Agile Development Outsourcing – Vendor selection checklist

Agile development methods are now mainstream. Agile methods have propagated beyond software development to areas like application management, ERP implementations, business process management and strategic business functions. To create agility as a competitive advantage – businesses are partnering with agile practitioners in the industry across verticals like software outsourcing, business process transformation, architecture and technology. Since these partnerships are meant to be long term and the subject is relatively new, you need to evaluate and assess any potential agile software company well before partnering with them.

Through this checklist, we have tried to list down the attributes you should check in an agile software development company before you plan to outsource. While using our checklist you should finding out whether the criteria are met by this agile software development company and also to what extent. The criteria are mostly qualitative and weight is calculated based on a quantitative scoring metrics perfected over the years as we have transformed agile processes for numerous fortune 500 organizations, also building and supporting core business applications for them. Following are some of the criteria:

Vendor selection

Agile Contracting Capabilities

As we move towards agile development, the traditional way of contracting will not yield the benefits that you get out of agile development contracting. This section involves evaluation of the Partner’s capability in defining agile contracts, including executing project in fixed price agile mode

  • Partner has the capability in defining agile contracts
  • Partner has the capability in executing a project in agile mode
  • Partner has the capability in Agile T&M
  • Partner has the capability in Agile Fixed Price
  • Partner has the capability in Agile Hybrid models

Agile Outsourcing Vendor Selection Checklist

Agile Infrastructure Readiness

Executing agile projects needs a significant transformation from the traditional way of developing software and it is not just the change in technical thought process, but how you plan your delivery, how you do daily meetings, or how you collaborate. Partner’s evaluation for open agile workstations, collaborative infrastructure aiding co-development and infrastructure for distributed development, capability for file and information sharing is something that you should be looking for.

  • Partner has open agile workstations
  • Partner has powerful servers enabling rapid development
  • Partner has powerful workstations focused on developer productivity
  • Partner has collaborative infrastructure aiding co-development
  • Partner has collaborative infrastructure aiding distributed development
  • Partner has audio-visual equipment aiding smooth collaboration with the customer
  • Partner has infrastructure capability to conduct interruption-free product demos
  • Partner has file and information sharing infrastructure capability
  • Agile Product Management practices

Product Management Practices

Another important area that you need to evaluate your vendor is on agile product management practices. That explains how a vendor can manage your product vision; collaborate with your product owners to deliver features that are valuable as well as scalable. Evaluation for the partner’s Know-how requirement s for breakdowns, size to efforts and cost factors, Change management are points this section covers.

  •  Business Understanding, Product Ownership and backlog management
  • Partner Development method incorporates client-side Product Owner role
  • Partner is able to translate business priorities into the iterative project plan
  • Partner has know-how in requirements breakdown (epics/stories)
  • Partner has know-how in Agile requirements sizing (story point estimation)
  • Partner has the know-how to maintain prioritized Product Backlog
  • Partner has know-how in requirements sizing frameworks
  • Partner has know-how in converting the size to effort and cost factors
  • Partner has know-how in Agile requirements change management

People10 has developed a comprehensive agile outsourcing vendor selection checklist that helps you rate a vendor based on practices like project management, technical practices, PMO, metrics, continuous improvement etc. outside of contracting, product management and infrastructure listed here. If you are interested in receiving the checklist for free, write to

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