the team fracturing is not so much when we are in a "war" (?) room
temporarily collaborating. but rather when folks go off on their own
tangents, designing, coding, etc.
some simple examples...
when i worked with a team in St. Petersburg, RU, I would be onsite 2
weeks per month. i would have been more effective being onsite 100% of
the time. (We were developing software products at TogetherSoft.)
However, being a distributed team meant i had to increase the level to
which we ensured we always worked by being open, communicative, and
extra visible. so, we were more certain to have collaborative tools...
* tools to control the features -- not a bunch of cards physically
limited to sitting in some room.
* models and design ideas on wikis
* design by interface to avoid dependencies whose impact can be
exaggerated in distributed team dev
* web meetings to discuss items with the team (usually said
documentation and design ideas)
* plans and progress visible in wiki
the benefit? this not only served the local purposes of the team, but it
was useful for anybody else who might be interested, or who wished to
collaborate -- without having to be in the same room (or continent)
some teams would be content with doing just enough to meet their local
needs. which is fine. (an extreme example might be a solo developer that
does not docs or design or project wiki.) my point was that if you want
to succeed and you are doing distributed team dev, you better adopt some
best practices that help keep everyone on the same page. this can lead
to a distributed team having to go further than a local team would in
terms of building a collaborative workspace and artifacts. Obviously,
nothing precludes a local team from doing the same activities, it is
just that a local team need not to it to succeed; whereas, a distributed
team lives and dies by proper collaborative techniques and tools.
maybe a corollary to my point... if you cannot do development well
locally, you likely will not get any better results when you add in 12
we have been doing agile development with teams across 4 continents
now... with success. sure, sometimes i wish we were together, but skype
and other techniques can help bridge the gap.
Desilets, Alain said the following on 1/31/07 10:15 AM:
> > what i was referring to was a case where teams in the same
> > building had a habit of fracturing into little pockets of
> > doing their own things, leaving other team members out of the
> > conversations.
> Even when those various teams were all together in the same war room?
> I have seen teams located in the different parts of the same building
> have little communication (in fact, I see it all the time) but never
> when they are all together in a same room.
> I think we all agree that co-location does not GUARANTEE good
> communication (alhtough in the case of people in a same war room, I
> would say it's pretty close). But certainly, the solution is not to
> break people further appart! So I'm still puzzled by what you wrote
> > * being further apart can have the unintended consequence of
> > engendering greater degrees of communication
> Have you actually seen this happen? If so, please share your experience,
> because it's important.
> I'm not being sarcastic btw. Breakthroughs in science often come from
> finding out that one of your mostly deeply held beliefs is (at least
> partly) wrong.