Achieving Distributed Development Success by Adapting Agile for Multi-Site Development Teams

Scrum Software Development

The traditional Agile Development Model and Scrum Project Management Framework are both based on the premise that all project team members will be working together in a single location. What if your project requires the specific skills and experience of resources based in other locations? No Problem. Adopt Distributed Development.

Distributed Development is considered to be one of the highest forms of collaboration utilized by engineering teams or in an R&D environment. It also allows companies to tap into a wider talent pool – often at a lower cost. As a result, team members for a project may be working from locations around the world rather than side-by-side in a single location.

Making Distributed Agile Development Work

The Distributed Development approach adapts the Agile Development Methodology and the Scrum Project Management framework to accommodate this new development environment. For example, rather than holding a single daily standup, there may be two or more standups. Teams ending their workday handoff project updates to a team just starting to work in another time zone during standup calls. With Distributed Development it is possible for subsets of the overall team to be working on a single project up to 24 hours a day, depending on the spread of the locations.

Distributed Development teams use technology and multiple forms of telecommunications for maximum productivity and collaboration: Slack, chat, Skype Call/Video, and email, Jira, Confluence, Github, wiki pages, email, and IRC for the transmittal of vital project details and for bug tracking and documentation.

Proof Point – Assembling Distributed Development Teams

What this means for companies today is they can confidently outsource projects that require specific skills to an Agile IT outsourcing partner with demonstrated expertise in using Distributed Development. At First Line Software, we are fortunate to have executives and team members who worked for the Agile shop credited with being the first to apply Distributed Agile Development methodologies on projects and experience high levels of collaboration and productivity.

First Line has a number of ongoing projects with a large media company so there is already an existing resource pool with a mix of customer staff and First Line Software experts who are familiar with the core functionality and possess a range of skillsets. Specific teams are assembled for each project to ensure a high level of relevant skills and expertise and allow flexibility when teams are sharing the same backlog. Since the resource pool is familiar with the core functionality, scaling teams is easy, little or no overhead is incurred for time spent learning the functionality, and project costs are lower with a distributed development team vs. a 100% onshore-based team.

If you have a complex project that will require a wide range of development skills, contact us today to learn more about how First Line can use Distributed Development to ensure the right skill sets are engaged for high levels of quality work and productivity.

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