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56467Re: Scrum in non-co-located, non-overlapping teams? (was: Meeting minutes for stand up meetings

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  • scott
    Jan 3, 2013
      I completely agree that you take a hit by not all being in one place!

      My point about the standup meeting is that to me it's the least important of the Scrum elements - it's specifically constrained in format to a level of sharing that doesn't really require synchronicity (though that's still the best way to go!). If everybody is sharing that information daily with the rest of the team you're still getting most of the benefit of the meeting.

      I think the dispersed approach has other problems in information sharing that are MUCH more significant than whether or not you have a daily meeting - the lack of the continuous communication and contextual awareness among the team members is the big hit. I worked last year as a remote collaborator with an otherwise collocated team, relying on webcams and skype. It worked pretty well except when it didn't work at all, because nobody thought to call me for an impromptu discussion.

      BUT, at the same time, that all-in-one-room model is not specifically a Scrum thing. I still think the absolutely critical thing for calling a process "Scrum" is the prioritization-selection-tracking-demo-retrospective cycle guided by a scrum master, rather than whether the "tracking" part is done in a real-time meeting or via regular-but-asynchronous sharing.


      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Mark Levison wrote:
      > Sean you're probably doing pretty well and the best you can given the
      > circumstances.
      > The point about not Scrum is that everything should have a label so we're
      > clear about what is in bonds and what isn't.
      > As to creating multiple teams I usually hear about mixed onshore offshore
      > teams and I get asked how to coordinate 14-15 people in this context. My
      > answer was about that sort of case.
      > cheers
      > Mark - mangled by a phone
      > On Jan 2, 2013 5:53 PM, "Sean Corfield" wrote:
      > > **
      > >
      > >
      > > On Wed, Jan 2, 2013 at 1:44 PM, Markus Gaertner wrote:
      > >
      > >> **
      > >>
      > >> well, putting it to extremes, a Scrum team that works all over the
      > >> globe would probably have to plan in time so that they could pair up
      > >> with someone not in their timezone once they tackle a particular hard
      > >> task at hand. Even pairing for 2 hours becomes a drag with it.
      > >>
      > >
      > > Now you're conflating an XP practice (pairing) with Scrum which is getting
      > > off-topic, yes? ***
      > >
      > > Others in this thread have touched on an interesting subtlety that I
      > > hadn't considered: focusing on actual vocal sharing of information, rather
      > > than (for example) a group chat room. Both allow for a virtual stand up
      > > meeting for a distributed team in real time. Are there specific benefits to
      > > a conference call as opposed to going round a chat room, having each person
      > > summarize yesterday's achievements, today's planned work and any obstacles
      > > in their path?
      > >
      > > I think there are definite benefits to a real time meeting - in contrast
      > > to Scott's position that async communication could replace the stand up -
      > > but I'm interested to hear thoughts on an audio meeting vs a group chat
      > > meeting. FWIW, our whole team is in a group chat room (instant message) on
      > > Skype all day long and we work primarily Pacific day time to ensure maximum
      > > overlap. The group chat is where we all ask questions, share information
      > > and coordinate anything that the team as a whole works on. We don't
      > > (currently) have a daily stand up via the group chat but as we grow the
      > > team I'll probably instigate that to ensure that at least once a day
      > > everyone really does share progress and problems.
      > >
      > > I'm under no illusions about what we're doing not being Scrum - given our
      > > likely physical setup for the foreseeable future I don't see Scrum as
      > > achievable for us. We use Unfuddle as a wiki, ticketing system and git
      > > repository so any work committed or any ticket updated by any team member
      > > is communicated to all team members (and, at least so far, all team members
      > > seem to take the time to read thru those emails and offer advice on each
      > > other's tickets or ask questions about aspects of solutions).
      > >
      > > Mark suggested creating independent Scrum teams in each location but that
      > > wouldn't apply in our situation - everyone works from home and no two team
      > > members live close enough to meet up and work together physically.
      > >
      > > *** As for pairing, we use iChat for shared control of a single computer
      > > with two-way audio and that works pretty well since the team all know each
      > > other pretty well (but this is getting off into XP territory and isn't
      > > really relevant to this thread).
      > > --
      > > Sean A Corfield -- (904) 302-SEAN
      > > An Architect's View -- http://corfield.org/
      > > World Singles, LLC. -- http://worldsingles.com/
      > >
      > > "Perfection is the enemy of the good."
      > > -- Gustave Flaubert, French realist novelist (1821-1880)
      > >
      > >
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