Can an agile team be a distributed team? Even though the agile team and distributed team sound two distinct concepts, they have found a way to co-exist in the world of application development.
In the very heart of agile application development is the meeting of the teams frequently, preferably daily, to review project milestones. How is this possible with a distributed team? This is where the distributed Agile methodology comes in.
In simple words, a distributed agile application development team works remotely across multiple geographical locations relying on digital technologies to interact seamlessly daily. Considering how the world has turned around in the wake of the pandemic, a distributed team is the need of the hour.
Why are more businesses opting for agile distributed teams?
Businesses worldwide usually opt for offshore teams for cost reduction of the application development process and put their in-house teams to better use. However, offshore teams have proven to be as efficient working from home for the last year as they did from their offshore offices. This has further enhanced the faith of companies in the agile distributed model.
Today, there are better technologies for communication, conferencing, collaboration, and project management. And most offshore teams are using these technologies and tools regularly.
Here are some reasons why more businesses opt for the agile distributed team for application development –
# Flexibility of teams
Agile distributed teams are flexible in terms of collaboration and communication. Companies opt for such teams since they have a faster learning curve both in terms of technologies and collaboration tools.
# Good for market testing
Companies also opt for agile distributed teams before launching a new application before investing heavily in team building. Considering the pandemic, it has become harder to train, hire and invest in team building. As a result, a distributed agile team is ideal for app testing.
# Skilled teams
Companies opt for offshore teams because they are often supplied by outsourcing companies or app development companies with a rich and ready talent pool. These teams are skilled and can deliver on time.
How does Chapter 247 approach Distributed Agile Development?
With first-hand experience of working with our client’s teams, our team is extremely flexible. We look at distributed agile development as a great opportunity to grow while working with teams across the globe. We also get to test our communication processes and their efficiency, improving them all along. We have a rich experience of assisting our customers across diverse initiatives.
While applying the agile scrum methodology, we hold a video call on alternate days at a time suitable for every member of both our clients’ team and ours. We use tools like Jira or Trello so the scrum master can run through the virtual scrum backlog so every team member could update on the progress. We use task management apps such as Skype for Business, Slack, and Trello that keep each member on track since these allow members to update about the tasks in real-time.
The chat features on these tools facilitate ongoing communication between teams. Another important feature of our distributed agile software development is the Scrum of Scrums methodology. There’s one scrum master for every different scrum. So every team in the development funnel becomes an individual scrum team with its own scrum master.
This leads to the following benefits –
- Individual member accountability and team accountability
- Acceleration in the development process since lags are resolved immediately
- Resolutions of blockers faster due to individual team’s scrums
- Faster conflict management since there’s no hierarchy
How do we resolve challenges or conflicts in agile distributed development?
# Challenge of time zones
Due to differences in the time zones, some communication gaps are inevitable. Our team begins working when some of our clients’ teams shut the shop. We request our team members to shift their working hours on the scrum day, so they can make time for the common video call with our client’s team.
# Challenge of cultural differences
We work with companies around the globe, and they too possess cross-cultural teams, further increasing the need for cultural understanding. Our team is culture-savvy in the sense that they have worked in cross-cultural settings several times. Through chat features on collaboration tools, we ensure we learn to interpret meanings and nuances from people of other countries.
# Challenge of code ownership
In distributed agile development, no one person or team owns the codes. As a result, it also becomes challenging to bring people to accountability in case of lags, bugs or problems. This problem can be solved quite realistically through a robust version control system. This has helped us bring more transparency in the process.
We take the challenges of distributed app development as real opportunities for growing and learning. At Chapter 247, we ensure ongoing training and updating of our developers and managers so they are prepared for any kind of remote web development. If you are looking for an agile distributed team, we should talk.