Articles

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 …

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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 …

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Saying No to More Work

If you are like most people I know, it doesn’t matter what approach you take to your projects—your manager has too much work for you to do. Instead of a potential career-limiting conversation, frame the conversation so you can show your manager you’re considering his or her perspective. Here are some options for how to …

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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 …

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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 …

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3 Questions to Ask Before Estimating an Agile Program

Many organizations want to see an estimate for your program (a collection of projects with one business deliverable) before they fund it. So, the teams might spend significant time estimating everything the product owners and managers hope will be in the product from today’s perspective. Or, you might try a “sprint zero” to understand the …

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