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Scrum between UK and Australia - is it possible?

May 17, 2009 by Highlander

We have recently starting working in a Scrum way, with pretty amazing results.

However, I have the immediate task of persuading a large customer based in Syndney to move to this approach and away from our hitherto blighted waterfall approach that has made the relationship somewhat acrimonious. For example, we are currently landed with a 150 page spec doc from our customer. The document has multiple inputs from throughout their organisation. We are meant to be getting them estimates in a week.

Anyhow, back to the problem.

Our HQ is in the UK. We have a small office in Melbourne (2 people currently, one technical, one a newly minted PM) and our customer is in Sydney (a large multinational). I am trying to understand the best way to compose and organise a Scrum team given these constraints. The members would likely be both people in Melbourne and 4 devs in UK + tester + BA + Scrum master .

But how to get daily scrum meetings in place? How to get Product Owner onsite? Worth creating a proxy product owner in UK? This seems to limit usefulness from our recent experiences insofar as that having product owner onsite for 1 in 3 weeks of each sprint brought huge gains in efficiencies.

Has anyone any experince with trying to get Scrum to work given these kinds of variables? I will be espousing the virtues and benefits of Scrum to my customer tomorrow but have yet to have a clear idea in my head on how we can re-create the same success as we have recently in other projects. Any advice of or thoughts much appreciated.

H

Comments

Scrum Across Time Zones with TimZon.

May 17, 2009 by Jerome Breche (not verified), 5 years 23 weeks ago
Comment id: 2572

Highlander,

Seeing the inefficiencies caused by traditional collaboration tools working on development projects across time zones inspired me to create www.timzon.com.

It's a video collaboration solution that allows remote teams to communicate through recorded conversations. With functionality like white boarding to enhance the communication the idea is to create a face-to-face like experience but on your own time.

I would be really interested to get your feedback whether TimZon can help you with your time zone challenge.

Regards,
Jerome.

Synchronize, synchronize, synchronize

May 17, 2009 by Artem, 5 years 22 weeks ago
Comment id: 2573

Distributed environment is always not the best that poses communications barrier for any process out there. All the successful implementations of distributed Scrum I've ever seen or heard of put a lot of effort into communication. Concrete approach certainly depends on the details of your situation, but as for general advices:

1. It usually a good idea (that pays off) to travel everybody to a single location for 1-3 months in the beginning of the project so that team could have a chance to "gel" and establish relationships and common understanding of the project. Later live syncs in a form of traveling 1-3 team members for a week or two every 2-3 months also helps.

2. In such a non-trivial circumstances it may make sense to get help of experienced coach. Not necessarily to be full time on the team, but to help with starting the project and checking things from time to time

3. Synchronize, synchronize, synchronize
Continuous integration, 10 minute common builds, high level of code coverage play even bigger role, than usually. Daily standups over video or at least audio also help. If your team happens to be too big for a standup-over-phone, often it is a good idea to split into sub-teams so that each sub-team had representatives in both locations.

4. Further reading
Google for Martin Fowler's article on distributed offshore agile development and for couple of papers on hyper-productive distributed Scrum by Jeff Sutherland.

Good luck with your project!

Communication is the key

May 19, 2009 by Mr. Hericus (not verified), 5 years 22 weeks ago
Comment id: 2590

Communicate early, often, and in a way that does not completely derail the ongoing development activities. Synchronizing your distributed version control repositories as often as possible will help, I agree, but you have to have a constant flow of communication to bridge the gap across the globe.

Something that I have found to get in the way - there are sometimes too many ways to communicate. Should it be e-mail, discussion forums, wiki's, phone, video, etc? The list is already too large, and everyone can't monitor all of them.

My advice: pick 2 and ban the rest. I'd choose daily phone or video conference calls, and discussion forums. E-mail gets lost. Individual phone calls are not coordinated enough. The ongoing discussion needs to happen in a place that is recorded, open and visible to all. By limiting the mechanisms of communication, but encouraging your teams to communicate as much as possible, you'll get the best bandwidth and everyone will always know where to go to keep up with the conversation.

Good luck!

Sychronised Communication through one platform

May 20, 2009 by Michael (not verified), 5 years 22 weeks ago
Comment id: 2594

Sorry thought I'd rip off the title of the last two posts - but it really is that simple!!

You are working on opposite sides of the world on one project for a key client using Scrum.

You need to communicate that is obvious, but all that communication between teams and even the client should be over one system that will capture the full history of the discussion, which will aide productivity and efficiency. Moreover, having this communication stamped and dated will be important from both an auditory and relationship perspective in the delivery and maintenance stages of your work.

With the distances you are talking about the importance of, keeping to your scrum process is central, to create and maintain the positive experiences you have had with Scrum thus far. I'd advocate therefore looking at an ALM platform that is Wiki centric that can store all documents, emails, artifacts and covers task and resource management planning; but crucially can assure the Scrum Process. Ensuring that all members of the project team are meeting the requirements of the method, that resource and task planning is meeting your iterations and deliverables.

Going back to your 150 page spec document you need to be able to put this directly into an ALM platform that all members of the group can access and work towards.

Whilst the company I work for is a channel partner for Polarion in Australia there are a number of systems out there to help you, not just now but in the future with a real return to your bottom line.

Sychronised Communication through one platform

May 20, 2009 by Michael (not verified), 5 years 22 weeks ago
Comment id: 2595

Sorry thought I'd rip off the title of the last two posts - but it really is that simple!!

You are working on opposite sides of the world on one project for a key client using Scrum.

You need to communicate that is obvious, but all that communication between teams and even the client should be over one system that will capture the full history of the discussion, which will aide productivity and efficiency. Moreover, having this communication stamped and dated will be important from both an auditory and relationship perspective in the delivery and maintenance stages of your work.

With the distances you are talking about the importance of, keeping to your scrum process is central, to create and maintain the positive experiences you have had with Scrum thus far. I'd advocate therefore looking at an ALM platform that is Wiki centric that can store all documents, emails, artifacts and covers task and resource management planning; but crucially can assure the Scrum Process. Ensuring that all members of the project team are meeting the requirements of the method, that resource and task planning is meeting your iterations and deliverables.

Going back to your 150 page spec document you need to be able to put this directly into an ALM platform that all members of the group can access and work towards.

Whilst the company I work for is a channel partner for Polarion in Australia there are a number of systems out there to help you, not just now but in the future with a real return to your bottom line.

One platform WITH Scrum support

May 20, 2009 by Artem, 5 years 22 weeks ago
Comment id: 2596

I can add that once I had to do a distributed project with a very good tool that was wiki-like, even with the built-in ability to attach screenshots to bugs and chat inside.. Developers loved it, but it was completely not suited to Scrum. What's worse, apparently its creators heard something about Scrum and some lingo was there - you could call some of the work items user stories and assign story points to them, but there was no release burndown chart, by velocity they meant completely different thing, you could not split epic and see a flat list of stories - it was a pain to manage the product backlog in this form.

Certainly if you are not committed to Scrum (I think that tool was optimized towards RUP), that may not be a problem. Nevertheless, if you know how approximately you'd like to work, make sure the tool supports at least the basic things of the process. Or use make a clear distinction what is going to be managed in which tool and how they are going to be kept in sync.

A software development

June 13, 2012 by anthonyansel (not verified), 2 years 18 weeks ago
Comment id: 22903

A software development methodology is a framework that is used to structure, plan, and control the process of developing information systems. A wide variety of such frameworks have evolved over the years, each with its own recognized strengths and weaknesses. www.barrettmoving.com

In rugby union a scrum is a

June 27, 2012 by jeromechiaro (not verified), 2 years 17 weeks ago
Comment id: 23058

In rugby union a scrum is a means of restarting play after a minor infringement. It involves up to eight players from each team, known as the pack or forward pack, binding together in three rows and interlocking with the free opposing teams forwards. oaklandsgrangeparkhomes.com

A key principle of Scrum is

July 6, 2012 by Sonam (not verified), 2 years 15 weeks ago
Comment id: 23230

A key principle of Scrum is its recognition that during a project the customers can change their minds about what they want and need and that unpredicted challenges cannot be easily addressed in a traditional predictive or planned manner. As such, Scrum adopts an empirical approach accepting that the problem cannot be fully understood or defined, focusing instead on maximizing the team’s ability to deliver quickly and respond to emerging requirements.http://www.beautyisskindeep.com

Scrum is an iterative and

July 22, 2012 by Mark Johnson (not verified), 2 years 13 weeks ago
Comment id: 23461

Scrum is an iterative and incremental agile software development method for managing software projects and product or application development. Scrum has not only reinforced the interest in project management but also challenged the conventional ideas about such management.ppc agency

Multinational Scrums

October 31, 2012 by Nicole (not verified), 1 year 51 weeks ago
Comment id: 24339

Our ppc management company had a client in Canada for some time and used the scrum approach to iterate on their project. The best advice I can give is: video video video.

It's a whole lot less frustrating to scrum out concepts, even at a distance, when you can see people's eyes, faces and body language.

really its too amazing

November 7, 2012 by Custom Software Development (not verified), 1 year 50 weeks ago
Comment id: 24510

really its too amazing results for both country need to follow all regulations

Free Icons | web3mantra

December 11, 2012 by fasticon.com (not verified), 1 year 45 weeks ago
Comment id: 25037

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