Agile and third parties – how to get it right

As part of the research for our Agile eBook, we asked the participants how they felt about working with third party companies on Agile project delivery. We also wanted to find out what approach they typically took when introducing these new partners into the business.

The participants agreed that developing relationships with third parties can prove valuable but only in instances where everyone has a common understanding of what Agile actually means, with clear lines of communication and, most importantly, when the project calls for it.

At Triad, we agree.


The reality is that Agile is never applied in the same way. Private and public sector clients have different approaches to delivering Agile projects. For example, the public sector is far more prescribed and, from our experience, geared towards end user needs. On the other hand, private sector projects are more revenue-driven and most commonly seek to improve efficiency, which in turn boosts the bottom line.

We believe that finding the right balance between the two should be the ultimate goal. And we say this based on experience working on Agile projects for both public and private sector clients that have delivered huge customer and revenue benefits.

To help you find the right supplier for Agile project success, we’ve rounded up a few of the key benefits of partnering with a third party:


Accessing expertise:

We all know there’s a digital skills shortage, and that this can make finding people with the necessary knowledge and experience a tough ask. In partnering with a third party, you will have access to niche skills and expertise if and when you need them. And because third parties work with such a broad spectrum of clients they can use their insights from other engagements to deliver a solution that is right for each user/customer.


Boosting scalability:

In line with the point above, when working with a third party, you can expand and contract your team size as your requirements change. This means that you’re only paying for the output you require. From a cost perspective, you no longer have to justify the expense of a salaried employee or providing the training needed to get the job done.


An outside perspective:

When you’re on the inside, or you’ve been working on a project for a long time, it can be difficult to identify where you may be going wrong. Suppliers can help to spot where you need to shake things up a bit and where you could be more efficient. It’s their job to help you identify and implement better working practices before things become a problem.

On this point, Agile projects often fail because of surrounding forces (management/business expectations). Because third parties are removed from client politics, they have a fresh pair of eyes, which they can use to spot hindrances with less fear of repercussions.


Greater visibility:

Suppliers in an Agile environment have fewer places to hide when compared with more traditional delivery approaches. Work is scrutinised daily and success is measured on continual output, so the client always knows how things are going and they can change things up should the project be heading in the wrong direction.


Unsure about how to choose the right third party to walk with you on your Agile journey? Here are a few questions you should ask before you get started:

  • Do they have a reliable track record?
  • Do they have a wide range of experience across different market sectors?
  • Do you trust them?
  • During your initial interactions, have they been good at communicating?
  • Do you feel comfortable/confident working with them?
  • Is there an option to “try before you buy”?
  • Do they have skills that you don’t have internally?
  • Is colocation an option?


The right Agile partner won’t come in and turn everything on its head. What they will do is suggest different techniques and strategies that can be implemented to tweak and improve how things are already being done.

Ultimately, these partnerships should add value and provide you with the guidance and support you need to meet your business goals.


Dave Lovegrove, Triad’s Agile practice lead