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Communication Challenges in Distributed Agile Projects

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This is based on a literature study on communication challenges and suggested solutions for distributed agile projects.

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Communication Challenges in Distributed Agile Projects

  1. 1. Communication Challenges in Distributed Agile Projects S. M. Sohan http://www.smsohan.com
  2. 2. Summary •  Scope •  What is distributed agile? •  What are the key communication challenges? •  How to win the challenges? •  Q & A 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 2
  3. 3. Agile •  Individuals and Interactions •  Customer Collaboration *www.agilemanifesto.org 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 3
  4. 4. People •  Developers •  Customers •  Managers 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 4
  5. 5. Agile Development Team •  Self-managed •  Open space •  Informal 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 5
  6. 6. Agile Customer •  Very responsive 10:00:01 AM you wrote: Please let me know if you have any feedback on the… 10:00:15 AM she wrote: Here is my quick feedback: a)… b)… 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 6
  7. 7. Agile Business Team •  Ensures seamless collaboration 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 7
  8. 8. Distributed Project Types •  Distributed Team •  Remote Team •  Outsourced 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 8
  9. 9. Distributed Team Tester Dev Tester Dev Tester Dev Dev Client Tester Argentina USA India * Distributed Agile Development at Microsoft Patterns and Practices, Ade Miller 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 9
  10. 10. Remote Team Customer Team * Communication in Distributed Agile Development: A Case Study 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 10
  11. 11. Outsourced Customer Outsourcing Vendor Provides Outsources Software Product Programming Contracts project Delivers and meets requirements working code Outsourcing Client * Modified Agile Practices for Outsourced Software Projects, Batra. 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 11
  12. 12. Distributed Project: Scale 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 12
  13. 13. Distributed Project: Opportunities* •  Cost-benefit •  Resource •  Local knowledge •  Round the clock development *A Case Study of Coordination in Distributed Agile Software Development, Steniar et al. * Distributed Agile Development at Microsoft Patterns and Practices, Ade Miller 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 13
  14. 14. Agile vs. Traditional Distributed* Relative Emphasis Agile Traditional GSD • A Case Study of Coordination in Distributed Agile Software Development, Steniar et al. 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 14
  15. 15. Challenging Factors Challenging Factor Frequency of Studies Synchronous Communication 9 Collaboration Difficulties 6 Communication Bandwidth 6 Tool Support 6 Large Team 5 Office Space 2 Multiple sites 1 *Using Scrum is Global Software Development: A Systematic Literature Review, Hossain et. Al. 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 15
  16. 16. Common Challenge # 1 •  Language and Accents*: “We tried to use telephone-conference, but it didn’t work well, because of language problems…. It takes time to organize telephone-conference” *A Case Study of Coordination in Distributed Agile Software Development, Steniar et al. 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 16
  17. 17. Common Challenge # 1 •  Solution: –  Augment with written communication –  IM –  Emails –  Wiki etc. –  Conference Phone –  Projector * A Case Study of Coordination in Distributed Agile Software Development, Steniar et al. * Knowledge Sharing in Agile Software Teams, Chau et al. (MASE, Wiki Based) * Knowledge Management Support for Distributed Agile Software Process, Holz et al. (PRIME) * Distributed Agile Development at Microsoft Patterns and Practices, Ade Miller * XP Expanded: Distributed Extreme Programming, Braithwaite et al. 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 17
  18. 18. Common Challenge # 2 •  Time Zone 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 18
  19. 19. Common Challenge # 2 •  Solution: –  Use team representatives per office –  Team Buddy *A Case Study of Coordination in Distributed Agile Software Development, Steniar et al. * Distributed Agile Development at Microsoft Patterns and Practices, Ade Miller 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 19
  20. 20. Common Challenge # 2 •  Solution: –  Modularize? finishlinestudios.com *A Case Study of Coordination in Distributed Agile Software Development, Steniar et al. * Distributed Agile Development at Microsoft Patterns and Practices, Ade Miller 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 20
  21. 21. Common Challenge # 2 •  Solution: –  Use asynchronous communication: Emails, Wiki ruf.rice.edu dev-farm.com 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 21
  22. 22. Common Challenge # 2 •  Solution: –  Shift core hours * Distributed Agile Development at Microsoft Patterns and Practices, Ade Miller * Fully Distributed Scrum, Jeff Sutherland et al. 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 22
  23. 23. Common Challenges # 3 •  Cultural Issues •  Solution: –  One Team, One Codebase; One Team, One Build. –  Traveling. –  Team events. –  “Let people play” * XP Expanded: Distributed Extreme Programming, Braithwaite et al. * Fully Distributed Scrum, Jeff Sutherland et al. 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 23
  24. 24. Common Challenges # 4 •  National Holidays: •  Solution: –  Early communication –  Plan accordingly 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 24
  25. 25. Common Challenges # 5 •  Trust: •  Solution: –  Traveling –  Training –  Blogs, Social Networks www.pragia.cz –  Video conferencing for shared demo * Distributed Agile Development at Microsoft Patterns and Practices, Ade Miller * Fully Distributed Scrum, Jeff Sutherland et al. 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 25
  26. 26. Common Challenges # 6 •  Mindset: “Thus we conclude that if the customer is not able or willing to participate actively in the communication when needed, any communication mechanism becomes redundant.” * Communication in Distributed Agile Development: A Case Study, Korkala et al. 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 26
  27. 27. Distributed Stand-up Meeting •  http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=1BZ2RkrINSE&feature=channel •  http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=q1RqhRcPJZ0&feature=related 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 27
  28. 28. Distributed Team Challenge # 1 •  Planning meetings •  Solution: –  Use online tools –  Same time –  Reduce dependencies * Fully Distributed Scrum, Jeff Sutherland et al. 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 28
  29. 29. Distributed Team Challenge # 1 •  Online tools 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 29
  30. 30. Distributed Team Challenge # 2 •  Daily status updates: •  Solution: –  One scrum master per team –  Scrum of scrums –  Weekly meetings * Fully Distributed Scrum, Jeff Sutherland et al. * A Case Study of Coordination in Distributed Agile Software Development, Hole et at. 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 30
  31. 31. Distributed Team Challenge # 3 •  Knowledge sharing •  Solution: –  Rotate developers on modules, projects. –  Use groupware: Emails, Wiki, Blogs etc. –  Use online project management tools. * Essential Communication Practices for Extreme Programming in a Global Software Development team, Layman et al. * Communication in Distributed Agile Development: A Case Study, Korkala et al. 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 31
  32. 32. Distributed Team Challenge # 4 •  Self-managing •  Solution: –  Use pull-method instead of push. –  Empower each office with autonomous decisions. * XP Expanded: Distributed Extreme Programming, Braithwaite et al. * Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit, Poppendieck and Poppendieck. 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 32
  33. 33. Distributed Team Challenge # 5 •  Modeling and planning •  Solution: –  Electronic tools *The Agile Scaling Model (ASM), S. Amber et al. 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 33
  34. 34. Distributed Team Challenge # 6 •  Pair-programming •  Solution: –  Frequent code review meetings * Distributed Agile Development at Microsoft Patterns and Practices, Ade Miller 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 34
  35. 35. Remote Customer Challenge # 1 •  Reviews and feedbacks •  Solution: –  Video conferencing –  Extensively use IM, Email –  Use online tools. –  Desktop sharing tools. * Fully Distributed Scrum, Jeff Sutherland et. al. 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 35
  36. 36. Remote Customer Challenge # 2 •  Business domain knowledge transfer •  Solution: –  Training –  Audio/video conferencing –  Groupware. 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 36
  37. 37. Remote Customer Challenge # 3 •  Requirements Transfer Feature: Addition In order to avoid silly mistakes As a math idiot I want to be told the sum of two numbers Scenario: Add two numbers Given I have entered 50 into the calculator And I have entered 70 into the calculator When I press add Then the result should be 120 on the screen •  Solution: –  Executable acceptance tests * XP Expanded: Distributed Extreme Programming, Braithwaite et al. 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 37
  38. 38. Outsourced Project Challenge # 1 •  Relaying knowledge •  Solution: –  Include off-shore team in client meetings. –  Use audio/video recording. * Modified Agile Practices for Outsourced Software Projects, Batra. 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 38
  39. 39. Outsourced Project Challenge # 2 •  Process mismatch •  Solution: –  Ensure key contact people. –  Frequently communicate with the key contact people. * Modified Agile Practices for Outsourced Software Projects, Batra. 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 39
  40. 40. Unsolved Challenge •  Distributed Pair Programming •  Whiteboard discussion * Distributed Agile Development at Microsoft Patterns and Practices, Ade Miller 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 40
  41. 41. Conflicting Literature •  Telephone/Video conferencing •  Modules per team •  Multiple scrum-masters 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 41
  42. 42. Communication Tools 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 42
  43. 43. Wish List •  Integrated communication tool •  Traveling and rotating members •  Seamless real-time communication tools 3/22/10 S. M. Sohan - Communication in DASD 43
  44. 44. Questions

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