Whether you are looking to create a new customer-facing app or your entire organization needs a process overhaul in its internal software systems, the first step is finding an Agile consulting service that you can work with. How to do it in the right way?
Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change. ~ Stephen Hawking
Succeeding in today’s world means being ready to adapt, which is the very essence of being Agile. Working at a constant pace, questioning everything, learning from your challenges – for people who work at traditional companies, the principles of Agile can make it seem like they are working in a different world and speaking a different language.
So it comes as no surprise that hiring an Agile consulting company for extra guidance or to expand capacity is a business strategy that is on the rise. Global markets and other pressures are pushing businesses from all sectors to adapt to more flexible ways and deliver quick results. This is true of their IT teams as well as their entire organizations as they try and make the transition to digital in the 21st century.
Many are finding that an Agile consulting company is just the ticket for a better, smoother transition toward becoming an organization that’s driven by agility. Partnering with an Agile software consulting firm can provide your internal software engineering team with valuable insight on how the Agile methodology works. Or, if your team is already proficient in this method of delivering a product, an Agile consulting company can help out on larger projects that are typical of companies that find themselves deep in the throes of digital transformation.
Whether you are looking to create a new customer-facing app or your entire organization needs a process overhaul in its internal software systems, the first step is finding an Agile consulting service that you can work with.
Here is how to apply industry metrics for assessing and rating performance of the Agile consulting companies that your organization is considering partnering with.
Evaluate the company
Good consulting companies who have been successful at scaling their work usually have awards and other types of third-party recognition under their belts. An easy place to start is the websites of the companies you are considering. A quick glance will tell you right away whether they have earned industry recognition for their work.
For the software development field, some of the big names in awards are:
- Best of the Global Outsourcing Companies
- Software 500 Company
- Global Services 100
- European Seal of e-Excellence
- WITSA Awards
And keep in mind that awards like Great Place to Work matter, too. Agile methodology is, after all, rooted in a company culture that honors collaboration, transparency, visibility, and accountability.
And if they are worth considering, they will have an extensive list of alliances and certifications, too. Partnering with big names in development provides them with strong standards of accountability that make it easy to trust them. Examples of industry-leading partnerships end certifications include:
- The International Software Testing Qualifications Board
- Microsoft Certified Partner
- SCRUM Alliance
- CMMi ®
- ISO 9001: 2015
- PMI Project Management Professional certified
Evaluate the people
In some ways, choosing an Agile consulting firm is much like choosing an individual candidate for hire. Beyond checking their qualifications, you will also need to know how well the people will integrate, communicate, collaborate, and generally get along with your people during your time working together.
A good way to find out is to look at the company blog. Are there articles written by employees explaining what they do, how they manage their Agile projects, and/or offering advice to other professionals in their field? Do they share knowledge based on their experience in the field? Do they show expertise on what they do?
You will also want to look for a diversity of roles within development teams. There are a number of professional roles that come into play on any large-scale development project that is successful. Look for the following:
- Project Managers
- Product Managers
- Software Engineers
- UX/UI Designers
- Business Analysts
- Scrum Masters
Evaluate the approach
Agile methodology has clear guidelines about how development should work, but every company has its own flavor. You will want to ask questions along these lines to find out if the consulting firm you are considering is leveraging Agile principles with best practices in mind:
- What does their development framework look like?
- Do they do automated testing? Multi-platform testing? Life Cycle testing? Compliance?
- How do their teams cover Quality Assurance?
- How do they gather requirements? What is their process for gathering user data?
- In the past, how long have their iterations been on the projects they have done?
- Do they practice continuous integration with the projects they work on?
- How do they handle constantly changing and evolving business requirements?
- How do they handle insertion of new features mid-project?
- How do they handle technical debt?
- Do they have a certified Scrum Master on board?
- What Project Management tools do they use on their projects?
- How comprehensive/detailed/large are their product backlogs during a typical project?
- Do they make user of cross-functional teams?
- What is their view on user feedback? How do they incorporate it into the process?
- Do team members play multiple roles when they are working on different projects?
Do not miss this: Why be Agile in a dynamic business context
Evaluate the work and technologies they use
Certain capabilities are assumed within any software development company but it is good if they are proficient in the following technologies, at the very minimum:
- React Native
Evaluate their experience
You will want to see proven experience with successful work that is similar to what you have in mind for your organization, of course.
The company should be adept at using the latest technologies to solve business and user problems. But that is not all. They should also have experience mapping the right type of technologies to each unique customer and their unique needs, plus the challenges that companies in different industries are facing today. In other words, ask them to tell you about the customized solutions they have delivered for past customers.
In addition, look for a diversity of experience – from small to large projects, across all verticals, and with different types of partnerships as well. A company that is flexible with regards to how the partnership is formed is one that can work with your team in the way that best suits your organization, whether it is working in a co-location environment or remote teams.
To sum up
At a time when collaboration and the alliances you form are more important than ever, it is good to know how to assess your potential partners – especially those who will help guide and assist you along your journey to digital transformation.
We hope these tips have helped you narrow your search for the top Agile consulting company to partner with. If we can be of help in any other way, please feel free to reach out!
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