Agile and Nearshore Development

2022 02 02 head

The majority of software product development initiatives use an agile approach. The most popular framework is currently Scrum.

It is natural that organizations would gravitate towards the many benefits agile ideas provide.

Scarce resources and time-to-market constraints have driven the implementation of shoring development initiatives. Awareness that talent can be found at any location speeds up the trend.

The outsourcing market is undergoing constant evolution. Traditionally, cost reduction was the key driver for software development outsourcing, but now it doesn’t even make the top five, according to Deloitte’s 2018 Global Outsourcing Survey.

Cost was back as the major driver in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact in 2020.

Instead, the top five reasons organizations opt for IT outsourcing in 2018 are:

  • Catalyst for innovation (64%) means internal department cannot innovate fast enough.

  • Improvement of speed and time to market (63%) means internal teams are slow.

  • Improvement of performance (54%) means the company does not perform.

  • Enhancement of scalability and rapid elasticity (54%) means organization is slow to react.

  • Access to new technology (51%) means the company is stuck with obsolete technologies and processes.

The top five reasons organizations opt for IT outsourcing in 2020 are:

  • Cost (70%)

  • Flexibility (40%)

  • Speed to market (20%)

  • Access to professional tools and processes (15%)

  • Agility (15%)

Communication is essential to successfully implementing agile software development. And not just any form of communication. It has to be in real-time. Your team needs to have access to you, and vice versa, throughout the workday so that you and your team can work through issues immediately.

An agile shoring approach can be very successful.

Your organization needs to take the transformation seriously. You must invest in cultural changes and adapt your processes to realize the full potential.

Team Models

Needs Extended Team Managed Team Outsourced Team


Get additional development capacity for an existing team.

Build a core development team to take over a product development.

Team develops a custom solution for you. You get a finished product.

Risk and Responsibility

Stay fully in charge of product development and team management.

Share the risks and responsibility with the team and maintain some flexibility.

External team fully responsible for building the team and developing the product from discovery to final release.


Get maximum flexibility: interview the candidates, take all decisions, setup processes and policies.

Share our product vision and product roadmaps, make key technology decisions. The team ensures technology alignment, team training and motivation, professional growth and overall team management.

You provided ideas and requirements. The team delivers the product. Take full advantage of the team’s expertise.

Team Composition

Developers and a senior engineer to coach and support the developers.

Full Scrum team with cross-functional team developers including senior designers, quality specialists, and architects. A Scrum master coaches the team and takes over member development and administration tasks.

Full Scrum team with cross-functional team developers including designers, quality specialists, architects and DevOps. A Scrum master and product owner round up the team capabilities.


Distributed team with smaller size

Local development team and remote product owner. You keep product responsibility.

Local product development team You delegate product responsibility to the local team.

Nearshore advantages

Geographical and Cultural Proximity

Nearshore locations are located in or near Europe, making it easy to reach from most European cities via air connection As a European nation. We share the same mentality, values, and business culture as our clients. It provides an excellent foundation for a long-lasting and productive nearshore partnership.

Convenient time zone and no jet lag

A time difference of zero to two hours between nearshore locations and EU countries allows for setting up convenient cooperation. It avoids exhausting jet lag. Software engineers can engage with our clients during their business hours, maximizing efficiency while enhancing productivity.

Intellectual property protection

European security and privacy requirements such as those imposed by ISO, GDPR, PCI and HIPAA are understood. Compliance with European legislation can be achieved.



All documents and comments in the source code shall be legible for all team members. Discussions and remote conferences shall be held in a language available to all members.
A shoring strategy implies this language must be International English. All documents, emails and chats must therefore be written in English. Your organization has to recognize this profound change and train all your collaborators to become fluent in written and spoken English.

Cultural Barriers

The shored team collaborators shall be integrated in the company as respected and valuable colleagues. Avoid any statements containing we versus they.
Meeting times should be good for all participants. Location of documents, source code, and artifacts should have the same availability and comfort for all members.

Company Binding

Effort must be put in the integration of the nearshore teams. Churn rates can be as high as 50% per year.


Talent is a precious resource. Companies are fighting to acquire talented developers all over the world. You should have a clear strategy to acquire and retain talented engineers. The strategy blends together why you are attractive for talents and why they should stay in your organization.

Agile Approaches

The various departments and locations should have similar approaches to agile frameworks and processes. A good solution is to standardize on Scrum. Train and certify all collaborations in Scrum and your technology stack to create common ground and vocabulary.


Ask yourself if your company culture and processes treat all collaborators fairly. Is our company willing to:

  1. Write all project documentation, source code, emails and chats in English?

  2. Hold all meetings, workshops and discussions in English?

  3. Train all collaborators in cultural aspects?

  4. Host physical meetings using round-robin in all locations?

  5. Schedule all meetings so that all locations have similar constraints for early or late work?

  6. Share financial and strategic information to align all collaborators?

  7. Set up the infrastructure to not differentiate between company offices and nearshore locations?

  8. Buy all licenses so that all developers are using the same tools?

  9. Provide the same trainings, certifications and conference access to all developers?

  10. Support meritocracy? Any role can be held by a local or a remote collaborator?

Next Development

The Corona crisis has pushed collaborators to work from home over a long period. I also observe that quite a few teams are heavily distributed geographically and often live in different countries.

This constellation is not more a nearshore team. The organization has moved to an all-remote setup without a common office location [1].

All-remote work promotes:

  • Hiring and working from all over the world instead of from a central location.

  • Flexible working hours over set working hours.

  • Writing down and recording knowledge over verbal explanations.

  • Written processes over on-the-job training.

  • Public sharing of information over need-to-know access.

  • Opening up documents for editing by anyone over top-down control of documents.

  • Asynchronous communication over synchronous communication.

  • The results of work over the hours put in.

  • Formal communication channels over informal communication channels.

Beware that all-remote approach is a disruptive cultural change for a traditional organization with offices.

1. Companies such as GitLab, SonarCloud, and Attlassian adopted this model years ago.