Agile Offshoring : It's hard work but it works!
Principle 14: Become a learning organization through relentless reflection ( Hansei ) and continuous improvement (kaizen)
This is the most important principle which has helped us reach where we are today, we do rigorous iteration evaluations for reflections of good things to preserve and areas of improvement to help us improve iteration on iteration.
We solicit constant and immediate client and team feedback so that the ultimate aim of the software is realized in an effective and efficient way.
Apart from this we made it a point to get to the root cause of any problem that we came across by asking “why” 5 times.
To conclude I would say that we are still learning. The lean production metaphor has been successfully applied to software offshoring but it can be improved. The Toyota principles when applied to software offshoring can make remarkable differences to the way software is being developed and offshored. We are trying to continuously improve and reach our goal of 'Whitebox Lean Agile Offshoring' in which transparency and quality are taken to the extreme.
As an advice for the offshoring industry, follow Scrum with the Toyota principles in spirit without diluting their essence. Apply them to your way of working and see the magic unfold.
Offshoring takes difficult executation. The overhead in communications for the distributed teams is difficult. The technical architecture needs be componentized so that distributed teams can work on seperate pieces without conflicting with one another. The software development processes need to be tailored for the offshore and onshore teams. Although offshoring is difficult, it can have numerous benifits if challenges can be overcome.