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17727Re: [scrumdevelopment] Distributed Daily Standup - how do make them work?

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  • Nicholas Cancelliere
    Nov 30 5:02 PM

      I am in the same situation as you right now.  I am a Scrummaster for a team of developers that are located in both the UK and the US.  We hold our stand-ups at 9:30a CST (3:30p London).  Instead of focusing the questions on "what Im am doing today, what I did yesterday" take the context into "since our last meeting I have, and right now I am..."  This gets the focus off the time difference (since it is the ending of the day for London but the start of the day for the US).

      We bring all the US team into one room and huddle around the conference phone (speaker) and they do the same in the UK.  We rotate who starts to be "fair" so one day the US team leads off, the other the UK team.

      We use Skype for the day-to-day chatter and collaboration, but not the standup.

      We use video conferencing for our planning meetings and we schedule them early in the day 7:30a CST so that we have 4 to 5 hours (and the UK team stays late 6:30p their time) to cover all items in the sprint backlog and elaborate them.  A little painful, but the sacrifice is so that we all get enough time together which is very important (and it's only once a month).

      We use a web-based Agile planning tool to keep in sync.  Excel doesn't work well because you never know who has the right version and the most up-to-date.  If you're going to collaborate you need tools that use real-time data across the ocean (ideally).

      The UK team is all in an open-shared space, but the US team is using cubicles.  

      I hope this helps give you some ideas.


      On Nov 14, 2006, at 11:24 AM, Mark Levison wrote:

      How do you make distributed daily standups work. We have seven developers working in one location and two working in the UK. I can't change the situation and so am trying to find ways of making the team work. So I want to know how other distributed teams conduct the standup?

      1. Do you bring the main group together in one place and teleconference in the others?
      2. Does everyone sit in front of their machines and use Skype? (currently our team still has neighbouring cubes - we don't have a team room).
      3. Do you use a webcam?
      4. Do you replace the task board with Excel? ScrumWorks? Other software?
        1. if you use software how do get the public commitment of the taskboard?
        2. if you use software how do you get people to stay focused on the tasks in the standup?
      5. If you continue to use a task board how do you make it meaningful to the overseas developers?
      trying hard to make a distributed team work.
      Mark Levison
      Blog: http://www.notesfromatooluser.com/

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