Re: Remote versus collocated teams.
- Hello Alain (and Adrian)
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Desilets, Alain"
> > On 31 May 2007, at 16:07, Sue Heim wrote:
> > [snip]
> > > Pretty much... to each his/her own. As long as it works, yes?
> > [snip]
> > Of course :-)
> > There's an interesting question for the folk involved in
> > forming teams though.
> > I don't think anybody is arguing that distributed teams can't work.
> > I've worked on some lovely distributed projects.
> > However it's been my personal experience that co-located
> > teams work better than distributed ones. That's certainly
> > going to bias me towards building teams around folk who are
> > happy co-locating.
> > Cheers,
> > Adrian
> That's how I see things too.
> BTW: For 15 years, I preferred working remotely. Then I did a 1-week
> hands-on XP training. I'll never go back to working remotely ever
>It pretty much seems that the future's bright if both of you if you go
with the collocated groove into the light of eternal bliss.
For me, the quaint 'God is on his throne' finality that both of you
profess is the epitome of bleakness, horror, and untruth that would fit
well into an Orwellian storyline, or the pages of Huxley's Brave New
As for the idea of trying collocated teaming that your use of Dr
Seusse's allegorical green eggs and ham rhyme would have me do, well,
being 33 years old, I've experienced enough to know that collocation is
not the solution for me.
The only book I had on Dr Seuss was titled "The trouble I had in getting
to Solla Solew". It was a long time ago, but I think it was about a
character who endured all types of hell to get somewhere only to find it
wasn't as great as he'd hoped. If I am right, then I'll say that indeed,
I have been there, and I will not be scrambling to try collocated Agile
teaming any time soon.
I might, as an exercise, give it a go if one forms at my soon to be
employer. It will be only to prove what I already know to be true: that
I will positively suck at collocated XPing, scumming, Crystalling, or
any other type of Agiling that is ever likely to be conceived.
I will certainly be a much better performer in a remote team setting, so
long as everyone else on the team is willing to use the same lines of
communication that I will be using. I believe remote War Rooms, Stand-Up
Meetings, and whatever else would be done in your collocated Nirvana
would, at the very least, be equally as effective provided that everyone
simultaneously places both a high and equal emphasis on the tools to
enable remote collaboration.
Most Agile methods are common sense about project development. I can't
recommend their application highly enough. However, I find it to be a
sad departure from common sense that most people (at least most people
on this message group) would want to collocate as much of a development
team as possible, regardless of whether it is appropriate for the tasks
for which a team or part thereof is formed.
Both of you seem to have found your comfort zone, and shifted your
brains into park on this topic. It doesn't seem so much that you are
agreeing with any evidence on the topic of remote versus collocated
teams than the two of you are just agreeing with each other. One of you
is the yin to the other's yang, and your world is in balance.
Margaret Thatcher once said when she felt the heat of a great wall of
opposition to her views that "The Lady is Not for Turning", and like
her, I see no reason from what I read of your conversation, or any other
conversation I have had on this forum that I should deviate from her
- Here here Ron! Remote teamwork may be possible but it certainly
isn't ideal. Close collaboration without co-location is a
compromise, sometimes an essential one, but not one you'd advocate
as part of any methodology.
I sometimes like to think of this in terms of new business
startups. How many people would start a business and think, "I
know, let's base our development teams in multiple locations and
have the business owners of the product we're building in a
different place to the developers." For logistical reasons, sales
and other field-based teams maybe, for product development I think
--- In email@example.com, Ron Jeffries
> Hello, Owen. On Sunday, June 3, 2007, at 11:01:30 PM, you wrote:
> > I realise that many people aren't in my position such that they
> > want hard facts to decide. Many are going to trust the opinionsof other
> > people they may think have seasoned opinions, because theyhaven't got
> > the time or the interest to decide for themselves. However, ifJohn
> > Kern's business, as a case in point, can demonstrate that the usepossible,
> > communications tools to facilitate a remote team discussion is
> > then shouldn't the Agile community be a little less hard onremote
> > teaming?want
> Owen, even Jon said that together would be better. Why would we
> to recommend something that wasn't the best we know?
> Ron Jeffries
> The fact that we know more today, and are more capable today,
> is good news about today, not bad news about yesterday.