Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Less Specification, More Interaction for Distributed Teams

When working with Distributed Teams, sometimes the "home" team will feel the need to be ultra prescriptive in their specifications and instructions to the "remote" team.  Fight this tendency!  More documentation will lead to a false sense of security and due to time zone / remoteness, and may discourage the Product Owner and remote team from interacting.

One of the keys to success in using distributed teams is to increase the level of interaction.  Product Owners and the distributed team should:

1.  Schedule pre and post Sprint Planning meetings to discuss upcoming and currently being worked on features.  Frequency and number depends on the length of time the team has been working together and historical track record of delivery to what the Product Owner desired.

2.  Schedule Sprint Demo's throughout the Sprint whenever a feature is ready to review visually, not just at the end of a Sprint.

3.  Schedule periodic face to face meetings, during Sprint Planning / Sprint Design for a major release would be a good time.

More interaction, less specification.

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