My friend, Elinor Slomba, and I will be on a panel titled: Cultural Self-Inventory for Distributed Agile Teams over at Sococo. We're going to be talking about distributed teams, prioritizing people and their needs over tools and processes, and how being in a distributed team does align with the principles of the Agile Manifesto.
Elinor gave a presentation a short while ago and wrote this wonderful accompanying blog post addressing how the 12 principles of the Agile Manifesto can support distributed teams - its about how you go about doing it. My favorite excerpt from her post:
Keynote Craig Larman had reviewed with us his fourth “law of organizational behavior:” Culture Follows Structure. If this is indeed the case, and Larman points to evidence gathered by another thought leader to suggest that it does, then choices made about how to support the structure of distributed Agile teams represent a unique opportunity.
Might it not be possible, in fact, to work backward, selecting structures which prioritize individuals and their interactions over tools and processes? Can distributed configurations be set up primarily to address a team’s social needs in line with Agile cultural values?
--Elinor Slomba, Distributed Culture Self-Inventory
I wholeheartedly agree! How people interact offline and online should be consistent, and you use appropriate tools to enable that. Distributed teams work a little differently, but they are still based on relationships, trust, and clear and consistent communication.
Distributed teams and Agile can go together like chocolate and peanut butter - we'll be talking more about that on Tuesday.
Thanks, Elinor, for including me in this event. I'm so excited!!
Readers - I hope you can make it on Tuesday at 11am PT/2pm ET!
Before I forget: I'm guest blogging on her site - the first piece explores Agile Principle #1 (Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.) for distributed/virtual teams and soon in the future, I'll be writing about Agile Principle #5 (Build projects around motivated individuals.).
After working on Principle #1, I know way too much about the term "valuable software!"