of this powerful approach.
Gislen Software mainly use agile methodologies! Please get in touch with us to discuss how we can help you outsource your development and succeed!