Agile India (Offshore Development)

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I was doing a bit of research on Google searches and I noticed that a large volume of searches for agile development are coming specifically from Bangalore in India.

And this got me thinking about agile development offshore.

Of course I realise that India has a large number of software developers, as a result of the trend for offshore development in the last 10 years or so.

But in my agile travels, I’ve come across very little research, success stories or case studies about agile development in India, and particularly in an offshore development model where the development team is in India and the client is not.

I can see clearly how an offshore development team in India might operate internally using agile principles and practices. But I’m very unsure about how it would work effectively in terms of (a) active user involvement in the development process, (b) defining lightweight requirements piecemeal throughout development, (c) integrated testing, etc.

Perhaps the challenges are no different than for a distributed team? But when I think of the added complexity of a distributed team, the added complexity of client/supplier relations, the added complexity of distance (preventing regular face-to-face communication), and timezones inhibiting other forms of communication, I worry.

Add all that to the usual complexity of software and humans, and I wonder how high the barriers to success really are with this model.

Martin Fowler from ThoughtWorks has written an interesting article about ‘Using An Agile Software Process With Offshore Development‘.

If anyone has experience of agile offshore, positive or negative, in India or elsewhere – or if anyone has any interesting reference materials about the subject, it would be great if they could share via the comments on this blog post…