May 01, 2019 | 3 min read

Agile Communication Plan Best Practices for Successful Outsourcing

By: Sean Sullivan

Agile Communication Plan Best Practices for Successful Outsourcing

Outsourcing software development can be a great way to add expertise and productivity to your team. However, successful outsourcing is only possible with a clear-cut agile communication plan. Here are a few best practices for effective communication from project initiation to product delivery.

Start off on the Right Foot

An effective agile communication plan should begin with a project charter. This document communicates the project’s high-level vision, objectives, scope, and timeline to all involved. It also provides team members with a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities, along with the business need they are supporting. If the project goes awry, the charter becomes an invaluable resource to circle back to. Once the project charter is developed and reviewed, an in-person kick-off meeting should be scheduled to introduce the team and the project. Preparation is a must for this meeting, as it will set the tone and course for the rest of the project. Everyone should leave the kick-off meeting with an aligned understanding of the project’s purpose, goals, and vision for success.

Monitor Daily Progress

Effective use of Jira is instrumental in planning, managing, and keeping track of projects and issues. When team members run into a problem, they should always submit a ticket through Jira and include a clearly stated goal, any technical notes needed for the developer, and acceptance criteria agreed to by the client. As team members get essential insights into the issue, they can start work immediately and keep the project momentum moving forward. Another useful strategy for efficient agile communication is to integrate Jira with Slack. Slack makes it easy for teams to share information, improve collaboration, and increase efficiency and productivity.

Run Effective Meetings

Once you’re up and running with your project, effective meetings will keep you on the right track. Video conferencing tools, such as Zoom, improve agile communication by helping the team get to know each other and feel more connected. Well-planned meeting agendas give team members the direction they need to come prepared so that clients and the outsourced team use valuable face-to-face time wisely. At the end of the meeting, clearly defined action items ensure forward progress and hold team members accountable.

Take Advantage of Scrum Ceremonies

The best agile communicators perform all Scrum rituals and include outsourced partners in the process. They use stand-ups to clarify what has been done and what needs improvement. These quick daily meetings allow both teams to collaborate on the current status of tasks and provide transparency into any issues that may arise. Sprint retrospectives are also a priority. They help the product owner and development team review what’s working and not working, so they can recommend changes to processes and tools being used. Making time for stand-ups and retrospectives ultimately increases the productivity of the next sprint.

Using these best practices to develop a fool-proof agile communication plan will help you and your partner maintain a healthy relationship and put you on the path to success. If you’re searching for an outsourced partner who understands that communication is key to a successful partnership, contact us.

About Sean Sullivan

Sean graduated from the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio, with a B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering Technology. He's a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate, Certified Scrum Master, AND has his CompTIA Security Plus Certification. Sean is truly a DevOps expert and has been working in various technology roles for 14 years.