A couple more sources someone pointed me to on distributed agile. Worth a read but for the lazy I’ve summarized some key points here:
- Choose a vendor with experience in agile (XP, Scrum) and distributed projects and the tools and processes in place for effective distributed communication.
- Provide an nearshore management representative to drive technical and business process and as Scrum Master for the offshore team.
- Project clear points of contact between the onshore and offshore teams; the offshore team’s project manager and tech lead. This gives two channels of communication for different issue types.
- Share source code, project management (Sharepoint & Jira) and CI systems (CC.NET) to keep all teams in sync.
- Improved communication using dedicated IP conference phones IM and email. The email golden rule – all emails should be answered by EOD
This is a really good interview and well worth reading. Some of the key points are:
- Everyone checks in every day and other developers review the changes. The emphasis is on every day because that way misdirected work gets caught quickly.
- Break everything down into small tasks, this also stops work going off track for a long time.
- Hire people who value communication because it’s so important especially on a distributed project.
- Hire someone you trust to manage the offshore team(s) and budget for travel especially at the start of the project.
- Tools; email, Jira, Skype, VM (for quickly starting up new team members with a dev environment).
You can find all my posts on this topic under the distributed teams tag.