A checklist to assess the agility of outsourcer

Incorporating agility in organizations is a challenging task, even in the case of in-house operations. Achieving agility requires discipline and cultural transformation in the organization. In agile organizations small changes that are brought in will affect the agility. So outsourcing a process will make it even difficult for the organization.

The following are the points to be considered while assess your outsourcer:

  • Communication with the service provider is very essential while outsourcing agile projects. Communication can be through many channels, but the most effective is email and instant messaging. Ensure that the service provider too is following such methods for effective communication. This ensures communication round the clock, even at your homes.

Make sure that the service providers work in shifts that match your country’s time zone. Have a better understanding with the service provider in the matter of time zone. Avoid working on late shifts at both the ends.

  • Ask the service provider whether they are willing to send someone to work onshore. This is increasingly important in cases such as architecture and design works. Also make sure that the employees with the service providers work as an extension of your organization. This makes the employees a part of the organization which helps them to communicate effectively and to better understand the processes and requirements of the client organization.

  • Select a service provider who is really going become a partner and not some one who will deliver according to the agreement alone. Look into the capability of the service provider in building long term relationships with the clients. Ensure face to face meetings happen regularly as it cannot be replaced by video conferencing or teleconferencing. Find out whether the service provider is willing to visit your organization. One of the important outcomes of the outsourcing is the change that the service provider is able to bring in the organization. A positive change will ensure improvement in performance and reduced time to market. Be it a small or big, a service provider who is willing to bring about positive changes in the organizations is a good bet if you are looking to outsource an agile process.

The points discussed so far will help any organization which is planning to outsource agile development to find out a service provider who is agile enough and will contribute positively. The outsourcing organization should have a clear understanding about what they want from the service providers to make the process of outsourcing fruitful.  

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