More Distributed Development Best Practices

Friday, July 18, 2008 – 4:00 AM

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:

Elastic Path uses Distributed Agile and Outsourcing to Stay on Top in Fast-Paced E-Commerce Software

  • 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

Distributed Agile Development – an interview with Jason Mawdsley and Stephane Lussier

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.

  1. One Response to “More Distributed Development Best Practices”

  2. Thanks Ade for the great information. I’m finding your posts very helpful for our XP team.

    We have somewhat of a distributed team, where two of the seven developers work from home. We find that communication is what makes or breaks the success. While, constant pair sessions using desktop sharing and VOIP work very well, the one latest addition has been implementing our own IRC channel. This way all the developers, product managers, etc can see and contribute to the constant flow of communication. Plus we can set it up to log which makes referencing things very nice.

    Just thought I would add that to your mix.

    Thanks again for the posts!

    By Scott Saad on Jul 28, 2008

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