agile distributed teams

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Agile methodologies may find their comfort zone with co-located teams and with customers that are at hand for giving quick and valuable feedback. Is it possible to keep agility in distributed teams scenarios, where the customer is miles away and testers at the other side of the world? What are the main challenges when face-to-face communication is minimized and the time zone and cultural differences are an everyday factor? What approaches, processes and tools can help overcoming these challenges? 2 weeks ago I had the privilege to present at the Agiles@BsAs monthly meeting a topic that addresses these questions: Agile Distributed Teams. In particular, I shared some stats and findings of co-located vs. distributed approaches for agile teams and shared some approaches that tend to minimize the impact of being remote.

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  • 1. Agile Distributed Teams
    Ariel Schapiro ariel.schapiro@southworks.net

2. Stats
3. Stats
32% + 13%
=
45%
4. Why distributed?
Global markets
Costs
Specialization
Talent
Follow the sun
5. High-bandwidth communication is one of the core practices of Scrum The best communication is face to face, with communications occurring through facial expression, body language, intonation, and words. When a white board is thrown in and the teams work out design as a group, the communication bandwidth absolutely sizzles.
Ken Schwaber,
The Enterprise and Scrum
Co-located
6. War-rooms vs. cubicles
Co-located
7. Co-located
Productivity
Activities
Distraction and recognition
8. Distribution levels
Devs
Customer
QA
Sponsor
9. Challenges
10. Goal
Minimize impact
11. Communication
HOW
WHAT
Status, plan, progress,
Problems, discussions, expositions, training, complaints, congratulations, help
Frequent but efficient
Channels for every need
Balanced coordination and points of reference
Share the pain
12. Follow-up meetings
Presentations: inspiring, easy to follow, to the point
Live meeting minutes / collaborative
Checkpoints (open questions, summaries)
sorry I was on mute
13. Slide 47 with a very long title (the anti slide)
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14. Email
1:1-N
Formal
Discussions
15. IM
1:1
Ideas/thoughts
Tool to get closer
Status (available, busy, etc.)
Availability + progress
To the point
Formal (?)
Focus
Exit
Sensitive issues
16. Phone
1:1
Urgency/sensitive issue
Tone
Official
Availability
Agenda
17. Repository
Maps and dictionaries
Videos
Tools
Backlog
Issues
Shared Knowledge
18. Change of channels
Minimum doc necessary
Sketches specltes doc
Organization based on distribution (Conways Law)
Flexible process
19. Trust
Frequent visits (sponsors, team members)
Feedback:
1:1
Retrospectives
Previous team cohesion
20. Sample
21. Thanks!
22. References and recommended readings
Scrum and XP from the Trenches - Henrik Kniberg
The Enterprise and Scrum - Ken Schwaber
A Practical Guide to Distributed Scrum Elizabeth Woodward
Adapting Agile Methods for Complex Environments - IBM
Global Development and Delivery in Practice (GDD) IBM
Distributed Agile Development at Microsoft patterns & practices Ade Miller
State of Agile Survey 2010 VersionOne
How Does Radical Collocation Help a Team Succeed? - Stephanie Teasley
Exploring the Duality between Product and Organizational Architectures: A Test of the Mirroring - Alan MacCormackHypothesis
2008 IT Project Success Rates Survey Results - Ambysoft