Creating Time for Collaboration with Distributed Teams and Agile Approaches

Summary: Many of us have horrible experiences with distributed teams where we can find no possibility of collaboration, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Even if a team is distributed, those team members need collaborative opportunities and space. What’s important is the team’s time for collaboration, not time zones. Here are some ways …

Distributed Agile Approaches Optimize for the Team over Individuals

Summary: Consider how your team currently organizes: for resource efficiency, optimizing for the individual; or for flow efficiency, optimizing for the team? Successful agile teams—distributed or not—should collaborate to optimize the flow of work through the team. This approach lets you understand your capacity, learn together, and deliver more effectively. Too many “teams” feel like …

For Distributed Agile Teams, It’s Not All about the Tools

Summary: Many managers and distributed team members think that if they just had the right tools, they could make some agile approach work. Maybe, but tools only enhance the work of a collaborative agile team. Before you select tools, make sure you have people who can work together and have enough skills and capabilities for …

Distributed Teams Need Sufficient Communications Technology

In our previous article, we discussed the importance of sufficient hours of overlap in managing a team’s workspace. As a reminder, here are the four components we see that need to be managed in a distributed team workspace. Sufficient hours of overlap in everyone’s workday. Sufficient communications technology that supports everyone equally in synchronous and …

Is Your Product Owner an Overloaded Operator?

In software, overloaded operators exist when an operator or operation has different meanings in different contexts. A developer might do this unintentionally when she uses a variable to mean one thing in one context and that same variable has a different meaning in another context. We even overload conversational operators. A number of years ago, …