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Re: [XP] Agile challenges

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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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