Enabling Distributed Agile Teams

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Atlanta scrum user group presentation on 09/25/2013

Check out my blog @ http://ow.ly/picrk for the actual games that I used and a recap.

Distributed anything is hard. We have tons of knowledge and experience with distributed teams in our community. Tim Wise will present how to enable distributed agile teams. He will also facilitate a negation game to help mine our community of knowledge to help form your opinion on when, where, and how to use distributed agile teams. Tim is neither a proponent or opponent of distributed teams. It is another tool in the toolbox. Together we will seek a common truth.

Tim has worked with companies using distributed agile via scrum and kanban and hybrids of each with teams collocated, distributed across the street, the state, the country, the oceans, and the world.

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  • Agile Coach CampOct 1st – 3rd
  • Story: I have been distributed in the same room with no walls with another person because they would not talk.
  • So everyone on your team speaks english. Can they write in english.
  • Distance amplifiesEvery miscommunication causes a defectcreates reworkcosts timecauses delay breeds mistrustLess value is delivered and costs riseDependencies increase risk and cost
  • Remember what our complications are.TimezonesLanguageTrust
  •      a. Our company Hollywood Marketing plus, located in sunny Atlanta GA, USA has teams that are staffed with two people from Russia.  What can we do to make the Russian people on the team miserable and less productive?     b. Our company, WerewolvesInLondon, is located in…. London.  Two of us are assigned to each team on the big island.  What can we do as a distributed portion of a team to make our London team's life miserable and less productive?     c. Our company Where's Waldo Inc. has no office.  We all work from our porch.  How can we make each other miserable and less productive?
  •      a. Our company Hollywood Marketing plus, located in sunny Atlanta GA, USA has teams that are staffed with two people from Russia.  What can we do to make the Russian people on the team miserable and less productive?     b. Our company, WerewolvesInLondon, is located in…. London.  Two of us are assigned to each team on the big island.  What can we do as a distributed portion of a team to make our London team's life miserable and less productive?     c. Our company Where's Waldo Inc. has no office.  We all work from our porch.  How can we make each other miserable and less productive?
  •      a. Our company Hollywood Marketing plus, located in sunny Atlanta GA, USA has teams that are staffed with two people from Russia.  What can we do to make the Russian people on the team miserable and less productive?     b. Our company, WerewolvesInLondon, is located in…. London.  Two of us are assigned to each team on the big island.  What can we do as a distributed portion of a team to make our London team's life miserable and less productive?     c. Our company Where's Waldo Inc. has no office.  We all work from our porch.  How can we make each other miserable and less productive?
  • IE, Fly everyone to the moon and back…
  •      a. Our company TreeVana is considering outsourcing to <choose your country>.  We are currently located in sunny Atlanta GA, USA.  As the CIO, make the case as to why you would want to choose outsourcing?          b. Our company TreeVana is considering outsourcing to <choose your country>.  We are currently located in sunny Atlanta GA, USA.  As the CIO, what are some reasons you are not considering using outsourcing?
  • This is kind of like the game “My Worst Nightmare”Use Jesse’s Agile Non Agile visual board to visualize issues and problems.
  • This is kind of like the game “My Worst Nightmare”Use Jesse’s Agile Non Agile visual board to visualize issues and problems.
  • Playing along with the negation theme. How can we disable a team?What are we disabling? We can not give them ways to communicate We can put people in between them We can put process in between them
  • Figure out the motive
  • Things you can do right now
  • Story from Andrew: Remote PO was a VP. Team members were “afraid” or hesitant to call him (i.e. at his home or on his personal mobile). So, we made mugshot of VP in t-shirt with phone number on it. He personally gave each person a copy and said to call me. Also handed out wallet size versions. He made an effort to call each person. Also had a contest to color/decorate the black & white mug shot. Best drawing would get a prize that would be valuable to that person (which means he’d have to get to know each person enough to know what to give them)!
  • Story from Andrew: Remote PO was a VP. Team members were “afraid” or hesitant to call him (i.e. at his home or on his personal mobile). So, we made mugshot of VP in t-shirt with phone number on it. He personally gave each person a copy and said to call me. Also handed out wallet size versions. He made an effort to call each person. Also had a contest to color/decorate the black & white mug shot. Best drawing would get a prize that would be valuable to that person (which means he’d have to get to know each person enough to know what to give them)!
  • OdeskBA handles requirementsArch to review5-10 preferred vendors
  • Enabling Distributed Agile Teams

    1. 1. Enabling Distributed Agile Teams Atlanta Scrum Users Group September 25th, 2013
    2. 2. Upskill with Agile Training www.leadingagile.com/agile-training Certified Scrum Product Owner Orlando, FL October 10-11 Certified ScrumMaster Atlanta, GA October 17-18 Certified Scrum Product Owner Denver, CO October 24-25 Certified Scrum Product Owner Washington, DC November 4-5 Agile Certified Professional (PMI-ACP) Orlando, FL November 18-19 Certified ScrumMaster Orlando, FL December 2-3 Agile Certified Professional (PMI- ACP) Atlanta, GA December 5-6 Agile Certified Professional (PMI-ACP) Washington, DC December 9-10 Certified ScrumMaster Atlanta, GA December 12-13 Certified ScrumMaster Washington, DC December 16-17 Agile Certified Professional (PMI-ACP) Denver, CO December 19-20 Accelerated. Accredited. Acclaimed.
    3. 3. Shameless Self Promotion • I have been in and around agile for years • Recently joined LeadingAgile • Been a CSM, CSP, trying out for the PMI-ACP to see what it’s like • Blog: agiledude.blogspot.com • Twitter: @timswise • Link up with me on LinkedIn
    4. 4. Here’s what we will do • Have fun! • Talk a little bit about distributed teams (10 mins) • We’ll play the negation game to gain a shared understanding of distributed teams (20 mins) • We’ll reflect on our newly found shared understanding (10 mins) • I’ll talk more about how to enable your teams (10 mins)
    5. 5. Distributed Teams Definition – Distributed teams are teams that have something preventing them from collaborating in person and face to face
    6. 6. Distributed Teams You can be distributed while working in the same room If you don’t talk face to face, you are distributed
    7. 7. Complications Let’s talk about them and identify a few more
    8. 8. Complications Time - Time zones By TimeZonesBoy (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
    9. 9. Complications Teanga or translated from Gaelic to English, Language By Seahen (Gnome-globe.svg Globe of letters.png) [LGPL (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
    10. 10. Complications Trust – Breeding ground for Us vs. Them By Voir les pages liées (Modification de File:Collaboration logo.svg) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
    11. 11. What did I miss? • A bunch of things • Your turn!
    12. 12. The Negation Game Description - This is a game of discovery. Instead of asking how we can make things better, we'll ask how we can make things horrible. Sometimes it's easier and can even be a little fun to be negative.
    13. 13. Example How can we make our pair programming partner miserable? • We can refrain from taking a bath. • We won't brush our teeth.
    14. 14. Negation Our original horrible ideas… • We can refrain from taking a bath • We won't brush our teeth Become good rules… • We will take a bath • We will brush our teeth
    15. 15. Negation After Negation • Establish “rules” • Try to get to a shared understanding or state • Prioritize the shared understanding • Could produce action
    16. 16. Game Agreements • Be respectful, don't go too far • Take turns • Time boxed to 10 minutes • Write big! • Only 1 “ridiculous” answer allowed
    17. 17. King for a Day - Game By Heinrich Klaffs [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
    18. 18. Line up Line up Everybody Line up Arrange yourselves from 1 to 10 • 1 means that you would never use distributed teams • 10 means that you would always use distributed teams http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzlyQYn-BZE
    19. 19. Let’s Play
    20. 20. The Negation Game - Results Ideally, given this context, we will have a working agreement for different perspectives on how we want to treat others. • We have been the distributed person • We have interacted with the distributed person • We have all been distributed • We have had a distributed “twin”
    21. 21. King for a Day - Results We have been a CIO that is struggling to determine why we are or why we are not doing distributed agile
    22. 22. Enablers
    23. 23. Why are you communicating? • Privacy • Team Collaboration • Collective Wisdom – Documentation – Code – Test Cases – Process
    24. 24. Higher Bandwidth is Better • Face to face • High bandwidth, high resolution, large screen, hi-fi, always on connection • Low bandwidth, low resolution, small screen, low-fi, dial / setup costs • High quality voice only • VOIP with poor equipment • IM, text, chat • Wiki, discussion boards • E-mail Voice F2F Email
    25. 25. How are you communicating? Since face to face may be out. Let’s try some alternatives. • Always on window for the teams • Wide angle web cams for team rooms • Flat Screen TVs for both locations • Small webcams for every person • Online white boarding • High quality conferencing • Skype or another alternative
    26. 26. Working Agreements • Agree on the preferred mode of face-to-face • Display Good/favorite and bad modes (texting, home phone, cell phone, email) and times of day / after-hours – Preferences will differ per person
    27. 27. Quick Wins • Put the distributed team members on every speed dial for the home team • Using Outlook? Display time zones on the calendar • Have a clock with each time zone on every desktop and in the taskbar
    28. 28. The Communication Kata Goal of reducing the time it takes to hold a distributed meeting • Before you start find a buddy • Time box to 4 minutes • Begin: Schedule a video conference with audio • Call in • Share your screen • Share an online whiteboard • You draw • They draw • Save the drawing • Shut down the call • Shut down the video
    29. 29. Building Trust • Visits with social activities • understand realities of life in other locale • Deliberately get over communication gap / fear
    30. 30. Some Cool Tools • planningpoker.com (everyone should have this) • ScribLink.com (Online white board) • Mural.ly (sticky notes, images, go visit, it’s cool) • Board.net (Collaborative writing with etherpad.org) • Scribblar.com (Online white board) -free for 2 users • LisThings.com (Free corkboard) • Coggle.it (Collaborative mind mapping)
    31. 31. Resources • http://www.leadingagile.com • http://www.goodagile.com/distributedscrumprime r/ • http://agiledude.blogspot.com
    32. 32. Questions/Discussions
    33. 33. Upskill with Agile Training www.leadingagile.com/agile-training Certified Scrum Product Owner Orlando, FL October 10-11 Certified ScrumMaster Atlanta, GA October 17-18 Certified Scrum Product Owner Denver, CO October 24-25 Certified Scrum Product Owner Washington, DC November 4-5 Agile Certified Professional (PMI-ACP) Orlando, FL November 18-19 Certified ScrumMaster Orlando, FL December 2-3 Agile Certified Professional (PMI- ACP) Atlanta, GA December 5-6 Agile Certified Professional (PMI-ACP) Washington, DC December 9-10 Certified ScrumMaster Atlanta, GA December 12-13 Certified ScrumMaster Washington, DC December 16-17 Agile Certified Professional (PMI-ACP) Denver, CO December 19-20 Accelerated. Accredited. Acclaimed.

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