Achieving success with distributed teams

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A story of a distributed team that is achieving more success than most co-located.

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Achieving success with distributed teams

  1. 1. ACHIEVING SUCCESS WITH DISTRIBUTED TEAMS Tonight’s Sponsor IMPROVING ENTERPRISES
  2. 2. -Jane Prusakova -Luid Hancock ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
  3. 3. • • • • 4-5 years with Agile Scrum Master, BA, Coach, Programmer, Architect, PM Small to Large Enterprises Insurance, Financial, Internet Marketing JOSH WOODCOCK
  4. 4. Audience • • • • • • • Considering Tried it, didn’t work. Distributed = Dark Side Doing Awesome Agony What’s distributed?
  5. 5. Problem #1
  6. 6. Problem #1
  7. 7. Problem #1
  8. 8. Problem #1 Cost $$  Skill & Competitive 
  9. 9. Problem #1
  10. 10. Solution #1
  11. 11. Solution #1 Remote source skilled workers
  12. 12. Solution #1 
  13. 13. Problem #2
  14. 14. Problem #2
  15. 15. THE STORY
  16. 16. Same Place, Different Locations THE EPIPHANY
  17. 17. Team Member Locations
  18. 18. How we are doing? • Customer satisfaction is so high they are recommending us to other companies • Product direction changes weekly • CI server builds multiple times per day as code is checked in • Pair programming and backlog grooming occurs naturally throughout day • Employees are highly autonomous and require little to no management involvement • Most of collaboration is face to face or through screen sharing
  19. 19. How we are doing? • Working software demonstrated at least weekly to customers and users • Team members work 40-45 hrs / week • Technical enhancements are written in business terms and prioritized in product backlog • Releases to production provide new value every 1-2 weeks • Teams velocity is about the same for each team member • Team identifies opportunities and follows through on improvements weekly
  20. 20. Operational Foundations Project Tracking
  21. 21. Josh.Woodcock@ImprovingEnterprises.com (407) 235-4361 @BJoshWoodcock JOSH WOODCOCK
  22. 22. Operationally critical elements • Virtual team room – As long as you are working you have your web cam or screen share on • • • • 1 week iterations Use of video instead of face conversation Limited use of email Phones are only used when absolutely necessary. Facial expressions drastically improve communication. • Daily code integration, daily builds, and test driven development • Pair group programming and testing
  23. 23. Things that help a lot • Near same time zone to maintain common working hours • Team members desire to overcome personal challenges, and bring out the best in one another • Occasional meet up in same room. Establish relationships early in project if it’s a brand new team.
  24. 24. Things that help a lot • Communication is superfluous not back and forth. • Management resolves team level obstacles in 2 days or less • Forum or Wiki for team communication, meeting notes, living documents
  25. 25. Things that help a lot • Limit email within the team – Use voice or forum for discussions – Subscription-based email service to document updates – Google docs, Confluence Wiki, Sharepoint, GitHub
  26. 26. Continuous communication • As a general rule, every team members is available to others for ad-hoc discussions • Responses are given within minutes or seconds – Not hours or days
  27. 27. Learning Experiences • 5 days is great. 3 days is not enough. 4 days is minimum. • Turn around time on questions from PO must be less than 15 mins during day • Improving once a week from retrospectives due to short iterations drastically improves performance • Recurring scheduled collaboration sessions, like pairing, makes communication more superfluous since ad-hoc meetings are more difficult to schedule • An awesome distributed team will still do better than an average collocated team
  28. 28. Recommended Web-based tools • JIRA Agile, Rally, VesionOne, etc. • Google Hangouts, Lync, Skype 4.2 for continuous communication and collaboration • GoTo Meeting, WebEx for presentations • http://www.planningpoker.com/ works great for planning poker
  29. 29. Other Resources • http://confluex.com/blog/a-distributedteams-insurance/ • http://beagile.biz/agile-collaboration-tools/

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