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Working with remote teams


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Working with remote teams

  1. 1. Brian DsouzaApril 25, 2012 1
  2. 2. •My Nepal experience• Team Values
  3. 3. About Nepal • Landlocked country •Home to the Himalayas • Very warm and welcoming people • Severely lacking in basic amenities
  4. 4. Information Technology in Nepal•IT companies range from 7 employeesto 100 employees•Small but competent IT community•Tremendous interest in Agile amongProfessional and Student community• Agile IT event - over 80 students and100 plus professionals•Agile Leadership Network in Nepal
  5. 5. Verisk IT•Largest IT Organization in Nepal• ~350 employees•Serving clients in the US•260 Certified Scrum Masters
  6. 6. My experience with Agile Rollout in Nepal•Tremendous enthusiasm for Agile •The latest fad •Younger workforce •Open to change
  7. 7. Self Organization•Challenge: •Strong hierarchical mindset •Guru-shiksha – culture of obeying •Sense of helplessness •Ready to take orders•Impact: • Design is an ongoing daily process between onshore-offshore teams within a Sprint • Lots of activity, no progress•Approach: • Make your team responsible for „failure‟ • Help them to challenge everything •Design •Architecture •Process •Even your Agile Coach
  8. 8. Communication•Challenge: •Good communication is NOT a value •Best speakers are not the ones that speak at meetings •Self assertion is not a virtue •Language skill improvement is not a career goal•Impact: •Creates a wrong impression of team‟s technical capabilities •Turns people off – communication frequency is reduced •Collaboration suffers – lets just design and give tasks to offshore •Lots of activity, no progress•Approach: •Use the best communicators on meetings •No local languages to be used except „English‟ within the organization •Make Good Communication a career goal •Encourage “pecha kucha” sessions to gain experience
  9. 9. Escalation•Challenge: •Escalation is looked upon as being non-cooperative and difficult •Fire-fighting is a virtue – I save the day, team and organization •„Work-around‟ over a solution •Wrong sense of team •protect a member/team that is failing •Calling out a superior is sacrilegious•Impact: •Inefficiencies abound •Failures are repeated •Team velocity significantly impacted•Approach: •Make the team responsible for failure, irrespective of where the issue is
  10. 10. Development Process•Challenge: •Mostly home-grown •Agile „misconceptions‟ are easily adopted •No documentation •No analysis-design-build/test approach•Impact: •Further erosion of development process quality as a result of „adopting‟ agile•Approach: •Introduce Development processes along with Project Management Processes •TDD needs Automation •Environment to support Agile development techniques must be available
  11. 11. Communication Infrastructure•Challenge: •Communication infrastructure quality is not a priority •Poor communication infrastructure exacerbates language skills and accents•Impact: •Loss of productive time especially on large meetings •Creates an incorrect perception of a low quality team •Reduces open and extensive collaboration •Creates a wall – throw work over rather than collaborate•Approach: •Make good communication infrastructure a critical organizational goal • Infrastructure teams need to be held accountable •Institute metrics to measure the quality of communication
  12. 12. Values over Process Inculcating Values is a key stepto creating an environment that becomes Self-improving
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  18. 18. Courage 18
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  22. 22. Discussion
  23. 23. Key Considerations for remote Agile teamsFeedback:Feel much more connected to the business in the USNow see meaning in what we doEnjoy coming to work as I see myself moving forward-Communications (Tools and Technologies)-Adapting the right approach (Language and Culture)-Aligning on-shore and off-shore teams on Agile Principals-Communicating by value rather than effort