Why Your Offshore Provider Should Be Participating In Your Next Stand-Up Meeting

In the software development industry, conducting daily stand-up “scrum” meetings is pretty standard. If your provider is truly an extension of your team, it is critical that they are involved.  Here are just a few reasons to consider participating in stand up meetings:

Don’t let time zones discourage you from participating

Dealing with team members across the world can be difficult at times but shouldn’t be seen as an obstacle for setting up scrum meetings. Pick a dedicated time that works with everyone’s schedule. Swap meeting times every other week to accommodate different time zones abroad and stateside. One of the challenges often faced when dealing with an offshore company is the lack of technology abroad. Make sure your team is equipped with the needed technology to have a successful scrum meeting. Also leave time in your schedule for a delay based on technology.

Take the opportunity to engage, engage, engage

Scrum meetings are usually pretty short and sweet, but any chance to engage with the people working on your provider is one to take advantage of. You’ll be able to learn about the communication and working styles of team members by continuing to participate in these meetings. The daily interaction will allow you foster a better relationship and strengthen your trust and build better team morale.

Foresee any upcoming challenges or obstacles

Meeting with your provider daily for few days can help prevent any upcoming roadblocks. This is an opportunity to discuss any challenges with analysts that may come up that can be resolved or prevented from happening.

Avoid any unanswered questions

Have questions that need to be answered? Stand-up meetings help avoid assumptions of why certain activities were done by offshore.

Discuss previous day and upcoming workday

To accommodate all time zones its best to discuss what work was done yesterday and what needs to be done during the existing day.

Happy Lunar New Year! 2015 In Review

As we kick off the Year of the Monkey, we would like to thank you, our clients and friends, for your continued support of KMS Technology. 2015 was an exciting year for us.

One of our greatest accomplishments was being ranked on the Inc. 5000 list for the second year in a row, making KMS one of America’s fastest-growing privately held companies.

Our team grew to 600 total employees.

We continued our vision of giving back to our communities by officially becoming part of the Pledge 1% program.

We hope 2016 and the Year of the Monkey brings you luck, and we look forward to making memories with you this year.

The KMS Team

2015-Year-In-Review-LS

Offshore Product Development: Not Just For Cost Cutters Anymore

As you know, the primary reason most companies take their product development needs offshore is to cut costs. Taking advantage of overseas development substantially decreases the costs involved in developing software. However, most organizations today still focus on short-term tactical outsourcing, with the sole purpose of hitting cost-focused objectives. Yet, when managed properly, offshore product development (OPD) can provide so much more: innovation, faster time-to-market, better flexibility and scalability, better testing, and better quality software. Let’s look at these four areas in depth.

Innovation

If you choose the right outsourcing partner, they can bring more than just bodies to a relationship, the right partner can bring ideas and innovation. This innovation can be around leveraging the partners collective experience gained in other industries or tackling other technology challenges. Initially, your outsourcing partner may have innovative ideas around how to architect or build out part of your product or how to test in a different way. Over time, as your partner builds more knowledge of your industry and customer base, your partner should be bringing innovative ideas that differentiate you in the market from a business perspective as well.

Faster Time-to-Market

Your in-house development team has a maximum capacity, which means, they can only do so much in a day. Everything else must wait until they can get to it. Companies can churn out more solutions at a faster pace utilizing OPD because additional offshore suppliers can work on multiple projects, which rapidly decreases time-to-market. Further, by outsourcing to distant time zones, the daily development window can be enlarged, which boosts capacity to levels that an in-house team wouldn’t normally reach.

Better Resource Scalability

The internet runs 24/7 and you must scale to fit current and changing needs as they arise. OPD allows organizations to throttle up resources almost on demand, thereby avoiding the steep in-house cost (both financial and emotional) of hiring then terminating employees. Outsourcing makes organizations responsive, allowing them to capitalize on sudden commercial opportunities or respond to resource-related challenges in a way that is just not financially feasible to do with limited in-house resources.

Better Testing

The speed of development is becoming more rapid. This means identifying bottlenecks is key to staying fast. One of the most common bottlenecks in getting world-class products to market is testing. OPD companies have the frameworks, processes, and tools in place to accelerate their development and testing and ensure that the end user/customer gets a higher quality product.

In the end, the keys to successful OPD are:

  • Vendor selection: choosing an experienced and technically qualified offshore product development supplier. Making sure they know your development environment, or be prepared to train them. Check references carefully.
  • Communication: ensure you have well-communicated expectations and requirements. Require timely reporting, and develop tools or criteria to benchmark the quality of output required from the supplier, while simultaneously monitoring the suppliers performance.
  • Strong Relationships: a high quality relationship between the client and supplier is critical. Projects based on excellent relationships tend to have the highest service and quality.

Experts Produce Better Software

Your company has many business functions, including operations, sales and marketing, development, and support. However, an OPD has a singular area of expertise: product development. You benefit from the efficiency this produces, as partnering with a business that exists solely to develop first-class products is a real asset, and quite frankly much more challenging to create with an in-house team. Technical expertise is essential. The best OPD teams also have proven (and demonstrable) processes in place to help ensure and control quality at every stage of the software development lifecycle.

California State University Eastbay MBA Delegation Visits KMS Technology

Company welcomed professors and Executive MBA students from California State University Eastbay.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – KMS Technology, a provider of offshore product development services, was honored to welcome a delegation of 20 professors and Executive MBA students from California State University Eastbay on June 22, 2015 at the KMS office. This visit was a part of global study program to tour companies around HCMC. MBA candidates learned about IT companies in Vietnam and how those companies are doing business. Several networking events were held that allowed the EMBA group to network with VEMBA students and alumni at networking events. The delegation were truly surprised at the rapid growth of KMS in the last 6 years and expressed their excitement about KMS corporate’s culture.

Below is the testimonials from Dr. Yi He:

“Exposing oneself to another culture can be a life-changing, valuable, and sometimes overwhelming learning experience. The wonderful support from University of Hawaii VEMBA program has made our Global Innovators MBA International Immersion trip to Vietnam more than one could have ever expected. We were able to witness the localized technological innovation come to life during our visits to high-tech companies such as VNPAY and KMS Technology. This experience was something that our students will never forget!”

– Yi He, Associate Professor of Marketing, California State University, East Bay

Dialing In to Web App Performance Testing

Our Chief Technology Officer Kaushal Amin’s recent piece published in App Developer Magazine examines what to do when web app performance goes askew. In particular, Amin articulated the importance of web app performance testing and how so many companies make the common mistake of forging ahead with a web app without testing, only later to witness functional flaws – realizing too late that testing performance of the app itself is an absolute must.

Looking for a testing partner to scale your QA strategy?

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But wait, does that mean test every functionality of the web app to make sure everything is performing flawlessly?

Not exactly.

When it comes to web app performance testing, it’s crucial to examine the business relevance of the functions of the web app, the degrees of performance that impact business outcomes, and a willingness to conclude that certain web app functions, depending on their relative importance to the overall business, can be acceptably ‘good enough’.

It’s highly likely that a web app performance issue went awry because there was a lack of attention in the planning of the web app as to its business importance. In addition to not properly thinking through to what degree the functions of the web app have to perform in order to optimize business outcomes, the original planning most likely lacked the presence of a “what if” scenario.

For example, this quarter we expect the web app to have a certain number of concurrent users, but what if we underestimated? If that happens, can the app readily adapt?

Of course our engineering DNA within us wants everything to work as planned; but even then, that can be deleterious to the business mission. With limited resources, it’s important to focus the app performance – and testing of the app performance – on what really matters, business-speaking.

First and foremost examine what really has to occur in performance of the app for the business to be supported to a sufficient standard. Focus on testing for that specific app performance and forego examining aspects that have little relevance to the business outcome at hand.

Amin’s feature article in App Developer breaks down web app performance issues into three key code analysis areas: Presentation tier, Business tier, and Data access/database tier.

Tracking down problem areas used to be a labor intensive process but today the market is full of good solutions for profiling and tracking, allowing you to readily locate problem areas. Some suggestions of tools to help manage issues include: Firebug, Safari Developer Tools, Google Speed Tracer, JProfiler and Visual Studio.

In brief, Kaushal Amin’s article looks at 3 steps to successful web app performance tuning, including testing and identifying slow performance areas, prioritizing the findings, followed by triaging and fixing the problem issues.

For a more in-depth study please turn to App Developer.

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