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Re: [XP] Agile challenges

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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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