Channels ▼

Scott W. Ambler

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

Geographically Distributed Agile Development

July 21, 2011

One question that keeps popping up is whether you can be agile on geographically distributed teams. The answer is a resounding yes: DDJ's 2009 Software Development Success Rates found that agile teams are successful at all levels of geographic distribution. It also found that an agile approach is better for co-located and near-located teams compared to traditional strategies, and is equal to a traditional approach for far-located teams. Granted, project success rates go down the more distributed the team is, regardless of the paradigm.

So how do you implement agility in geographically distributed teams? In The Distributed Agile Team (DDJ December 2008), I described several key strategies for applying agile strategies in geographical distributed environments. The article covered how to organize a distributed agile team effectively and how some practices (such as daily coordination meetings and requirements envisioning) need to be tailored to reflect the level of geographic distribution. I also discussed the necessity of adopting development tools that reflect the realities of distributed development and yes, even the need to fly some people out to various team sites. In these economic times, I realize how difficult it can be to get a travel budget, but I've literally seen organizations waste millions of dollars on IT projects because they refused to spend 40,000 dollars on travel.

Geographically distributed agile delivery is clearly too complex a topic to cover in a short blog posting. Luckily, there's great advice in the book A Practical Guide to Distributed Scrum, published by IBM Press in 2010, that you should find useful. The book goes far beyond Scrum and covers other agile scaling issues such as team size as well.

Related Reading


More Insights






Currently we allow the following HTML tags in comments:

Single tags

These tags can be used alone and don't need an ending tag.

<br> Defines a single line break

<hr> Defines a horizontal line

Matching tags

These require an ending tag - e.g. <i>italic text</i>

<a> Defines an anchor

<b> Defines bold text

<big> Defines big text

<blockquote> Defines a long quotation

<caption> Defines a table caption

<cite> Defines a citation

<code> Defines computer code text

<em> Defines emphasized text

<fieldset> Defines a border around elements in a form

<h1> This is heading 1

<h2> This is heading 2

<h3> This is heading 3

<h4> This is heading 4

<h5> This is heading 5

<h6> This is heading 6

<i> Defines italic text

<p> Defines a paragraph

<pre> Defines preformatted text

<q> Defines a short quotation

<samp> Defines sample computer code text

<small> Defines small text

<span> Defines a section in a document

<s> Defines strikethrough text

<strike> Defines strikethrough text

<strong> Defines strong text

<sub> Defines subscripted text

<sup> Defines superscripted text

<u> Defines underlined text

Dr. Dobb's encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Dr. Dobb's moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing or spam. Dr. Dobb's further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

 
Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | View the list of supported HTML tags you can use to style comments. | Please read our commenting policy.
 


Video