Managing Remote Agile Teams

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Managing Remote Agile Teams

Most teams I have worked with over the last few years have been based on at least two disparate time zones. In some it has been easier with the full development team on one site but with others the dev teams have also spanned multiple locations. One role I have found myself playing is that of a facilitator and mentor across teams.

Implementing a form of Agile Methodology is a must in such cases but they also come with a lot of unique challenges that are not present when the Agile team members are all in the same location and working face to face. Like any process methodology blind adherence to published rules rarely works. Any process needs to be adapted to the actual human beings who are part of the team taking into account the competence and experience of individuals, cultural differences b/w locations and distance in space and time.

Communication processes and tools become especially important so that the short overlap of time zones is utilized effectively and nerves are not frazzled by having to stay up late or wake up early too often! Effective use of issue tracking and specification sharing tools like Jira or Redmine, instant communication tools like Skype or IM along with well defined Sprints go a long way in ensuring project delivery and quality.