Monday, May 21, 2012

Distributed Teams and Scrum

With outsourcing in vogue and Scrum/Agile methodology in full wind, how to get benefits of both? This is the question asked by each customer and each out sourcing company, product owner, scrum master, pig, chicken and virtually every stake holder.

A distributed scrum looks like:

With Distributed teams two more variables get added to SDLC, so the SCUM based development. These are reduction in communication richness and time difference. Being to be true engineer, let understand one at a time and then draw a unified picture.

On the scale of communication richness, different communication medium can be depicted as:

In distributed team, richness of communication needs to be maintained to compensate impossibility of face to face communication.

Apart of presence of communication of medium, team should have access to communication modes at all time to reduce time and resource consumption in arranging and finding access to communication medium. A pig or chicken should not be spending time in requesting for conference room, looking for shared telephone, etc. Instead she should be focusing on her core tasks.

To further enhance the person to person comfort level, each stake holder should be posting her photo graph – not place holder in contact details ( like email, self-introduction, etc.).

To answer time difference, team should have some overlap across geo locations. This certainly reduces wait time for each stake holder. With overlap, distributed teams handover the task smoothly and burn out to team members can be avoided.

To unify the both factors, discussed above, each location can run scrum separately and one scrum of scrum certainly helps to keep all horses of chariot aligned.

To further enhance personal rapport, distributed team can have rotation policy which enables each team member to have chance to develop personal relationship with other member. Product owner should be traveling to distributed locations on regular interval.

The above mentioned measure should result in integrated scrums.

The path charted above surely will help in running distributed team in effective and efficient manner to deliver extra ordinary results.

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