Monday, 5 September 2011

The Distributed SCRUM Team: agile teams anywhere on the globe

"We are looking for a location where we can all be, regardless of where we all are."

After 48 weeks of doing SCRUM, with the number of teams growing from 1 to 6 and trying out different implementations, we now face a new, interesting challenge. Our 5th and 6th SCRUM teams have started in... Chine and India.

So, here it is: "One of the biggest mantras for Agile teams is that you have to be co-located.  If you are not co-located, you are not going to be highly performant." (Julie LeMoine, the Fidelity Center for Applied Technology) That's the thing. Everybody, at least in our situation, beleives that one of the biggest benefits is that all team members and teams are at walking distance. Most of them even at pebble throwing distance. And they also agree that most of the problems we face are communication problems with people who are further away then the earlier mentioned.

So how are we going to handle two teams in another part of the world, are we going to share the backlog? Do we instate another product owner? Are they actually working on another product? How do we do shared meetings when we are in different time zones, e.g. for our daily stand up?

Of course there are theories and people who have thought about issues like these, but like always, one also needs to regard the issues of the specific company. And what the possibilities we have to change things. So I'll be probably reading the books below, but also start a discussion, maybe just a theoretic one, with some people and see how we get all advantages there are out of it.

I would be very interested in your opinion and experiences on this, and maybe communicate with the collegues in China and India on a more regular basis, to see what happens from your perspective.

These might be interesting to read: