Working Effectively In Geographically Distributed Agile Project Teams

A Workshop with Johanna Rothman and Shane Hastie, Pleasanton, CA, April 17-18, 2012.

Geographically distributed projects are a reality in many organisations today; teams spread across multiple locations – diverse cities, states, countries, cultures and time zones.

How can you work effectively in a geographically distributed agile team? Can a distributed team really go agile? Yes, and it’s not easy. You often have to find your own path.

Moving to agile when you are part of a geographically distributed team has many challenges, all of which become obvious when you try to use Agile approaches.  Agile techniques place an emphasis on close collaboration and working together to deliver business value.  How do you achieve the levels of collaboration necessary when the team is spread across various locations, with testers in India, developers in France, customers in Boston and management in San Francisco?

This hands-on two-day workshop provides you with an intensive and immersive learning experience. It will give you an understanding of the challenges facing distributed Agile teams. It will provide you with the tools and understanding of how to address these challenges in order to create the most productive and effective team environment possible, enabling your distributed teams to deliver business value faster, better and cheaper!

You should participate if you are one of these people: Managers, project managers, Scrum Masters, iteration managers, product owners, business stakeholders, designers, developers, architects, business & systems analysts, testers, technical writers and anyone working with or on a distributed Agile team.

Workshop outline:

  1. Introductions and map of each person’s situation
    1. Kanban board of problems to integrate into the workshop
  2. Planning on a distributed team: We will simulate a project as we proceed
    1. Project charter
    2. Product backlog
    3. Portfolio and roadmap planning: who does what and when is it updated
    4. Release planning
    5. Iteration planning
    6. Daily commitment
    7. Activities as needed
  3. Human issues
    1. Trust
    2. Listening
    3. Congruence
    4. Activities as needed
  4. Project and program measurements
    1. Burnup charts
    2. Cumulative flow diagrams
  5. Solving problems from the Kanban board that we have not addressed so far
  6. Retrospective
  7. Summary and wrap-up

Each participant receives a copy of our 70-page workbook, and a copy of Manage It! Your Guide to Modern, Pragmatic Project Management (or any one of Johanna’s other books if you already have that one).

The workshop is two days. It’s at the Agilistry Studio in Pleasanton, CA. I have organized a block of rooms at the Pleasanton Marriott Courtyard, for those of us who are outside the Bay Area.

Registration is $1600 per person. If you register a 4-person team, you can take 25% off the fourth person’s registration. You have to register all the people at once to be eligible for the discount. Otherwise I will be too confused. Ready to register? Go to the store page to register. Have questions? Email me.

Previous registrants have loved this workshop. Here are some of their quotes:

“The course was very dynamic which was very impressive”

“I found this course very valuable and the trainers were excellent”

“High value for the time”

“Practical examples, suggestions to actual problems raised by the participants”

Want to join us? Please register. The workshop is limited to 20 people. Once we’re full, I’ll start a waiting list.

Want more? Listen to the webinar Shane and I recorded. Here are the Pragmatic Managers I’ve written to date: about the challenges of geographically distribute agile teams:

Come on, you know you want to register. If you have questions, shoot me an email.

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  1. Martyn Jones

    Two very talented people delivering this – this is a special opportunity to learn a lot on the topic!

  2. Denisse Vega

    I wonder if this workshop will include some sort of activities that needs to be in a comfortable clothes.

    I know this might not be really related to the topic, but I wonder which would be the appropriate dress code for the training. I can always look out for the weather online but you are can answer better about the kind of activities we will be performing.

    Best regards,
    Denisse Vega

    • johanna

      Hi Denisse, we will be working in project teams. You should wear business casual, or even more casual if you wish. I dress in comfy clothes that I hope are business casual. Shane normally wears a tie. Since I’m always cold, I’ll be wearing a sweater :-). Shane will probably be normal.

      We won’t make you run around like crazy, but you will be doing projects in distributed teams, so you should wear comfy clothes you can move around in easily. Does that help?


      • Denisse Vega

        It does, thank you very much.




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