Re: Remote versus collocated teams.
- Hello Ron.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...>
> 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
> > are not necessarily distant. As I have observed, the trend in Agileat
> > development is to over-emphasise the significance of physical
> > collocation. Furthermore, I believe this over-emphasis may even be
> > the expense of the project's objectives especially if a distributedteam
> > might confer some advantages in getting the work done.Thank you for giving me you opinions on this subject. The fact that they
> 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.
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
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.
- 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.