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Re: [XP] Agile challenges

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  • Tim Ottinger
    Five rules: 1) Don t 2) Dont treat remotes as locals. 3) Don t treat locals as remotes 4) Latitude hurts, longitude kills 5) Don t always be remote Take the
    Message 1 of 11 , May 6, 2011
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      Five rules:
      1) Don't
      2) Dont' treat remotes as locals.
      3) Don't treat locals as remotes
      4) Latitude hurts, longitude kills
      5) Don't always be remote


      Take the first with a grain of salt. I'm once again a remote member of a team,
      so I see value in having remote members. We have to have special
      considerations, like skype, webex or yuuguu or teamviewer, distributed version
      control helps, phone numbers for when something bad happens, interoffice text
      chat, extra email conversations, etc.

      The second is dead serious. Remember that the remote is unable to move through
      the room, unable to eavesdrop on conversations in the bullpen, unable to see the
      signage and charts, and has limited visual range. It's like a handicap of sorts,
      but great people can overcome such things.

      The third is dead serious. Don't turn all your local people into remotes. Don't
      eliminate physical charts, card walls, and conversations. Ignore what you hear
      about agile tools being as good as physical presence, because it's not true.
      Keep your locals working like locals, and pair them with the remotes working as
      remotes.

      Fourth one is dead serious. Time zones suck. It's almost nice if you are
      centrally located to have peers one or two time zones earlier and some one or
      two time zones later, but a lack of "common hours" really screws up the pairing
      work.

      Fifth one is a joy. You want your remotes to come visit sometimes. It
      establishes a rapport, it builds a sense of team, and it's good to like the
      people you're compensating for. Definitely build a team with your remotes.

      Tim Ottinger
      http://agileinaflash.blogspot.com/
      http://agileotter.blogspot.com/



      ----- Original Message ----
      > From: hennahsugumaran <hennahsugumaran@...>
      > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Thu, May 5, 2011 9:54:45 AM
      > Subject: [XP] Agile challenges
      >
      > Hello guys,
      >
      > I wanted to know the Challenges that the agile developers face in the
      >dispersed environment (i.e. when the developers in a team is spread across the
      >various places). The real time challenges.
      >
      >
      > Hennah.
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
      > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
      >
      > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
      >extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
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      >
      >
      >
      >
    • Jeff Langr
      Someone should put that on a card or something. (hint, hint, Tim!) Seriously, this is a great list. On #3 ( don t turn your local people into remotes )
      Message 2 of 11 , May 6, 2011
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        Someone should put that on a card or something. (hint, hint, Tim!)

        Seriously, this is a great list. On #3 ("don't turn your local people into
        remotes") absolutely, don't insist that everyone deal with the
        far-less-effective agile PM tools to accommodate all the remote folks.
        But I'll also suggest that it's probably very useful to have the locals to
        experience the perspective and disadvantage of being remote.

        Teleconferences are interesting: of course it's far more effective for
        everyone to be chatting in the same room, face-to-face, but I'd say the next
        most effective is *everyone* online. I've seen mixes where half the people
        are in a room and the rest are on the phone go sour too often (usually one
        of these halves dominates).

        Jeff

        ps--Well, perhaps there is still a bit of life to beat out of this horse.

        Langr Software Solutions
        http://langrsoft.com
        http://agileinaflash.com <http://agileinaflash.com-->


        On Fri, May 6, 2011 at 8:14 AM, Tim Ottinger <linux_tim@...> wrote:

        > Five rules:
        > 1) Don't
        > 2) Dont' treat remotes as locals.
        > 3) Don't treat locals as remotes
        > 4) Latitude hurts, longitude kills
        > 5) Don't always be remote
        >
        >
        > Take the first with a grain of salt. I'm once again a remote member of a
        > team,
        > so I see value in having remote members. We have to have special
        > considerations, like skype, webex or yuuguu or teamviewer, distributed
        > version
        > control helps, phone numbers for when something bad happens, interoffice
        > text
        > chat, extra email conversations, etc.
        >
        > The second is dead serious. Remember that the remote is unable to move
        > through
        > the room, unable to eavesdrop on conversations in the bullpen, unable to
        > see the
        > signage and charts, and has limited visual range. It's like a handicap of
        > sorts,
        > but great people can overcome such things.
        >
        > The third is dead serious. Don't turn all your local people into remotes.
        > Don't
        > eliminate physical charts, card walls, and conversations. Ignore what you
        > hear
        > about agile tools being as good as physical presence, because it's not
        > true.
        > Keep your locals working like locals, and pair them with the remotes
        > working as
        > remotes.
        >
        > Fourth one is dead serious. Time zones suck. It's almost nice if you are
        > centrally located to have peers one or two time zones earlier and some one
        > or
        > two time zones later, but a lack of "common hours" really screws up the
        > pairing
        > work.
        >
        > Fifth one is a joy. You want your remotes to come visit sometimes. It
        > establishes a rapport, it builds a sense of team, and it's good to like the
        > people you're compensating for. Definitely build a team with your remotes.
        >
        > Tim Ottinger
        > http://agileinaflash.blogspot.com/
        > http://agileotter.blogspot.com/
        >
        >
        >
        > ----- Original Message ----
        > > From: hennahsugumaran <hennahsugumaran@...>
        > > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
        > > Sent: Thu, May 5, 2011 9:54:45 AM
        > > Subject: [XP] Agile challenges
        > >
        > > Hello guys,
        > >
        > > I wanted to know the Challenges that the agile developers face in the
        > >dispersed environment (i.e. when the developers in a team is spread
        > across the
        > >various places). The real time challenges.
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Dave Rooney
        ... LOL! I thought it was! :) Dave Rooney Agile Coach & Co-founder Westboro Systems http://www.westborosystems.com dave.rooney@westborosystems.com
        Message 3 of 11 , May 6, 2011
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          On 2011-05-06, at 10:48 AM, Jeff Langr <jeff@...> wrote:

          > Someone should put that on a card or something. (hint, hint, Tim!)

          LOL! I thought it was! :)

          Dave Rooney
          Agile Coach & Co-founder
          Westboro Systems
          http://www.westborosystems.com
          dave.rooney@...


          >
          > Seriously, this is a great list. On #3 ("don't turn your local people into
          > remotes") absolutely, don't insist that everyone deal with the
          > far-less-effective agile PM tools to accommodate all the remote folks.
          > But I'll also suggest that it's probably very useful to have the locals to
          > experience the perspective and disadvantage of being remote.
          >
          > Teleconferences are interesting: of course it's far more effective for
          > everyone to be chatting in the same room, face-to-face, but I'd say the next
          > most effective is *everyone* online. I've seen mixes where half the people
          > are in a room and the rest are on the phone go sour too often (usually one
          > of these halves dominates).
          >
          > Jeff
          >
          > ps--Well, perhaps there is still a bit of life to beat out of this horse.
          >
          > Langr Software Solutions
          > http://langrsoft.com
          > http://agileinaflash.com <http://agileinaflash.com-->
          >
          >
          > On Fri, May 6, 2011 at 8:14 AM, Tim Ottinger <linux_tim@...> wrote:
          >
          >> Five rules:
          >> 1) Don't
          >> 2) Dont' treat remotes as locals.
          >> 3) Don't treat locals as remotes
          >> 4) Latitude hurts, longitude kills
          >> 5) Don't always be remote
          >>
          >>
          >> Take the first with a grain of salt. I'm once again a remote member of a
          >> team,
          >> so I see value in having remote members. We have to have special
          >> considerations, like skype, webex or yuuguu or teamviewer, distributed
          >> version
          >> control helps, phone numbers for when something bad happens, interoffice
          >> text
          >> chat, extra email conversations, etc.
          >>
          >> The second is dead serious. Remember that the remote is unable to move
          >> through
          >> the room, unable to eavesdrop on conversations in the bullpen, unable to
          >> see the
          >> signage and charts, and has limited visual range. It's like a handicap of
          >> sorts,
          >> but great people can overcome such things.
          >>
          >> The third is dead serious. Don't turn all your local people into remotes.
          >> Don't
          >> eliminate physical charts, card walls, and conversations. Ignore what you
          >> hear
          >> about agile tools being as good as physical presence, because it's not
          >> true.
          >> Keep your locals working like locals, and pair them with the remotes
          >> working as
          >> remotes.
          >>
          >> Fourth one is dead serious. Time zones suck. It's almost nice if you are
          >> centrally located to have peers one or two time zones earlier and some one
          >> or
          >> two time zones later, but a lack of "common hours" really screws up the
          >> pairing
          >> work.
          >>
          >> Fifth one is a joy. You want your remotes to come visit sometimes. It
          >> establishes a rapport, it builds a sense of team, and it's good to like the
          >> people you're compensating for. Definitely build a team with your remotes.
          >>
          >> Tim Ottinger
          >> http://agileinaflash.blogspot.com/
          >> http://agileotter.blogspot.com/
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >> ----- Original Message ----
          >>> From: hennahsugumaran <hennahsugumaran@...>
          >>> To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
          >>> Sent: Thu, May 5, 2011 9:54:45 AM
          >>> Subject: [XP] Agile challenges
          >>>
          >>> Hello guys,
          >>>
          >>> I wanted to know the Challenges that the agile developers face in the
          >>> dispersed environment (i.e. when the developers in a team is spread
          >> across the
          >>> various places). The real time challenges.
          >>
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
          >
          > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
          >
          > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.comYahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
        • Keith Ray
          I noticed in Naomi Karten s book on presentations, she found out that 3 of the remote workers of the team she was presenting to, who were present via webex
          Message 4 of 11 , May 6, 2011
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            I noticed in Naomi Karten's book on presentations, she found out that 3 of
            the "remote" workers of the team she was presenting to, who were "present
            via webex" were only a few blocks away. They could have been physically
            present but chose not do -- and thus missed facial expressions and body
            language of both the presenter AND other members of their team.

            On Fri, May 6, 2011 at 7:14 AM, Tim Ottinger <linux_tim@...> wrote:
            ...
            >
            > The third is dead serious. Don't turn all your local people into remotes.
            > Don't
            > eliminate physical charts, card walls, and conversations. Ignore what you
            > hear
            > about agile tools being as good as physical presence, because it's not
            > true.
            > Keep your locals working like locals, and pair them with the remotes
            > working as
            > remotes.
            > --


            C. Keith Ray

            Coach, Trainer, and Developer at Industrial logic, Inc.
            http://industriallogic.com "Amplify Your Agility"
            Coaching and Live- and Web-based Training


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Kim Gräsman
            Hi Tim, ... For team meetings, I think there s value in everybody being on the lowest common denominator as far as communication medium, e.g. if one team
            Message 5 of 11 , May 6, 2011
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              Hi Tim,

              On Fri, May 6, 2011 at 16:14, Tim Ottinger <linux_tim@...> wrote:
              >
              > The third is dead serious. Don't turn all your local people into remotes. Don't
              > eliminate physical charts, card walls, and conversations. Ignore what you hear
              > about agile tools being as good as physical presence, because it's not true.
              >  Keep your locals working like locals, and pair them with the remotes working as
              > remotes.

              For team meetings, I think there's value in everybody being on the
              lowest common denominator as far as communication medium, e.g. if one
              team member can only attend the daily stand-up on Skype, then do it
              over skype for everybody, always.

              This sounds counter-intuitive, but I think it's good for two reasons;

              1) Everybody needs to make an effort to be understood over the
              low-bandwidth medium. There's no "cheating", where local team members
              pick things up from body language, but remotes don't get the joke
              2) It's a sign of respect for the remote team member(s) -- they're on
              the team, and they're not punished because they happen to be remote.

              I picked this up from Jutta Eckstein's Agile Software Development with
              Distributed Teams:
              http://www.jeckstein.com/distributed-teams/

              I like that book because it says "distributed/dispersed teams are
              really hard to get working, but if you have to, here's how to build
              your solutions on agile values".

              For what it's worth,
              - Kim
            • Buddha Buck
              ... Hmmm, we have 5 guys in Ithaca, working in an open-plan office, and 1 guy in Philly. Hows that gonna work? When we had 4 guys and one moved to Portland,
              Message 6 of 11 , May 6, 2011
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                On Fri, May 6, 2011 at 2:27 PM, Kim Gräsman <kim.grasman@...> wrote:
                >
                > For team meetings, I think there's value in everybody being on the
                > lowest common denominator as far as communication medium, e.g. if one
                > team member can only attend the daily stand-up on Skype, then do it
                > over skype for everybody, always.


                > This sounds counter-intuitive, but I think it's good for two reasons;
                >
                > 1) Everybody needs to make an effort to be understood over the
                > low-bandwidth medium. There's no "cheating", where local team members
                > pick things up from body language, but remotes don't get the joke
                > 2) It's a sign of respect for the remote team member(s) -- they're on
                > the team, and they're not punished because they happen to be remote.
                >

                Hmmm, we have 5 guys in Ithaca, working in an open-plan office, and 1 guy in
                Philly. Hows that gonna work?

                When we had 4 guys and one moved to Portland, everyone skyping in required
                headsets to prevent horrible feedback and echo. Even with the headsets we
                could hear the local people both directly and over skype.


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • George Dinwiddie
                Tim, ... What about a group trying to learn Agile? I ve not had as much distributed experience as you, probably, but I ve found it unlikely for a team to
                Message 7 of 11 , May 6, 2011
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                  Tim,

                  On 5/6/11 10:14 AM, Tim Ottinger wrote:
                  > Five rules:
                  > 1) Don't
                  >
                  > Take the first with a grain of salt. I'm once again a remote member of a team,
                  > so I see value in having remote members. We have to have special
                  > considerations, like skype, webex or yuuguu or teamviewer, distributed version
                  > control helps, phone numbers for when something bad happens, interoffice text
                  > chat, extra email conversations, etc.

                  What about a group trying to learn Agile? I've not had as much
                  distributed experience as you, probably, but I've found it unlikely for
                  a team to learn Agile development when dispersed. People who already
                  have an understanding can notice when and what they need to do to
                  compensate for the distance.

                  - George

                  --
                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                  * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
                  Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
                  Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                • Tim Ottinger
                  ... I would not recommend distributed for people who don t already have a handle on what they re doing technically, who aren t already connected with the team,
                  Message 8 of 11 , May 6, 2011
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                    > What about a group trying to learn Agile? I've not had as much
                    > distributed experience as you, probably, but I've found it unlikely for
                    > a team to learn Agile development when dispersed. People who already
                    > have an understanding can notice when and what they need to do to
                    > compensate for the distance.


                    I would not recommend distributed for people who don't already have a
                    handle on what they're doing technically, who aren't already connected
                    with the team, or who haven't done the agile thing before.

                    That said, I have definitely worked with remotes who knew the product
                    and the team but who have never been remote before, and some of
                    them turned out great. Others disconnected even more. I guess there
                    is some element of how much they want to be a part of it. Will
                    trumps talent and difficulty in most cases.

                    Tim Ottinger
                    http://agileinaflash.blogspot.com/
                    http://agileotter.blogspot.com/
                  • Kim Gräsman
                    Hi Buddha, ... Yeah, I think headsets are a must. I suppose it feels a bit forced, but I d try focusing what I m saying and hearing through the headset, and
                    Message 9 of 11 , May 7, 2011
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                      Hi Buddha,

                      On Fri, May 6, 2011 at 22:42, Buddha Buck <blaisepascal@...> wrote:
                      > On Fri, May 6, 2011 at 2:27 PM, Kim Gräsman <kim.grasman@...> wrote:
                      >>
                      >> For team meetings, I think there's value in everybody being on the
                      >> lowest common denominator as far as communication medium, e.g. if one
                      >> team member can only attend the daily stand-up on Skype, then do it
                      >> over skype for everybody, always.
                      >
                      >> This sounds counter-intuitive, but I think it's good for two reasons;
                      >>
                      >> 1) Everybody needs to make an effort to be understood over the
                      >> low-bandwidth medium. There's no "cheating", where local team members
                      >> pick things up from body language, but remotes don't get the joke
                      >> 2) It's a sign of respect for the remote team member(s) -- they're on
                      >> the team, and they're not punished because they happen to be remote.
                      >>
                      >
                      > Hmmm, we have 5 guys in Ithaca, working in an open-plan office, and 1 guy in
                      > Philly.  Hows that gonna work?
                      >
                      > When we had 4 guys and one moved to Portland, everyone skyping in required
                      > headsets to prevent horrible feedback and echo.  Even with the headsets we
                      > could hear the local people both directly and over skype.

                      Yeah, I think headsets are a must.

                      I suppose it feels a bit forced, but I'd try focusing what I'm saying
                      and hearing through the headset, and avoid the benefits of local
                      presence, *for the duration of the meeting*. For day-to-day pair work,
                      I'd use whatever-bandwidth communication is most useful for the
                      constellation.

                      Or just do whatever works ;-)

                      - Kim
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