2019.04.09

4+1 reasons for hiring an agile, transparent team for application development

5 min read time

Hiring a team for app development is always a hard choice to make. Sometimes it feels like bungee jumping over a river: you give your stock, idea and sensitive data to the hands of almost unknown people. You can only hope that they understand you, will deliver you a working product and keep your image and reputation with respect. Even though, it may seem risky at first sight, there are solutions which may make this jump a bit more relaxing.

Especially when the future of the business depends on the success off the application, it may seem very tempting to hire in-house developer staff or entrust one of the giant dinosaurs of the developer companies. When the risks are high, it is easy to demand for full control over the processes, and one tends to seek for guarantees, such as being an old and strong brand in the market.

These old-school solutions appear to be the securest at first sight, however, today’s software market is so dynamic, that it craves for better and even more flexible approaches. Fortunately, the growing demand for unique applications has carved new paths for more sustainable, cost-saving and quicker processes.

Increasing transparency reduces the risk of producing work of poor quality and low value.


Agile – beyond an adjective

In the good old times software development was a heavy weight process with endless rounds of developing and testing. Even the smallest units of the job were precisely documented, not only because this was a way to gain customer trust, but also because experts worked in relative isolation and had to be able to follow each other’s contributions.

The demand for software, however, has grown. This required quicker ways of development, and therefore a completely new approach. Long amend rounds and months of testing and revisiting codes are hardly viable when hundreds of applications compete on the market.

This was the area where Agile software development was born. Traditional developer teams were changed to more cooperative and more cross-functional ones. The work was divided into small, functional units, so test and development worked parallel. The success did not mean the delivery of a robust, carefully documented software, but a reliably working, easy-to-amend solution. 

The Agile method has a plenty of practical development frameworks such as “Scrum” or “Kanban”, so a team may not define itself simply as Agile, but their philosophy is quite similar. They want to ensure a quick delivery, a good level of accommodating changes and a thrive to provide a working and functional software at the end. 

Sounds promising? Then let’s see why exactly it is.

1. Transparency – trust without stress

For decades, documentation was the key of transparency. Software came with handbook-sized descriptions, all the steps were precisely written down, and often the tiniest steps were closely micro-managed. 

Agile, however, is based on cooperation and creativity. Instead of writing everything down, the team works closely together, therefor, each member has at least a high-level overview of all the sub-processes. There is always a person who is able to see the status of every tasks, so if one asks about how the project works, it will be very easy to provide a practical and meaningful update.

In this type of method, working together with the clients and the stakeholders is a key. They are not seen as only a special group of the end-users, but as the active agents of the development process. An Agile team will not only inform the clients about the project, but will communicate proactively. 

As the job is divided into small, functional sub-tasks, there are a plenty of little things which can be tested before the whole application is launched. It is easy for the stakeholders to examine every little steps and make corrections if needed. This is not a pain on the team’s back, but a natural and important part of the process.

2. It is quick

Agile teams are set up to accommodate constantly changing requirements. However, it does not necessarily mean constantly changing deadlines. As the jobs are divided into sub-tasks, there is almost always something that can be done – independently from tasks where there is a blocker because of waiting for the final decision. 

The reduction of administration means that the team can concentrate on the actual work instead of the documentation and task management. Because of the personal contact and close cooperation, the flow of information is fast and continuous. There is no need long explanatory meetings or complicated hand-overs. When something is needed in urgency, there is always a way to get it pushed through.

Cross functionality of the team means that there are overlaps in terms of key skills of the members. Therefore, it is very easy to acquire a bit of extra human resource to a type of task when it is needed – again, without being forced to give a handover or provide a training for someone that is completely new for the project.

3. There is no boundary for creativity

The strong personal bond between Agile team members is not something which can be overseen. Juicy it may sound, but Agile teams tend to work as a bunch of friends. People share skills and knowledge and they have to be in continuous contact with each other, which will naturally develop a good working atmosphere. 

Agile is about continuous learning. At the end of certain periods, the teams evaluate their own work and ask for feedback from the clients. Therefore, these people do not only develop high-quality software, but also develop themselves. They consciously rework and refine their processes – and going through such ups-and-downs together, certainly enhances the moral and the team spirit.

Talking to an Agile team, especially, when it has already had a few project behind, is like casually chatting with friends on a cozy summer Saturday, but there is no need for beer to hear someone talking passionately about their tasks and ideas. Therefore, such a team is a source of inspiration and innovation.

Members are used to share their points of views and translate them into the language of task management. For the past decades, a great variety of different task tracking, knowledge sharing, visualizing and evaluating tools have been developed to ensure the quick and precise realization of ideas. Imagine to work in a colorful, casual and inspiring environment – this helps not only the team, but also clients to develop passion and dedication toward the product. This is the real freedom of innovation. 

3. The software is going to WORK

To tell the truth, speed and creativity are secondary when the product would not do its job. In older management framework it often happened that a long developing circle ended up with something lame and hardly useable. Delivering a history of project hours and a thousand-page evaluation of errors may prove that hard work was done, however, these hardly mean compensation for an unusable software.

Even though, the behavior of an Agile team may move on a wide scale between a specially trained commando squad and a bunch of bohemian artists, they are not there to rage and have fun. The single measurement of work in Agile is a working solution, no matter what is the way which leads there. Agile teams have the intellectual and creative resources to find new path for reaching goals. The strong cooperation allows them to cross the borders of traditions and provide something new – they won’t get trapped in the maze of regulation, safety and risk minimization. 

Thanks to the speed and the continuity in of the framework, Agile enables the clients to see a meaningful version of the product, even at a very early stage. This means that the errors can continuously be corrected and there is time to do necessary changes to react on the different requirements.

At the end the product is going to be working and functional. It may not be completely error-free or smooth, but it is going to operate with an acceptable level of security. Of course, there may be further developments to be done – but these will not slow down the business at such a level, as an unusable software would.

4+1. It is fun – taken seriously

When someone would order the most important factors of successful software development, “Fun” would most probably be missed from the list – even though it should not be. App development is a stressful process, not only for the developers, but also for the clients. And having fun sometimes is a really good way to reduce tension. 

Maintaining a good relationship with the developer team is a key in successful software production. If there is a mutual trust between the client and the team, it ensures that everybody will be ready to take ownership overt the project and do the personal best for the result.

Well organized Agile teams work like well-functioning, respective families and laughter and jokes have their very important roles in keeping the team mentally fresh and motivated. This good atmosphere helps a lot in hard times, when it comes to handling an endless amount of modification requests or there are unseen blockers in the process. Having some fun and time for ventilation are good weapons against burnout and escalation of unspoken conflicts – and these benefits will also be visible on the clients’ side.

Imagine to work with and as a part of a team where people are determined to provide you the best result in the quickest possible way. Imagine, that all the processes are clearly transparent for you and your opinion or criticism is regarded a natural, helpful contribution of the process. Imagine, that the job is done by a cheerful, yet committed team which is easy to communicate not only whit you, but maybe with your in-house colleagues too. This is how hiring an Agile team feels like.Would you like to try an agile and transparent outsourcing-experience?
Contact Inflex Studio to see how you can get help with your idea.

Tóth Enikő
Author - Tóth Enikő

Passionate content manager, self-taught hobby geek and a writer with a screwdriver in hand.

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