Managing projects has grown increasingly complex over the past decade, and that explains why a wide array of new project management tools hit the market nearly every month. However, in case of offshoring software development teams, the demand leans more on agile and exclusive solutions rather than tools for general use.
In helping Australian businesses build offshore software development teams, ASW Global has come to work with a diversity of agile project management platforms, both SaaS and on-premise. Below, we enlist 3 benefits of such practices to your software development teams, plus criteria for choosing the perfect tool.
Project predictability for better ROI
One of the key advantages of agile tools is how they allow project owners to have data-driven prediction on projects’ ROI, costs and team or individual performance. Leading platforms like Jira or Asana provide such precise estimation by analysing team velocity, burndown charts, sprints…, which in turns give light to the estimated time of completion, whether the ROI would eclipse costs or not, how much space are left for faster development and delivery etc.
Based on these early, overall sketches, project owners can have clearer vision, make wiser decisions even before the software development team put their hands to work. According to the statistics, better planning from agile project management tools help offshoring software development teams to gain 37% faster time-to-market and 16% higher productivity.
Higher team morale and efficiency
Agile methodology breaks large-scale tasks (called epics) into smaller sections with short cycle time (called sprints) and clear role for each member. This nature enables teams using agile project management tools to collaborate efficiently, on time and transparently, both in terms of management and execution. Users can easily view their individual tasks and team responsibilities through assigned Kanban boards or Gantt charts, invite others to share ideas in sprint planning or daily stand-up, communicate with mentions, feeds and file sharing.
Moreover, working in a self-managing, unified platform helps people to be creative, innovative and have rooms for leveraging their own expertise. By “teaching” each other, the general team morale is high, positive and constructive.
Reduce risks and increase product quality
Risks are inevitable in every planning and development process, yet agile project management tools virtually eliminate issues and build safeguards for high quality deliverables. In agile software development, testing is done throughout all cycles to ensure the final product is delivered in the optimum state. Scrum Masters or project owners have all the features (both automated and manual) needed to do sprint retrospectives for attained efficiency, troubleshoot and apply changes in any cycle or launch incremental releases for maximum software quality.
This is extremely important when your software development teams are distributed across several countries and in need of centralised quality assurance procedures. With user stories and beta tests, teams can gain valuable feedbacks early in the development process and help build incremental features that deliver values, regardless of their geographical location or time zone.
Criteria for choosing Agile Project Management Tools
Having said that, navigating through a huge range of management tools available and picking out the right one requires you to have thorough research and assessment of their features. Generally speaking, an agile project management tool should provide enough functions for:
- Task management: Kanban/ Scrum boards, Gantt charts with related task lists, time records, files and documents….in clear visibility and easy navigation.
- Team collaboration: customised team structures, unique user stories, shared boards and other sprint-related features to connect local and distributed teams.
- Metrics, reporting and analysis: iterations, team velocity, burndown charts and other figures to assess team performance, manage risks, suggest improvements and (when necessary) integrate clients’ participation in the development process.
At ASW Global, our helpdesk teams are versatile to either integrate your current project management tool or consult about the best agile option to connect your onshore and offshore talents for optimal project outcomes. Don’t hesitate to contact us today and get free consultation on building and managing your distributed software development teams.