Agile Software Development

Agile software development has been gaining considerable acceptance over the years. While this set of methodologies for software development was introduced about 15 years ago, today we are seeing its broad acceptance and more and more software companies complying with the engineering best practices it defines.

The agile phenomenon has occurred because this iterative and incremental process not only allows for the rapid delivery of working version of the software, but also identifies the business value more precisely to align development with customer needs and the business goals of the company.

AssureSoft has gained extensive experience with agile development methodologies through the years on many successful projects. Our engineering team closely follows the principles stated in the Agile Manifesto and applies the most recognized agile methodologies of the industry such as MSF Agile and Scrum. AssureSoft stands out from the rest by adding true value to agile projects in the following key areas: communication, proactivity, management and continuous integration.

Communication

Same Time Zone

Agile methods are a collaborative process where effective, real-time communication is critical. One of the key NearShore benefits that give us the unique ability to provide agile software development services is that our engineering team works during the same hours as North American companies, working side-by-side with our customers eliminates any possible gaps in the development process and matches up with the collaborative nature of agile. Traditional offshore countries such as India or China require special shifts to accommodate the time zone difference in order to overcome the real-time communication barrier to a successful agile development project. In the end though, having people working from about 7:00 pm to 5:00 am on a daily basis is problematic to say the least. The isolation results in a very high turnover rate, as well as low performance and quality. Thus, offshore countries are no longer attractive for long term agile development relationships.

Working during the same hours as our clients plays a larger role in agile projects since documentation is very light. The only way to compensated for this is with team work and great communication, by constantly exchanging ideas, asking questions, discussing solutions, uncovering ambiguities, etc. AssureSoft’s agile team has found that using instant messaging (IM) tools for constant and real-time communication is an effective method of conveying information that gives your team the feeling of working side by side in the same building. Video conference, group chats, and pair-to-pair chats are also extremely effective ways to exchange valuable information among team members in real time. Additionally, with our state of the art infrastructure we provide our teams direct US and Canada phone lines where clients can call at any time to troubleshoot, pass thoughts, or simply keep the team synchronized. All of these tools, complemented with email to exchange more concrete and formal information, represent real aids for professional agile software development and collaborative agile teams.

Proactivity

The proactivity that an Agile project requires from its team members is fundamental and they need to contribute it at the highest possible level in order to deliver products with the maximum value. All individuals must be proactive, disciplined, self organized and excellent team players with a clear quality vision, and good judgment to effectively understand the customer’s needs and how things should really work.

Cultural Affinity

Nothing can be more frustrating than having to repeat things multiple times before getting a "Yes, I understand" that inspires true confidence. The Latin American culture not only resembles many aspects of US culture but is also characterized and recognized by it's notable level of humility and passion for what they do. This makes people more open to listen, learn, and use their passion to motivate the pursuit of excellence - all qualities that instill a culture of proactivity, a desire to stay one step ahead of our clients and not wait for them to tell us what to do. It helps AssureSoft’s engineering team to be more aligned with our client’s thoughts, vision, and sense of urgency to build solutions with high value that exceed client expectations.

Project Management

Although our engineering team is self managed, we layer separate project management support on top of that, especially when our clients need to closely track the activities and project costs. AssureSoft excels with it's utilization of procedures and automated tools that aid the achievement of the project’s goals, In addition, our project managers proactively perform risk management and mitigation by creating plans early in the process.