The Payoffs And Perils Of Offshored Agile Projects Introduction Agile Testing

My name is Peter Kingston and at the time of this case study I was working on a contract as a test manager for a financial products company, The Remortgage Corporation (TRC).

My career in IT spans more than twenty-five years, beginning as a software developer before moving into systems analysis and then management. For most of the last decade, I have been a professional software test consultant and have a wide variety of experience of the software testing industry. I have gained much expertise from working as a test analyst, test manager, and test consultant in a variety of industries including finance, retail, government, and petro-chemical. In addition, I am an accredited provider of the ISTQB Foundation Course in Software Testing.

TRC operates in a highly competitive market place;there are many companies producing similar financial products for a relatively small number of potential customers. As a result, organizations like our own have to ensure our development process is as lean and mean as possible. Our customers demand products withever-increasing functionality and usability, developed in shorter timescales and with lower cost, and with higher quality!

As a result, we need to constantly review our development approaches and to look for opportunities for driving down costs and increasing the quality of our products. During our review of development approaches, we identified two particular approaches that seemed to offer the sort of benefits we were looking for:

  • Agile developmentWith its focus on effective and efficient development and testing, agile appeared to provide a means of reducing development costs, ensuring that we met our delivery commitments and(done properly) improved quality(both meeting requirements and reducing defects)through early and frequent testing.
  • OffshoringWith its focus on distributed development using lower-cost resources, offshoring also provided the opportunity to “extend the length of the development day” by, for example, having practitioners in different time zones picking up the development effort at different times.
  • The purpose of this case study is to share a number of interesting experiences gained in setting up and running an agile offshore project involving a U.K.and Indian development and testing team, but with an added complication of the product marketing team being located in the United States. The system developed through our agile offshore project has been successfully delivered and is being used by a number of our customers.

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