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Re: Remote versus collocated teams.

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  • Owen Thomas
    Hello Ron. ... teams ... at ... team ... Thank you for giving me you opinions on this subject. The fact that they have been unsolicited is indeed appreciated.
    Message 1 of 146 , Jun 2 7:37 AM
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      Hello Ron.
      --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > Hello, Owen. On Thursday, May 31, 2007, at 11:32:34 AM, you wrote:
      >
      > > What I appear to have to point out now is that I believe remote
      teams
      > > are not necessarily distant. As I have observed, the trend in Agile
      > > development is to over-emphasise the significance of physical
      > > collocation. Furthermore, I believe this over-emphasis may even be
      at
      > > the expense of the project's objectives especially if a distributed
      team
      > > might confer some advantages in getting the work done.
      >
      > Owen, it appears to me that the above, and your similar thoughts,
      > are speculation. It seems that you don't know much about Agile
      > methods yet, and haven't yet worked as part of an Agile team. Many
      > of us who are chatting with you on this have rather more concrete
      > experience. As I mentioned, I've worked with many Agile teams,
      > including some with
      >
      > - people in the same room;
      > - people in separate rooms down the hall;
      > - people in rooms on different floors;
      > - people in different countries.
      >
      > I'm not /guessing/ that it makes a difference. I'm /reporting/ that
      > it makes a difference, and the difference is significant.
      >
      > Is it possible to compensate? To some degree it seems to be, but the
      > remote people are likely going to be more isolated and less able to
      > be involved, at least with today's technology. If they are all
      > remote, then they will all be more isolated and less involved that
      > people would be who were together.
      >
      > It seems to me as I read your words that you are trying to redefine
      > the universe to your liking, despite the evidence that the universe
      > is not as you might like. Rewriting the world seems to me to be
      > fraught. It seems to me that you may prosper more fully if you begin
      > to work on why, when, and how a remote worker can be worth his or
      > her money, or when a distributed project is really better than a
      > co-located one.
      >
      > You have my report, and my unsolicited advice. You will, of course,
      > do as you wish, as will we all. That is as it should be.

      Thank you for giving me you opinions on this subject. The fact that they
      have been unsolicited is indeed appreciated. Respectfully, I do have
      differences. Although what you, along with many other people in this
      group, have said to me has been informing (and it most certainly has),
      it does not convince me that my speculation is without objective
      substance. If anything I receive did appear to show this my speculation
      was contradictory, then I assure you, I would stop.

      Since I opened this topic, I have read many stories about the trouble
      people have had trying to implement remote collaboration, which seem to
      fall into the following three categories:

      1. Team members had a disdain for using remote tools, and may have
      sabotaged the project through their underutilisation.

      2. Attempts were made at linking disparate groups of collocated 'sub
      teams' together. The sub-teams, being collocated, were very self
      sufficient, and team members from one group simply didn't stray from
      their clique to talk to their bretherin from another.

      3. Some attempts were made at tacking a remote resource on to a
      collocated team. Again, this resource slipped into obscurity because the
      collocated teams common communication channels simply remained
      inaccessible to the remote resource.

      I have taken your advice on board, Ron. I am glad that you have given
      it. In time, I think that the objective evidence will show that remote
      teaming will have a large stake in Agile development. People, as they
      always do, take a little while to get used to new and controversial
      ideas.

      I know that the introduction of Agile development has been fraught with
      hurdles. So much so, that I'm even beginning to believe that collocation
      emphasis was invented as a compromise to the customer to get the Agile
      foot in the door, and I can't blame it for that.

      Owen.
    • kswaters1
      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
      Message 146 of 146 , Jul 11, 2007
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        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
        not.

        Kelly Waters
        http://www.allaboutagile.com


        --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, Ron Jeffries
        <ronjeffries@...> wrote:
        >
        > 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
        would
        > > want hard facts to decide. Many are going to trust the opinions
        of other
        > > people they may think have seasoned opinions, because they
        haven't got
        > > the time or the interest to decide for themselves. However, if
        John
        > > Kern's business, as a case in point, can demonstrate that the use
        > > communications tools to facilitate a remote team discussion is
        possible,
        > > then shouldn't the Agile community be a little less hard on
        remote
        > > teaming?
        >
        > Owen, even Jon said that together would be better. Why would we
        want
        > to recommend something that wasn't the best we know?
        >
        > Ron Jeffries
        > www.XProgramming.com
        > The fact that we know more today, and are more capable today,
        > is good news about today, not bad news about yesterday.
        >
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