06 Aug 2009
For one of the projects that was being built ground up, we formed a geographically dispersed cross-functional team. This team had a very good balance of developers, testers and a dedicated PO as well as Scrum Master, a role that I played. This team was distributed across US, Ireland, Cork and Bangalore, India. As a team, we lined out some really good development and Scrum Best practices and we started with a mission of forming a model scrum team that would start training other teams as they came on board.
- Planning meetings, Retrospectives, Demos, Daily Scrum meetings were becoming extremely painful due to time zone differences. Morning meetings in US meant late night meetings for folks in Bangalore and vice versa. Put Cork from Ireland in this mix and you are left with couple of hours slot in the mornings. As time progressed, getting full participation from all team members became challenging and as it was affecting people’s personal family time. This is where I believe site afffinity that Ken Schwaber swears on definitely helps to build team momentum.
- The idea behind co-located, self-organized team is to ensure that all issues are resolved by standing in your cube and giving a holler to your team mate. In global scrum teams, this is a major impediment, as defect fixes, build failures, code reviews, etc might have to wait until the next day. Again this depends on how the expertise in your team is distributed. As a Scrum Master, I have lived this experience where teams had spent cycles waiting for updates/feedback from remote site that could easily have been avoided.