Scrum Offshore DevelopmentScrum is an integral part of the Agile method. It is a framework for managing the productivity of software developers who usually collaborate in teams. As a rule, they consist of 3 — 9 developers who break their tasks into several cadences which can be completed within fixed duration cycles. These cycles are called “sprints” and help programmers to track their progress and re-schedule the assignments during 15-minute stand-up meetings which take place every day. Team members interact and cooperate a lot to bring workable software every single sprint. Early proponents of Scrum were inspired by empirical inspect and adapt feedback loops to overcome risk and complexity. Scrum places emphasis on decision making based on the real-world results, not on speculation. It becomes possible due to the sprints that usually last from 1 to 2 weeks. The product is always delivered in a ready to use form. It is properly integrated and tested at the end of each cycle. Team members meet stakeholders after every sprint to examine a potentially shippable product and plan the next set of actions. This way, Scrum removes unnecessary unpredictability due to continuous discovery and fixing. As for the roles and responsibilities, they are strictly predetermined by Scrum and never tend to change. Those are Team, Product Owner, and Scrum Master. When a few Scrum teams are working to deliver one product, they should generally refer to one Product Owner. The latter is capable of making major business decisions. A team should also resort to one Product Backlog with client-oriented requirements. For example, offshore .NET developers are supposed to compete with each other to become a feature team. The latter will have the right to build complete slice of product that may be delivered to a customer. One of the biggest challenges Scrum’s feature teams might encounter is learning self-organization principles in order to successfully interact with other teams. This requires a higher level of responsibility, as well as good management skills. In fact, traditional co-ordination roles in Scrum, such as PMO and Project Manager, become of lower importance. The role of Architect is also eliminated — collaborative teams make technical decisions instead.
How To Manage Software Development TeamTo effectively implement Scrum software development approach and manage the teams in an efficient manner, it is crucial to deal with the typical offshore challenges. We listed the most common challenges and useful tips to help business owners avoid miscommunication with their colleagues from overseas. Tip #1. Conduct Regular Short Status Meetings Communicating with your remote employees is very important, because it helps them to coordinate with other teams more effectively. Conduct short status meetings for the entire team on a regular basis in accordance with Agile methods. Those may be stand-up meetings in XP, Scrums in Scrum, etc. Challenge: time zone difference. Time differences are really a pain in the neck, when it comes to scheduling a stand-up meeting. For instance, Americans often cooperate with Indian outsourcers, but almost any time is awkward for both parties. However, Ukraine is more convenient for the U.S. employers, as there is a 6-hour difference between Kyiv and New York, while India and the USA are 9,5 hours apart. Try to hold stand-ups no less than twice a week with your offshore developers.
Recipe for Successful Cross-Border Cooperation (the USA and Ukraine)When Americans hire Ukrainian experts to provide quality IT services for them, they often prefer Agile approach. US teams tend to use an informal version of Scrum, while Ukrainian teams usually have various levels of exposure to it. Scrum offshore development is highly popular in these two countries, as it works best for them. Ukrainian programmers also use tools, such as Confluence and JIRA, as well as other Atlassian products, to establish a seamless working process in an Agile fashion. It is not only Agile approach which makes American and Ukrainian developers collaborate in an efficient manner. It is also a close and compatible mindset which also contributes to creating successful teams. As a rule, team members from these countries get along very well and find a common language. It helps them to deal with numerous challenges of the IT world without starting conflicts. Probably, the best approach to building and managing your offshore software developers is treating them as equal partners. Make the members of your offshore team feel like an integral part of your US-based development business. It is especially important for Ukrainians, who tend to reveal their creativity and provide better solutions at work. This will happen, only if they feel that their opinion is taken into consideration, and that the products they deliver are appreciated by the customer. In this case, you will receive only positive feedback from your US-based managers and tech leads who will praise the performance of the team from Ukraine.
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