A look at successful distributed collaboration

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30 Οκτ 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 10 μήνες)

70 εμφανίσεις

A look at successful distributed collaboration


Yvette Francino




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With photo illustrations

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Split group into two groups:


Those who have phones available (remote)


Those who will be working Face
-
to
-
Face



Scenario:


You are a developer and tester that have been
asked to pair together. Determine a communication
strategy.



Each person pick either an A or B card with
further instructions.

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Tack: So how do you feel about the advantages of
co
-
location?


DHH: Tack, incredibly overrated. Being in the same
room occasionally is great, but
I would much
rather work with A players remotely than B
players in the same office, if that’s the choice
.

http://37signals.com/svn/posts/3064
-
stop
-
whining
-
and
-
start
-
hiring
-
remote
-
workers


But problems are real and must be considered… Get
ready to take notes.

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Preconceived biases


Team configurations


Ways to build trust


Disadvantages of distributed teams and how
to deal with them


Technologies and tools


Advantages of distributed teams


Communication plans


Experiments and ideas


Next steps for your teams

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What are preconceived biases we have about
working remotely vs. face
-
to
-
face?


What have your personal experiences been
with working on distributed teams?

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"From the moment two team members meet, each
will make inferences related to what they see
today by what they experienced in the past.


These inferences can produce positive effects,
wherein someone with a high trusting disposition
may connect and bond earlier with remote
colleagues. This is contrary to someone with a
low disposition for trust who may not bond with
coworkers because trivial matters are creating
cognitive blockages for them."

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What is your team configuration? How many
people at different sites? What time zones?
What differences in languages and cultures?

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All at a common location (co
-
located)


Subgroups of people at different
sites


Some groups at common site,
others “isolates”


All people work from anywhere
(100% distributed)

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In
-
group/out
-
group effects in
distributed teams: an experimental
simulation

“We found that the collocated people
formed an in
-
group, excluding the
isolates. But, surprisingly, the
isolates also formed an in
-
group,
mainly because the collocated people
ignored them and they responded to
each other.”


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What is the best way to build trust between
team members?

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I’ve been in industry for close to twenty years. I’ve been
through team
-
building exercises at companies large and
small, and the biggest lesson I’ve taken from them is:


Nothing builds a team like getting the work done.


I’ve been through “trust building” exercises that involve
blindfolds and obstacle courses


but the real source of
trust is handing someone a task and having it show up
when you need it (or earlier!), with quality work behind it.


~ Rob Crawford commenter on Mike Cohn blog post:

http://blog.mountaingoatsoftware.com/distributed
-
teams
-
build
-
trust
-
through
-
early
-
progress

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"Transparency breeds trust" ~ Steve Wilson,
Oracle


Have one
-
on
-
one conversations with team
-
mates


Pair people that are not face
-
to
-
face


Share your whole self... photos, hobbies, humor,
emotions


Take an interest in one another


Be reliable; Follow
-
through on commitments


Engage in conversation and discussion


Set up communication plan


Do virtual team
-
building using games / remote
technologies

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What are the real issues involved in working
with someone in a remote fashion?

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Cannot see body language


Technology issues


When you aren’t seen, it’s easier to practice
poor work habits.


Time zone issues


Language and culture differences


Task switching and churn to get something
done


Social bonds may be more difficult


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Cannot see body language


Skype,
Videocams
, Phone, Communicate!


Technology issues


Spend the time to build a high
-
performing infrastructure


When you aren’t seen, it’s easier to practice poor
work habits.


Don’t multi
-
task, Engage, Over
-
communicate if needed


Time zone issues


Share the pain, Be flexible, Follow
-
the
-
Sun


Language and culture differences


Take an interest / Pair / Mentor


Task switching and churn to get something done


Work together to brainstorm solutions for efficiency


Social bonds may be more difficult


Photos, social media, share of yourself, be reliable



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What tools and technologies can we use to
facilitate strong collaboration of distributed
teams?

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Cloud Computing


Allows the sharing of information and access from
anywhere that has Internet access.


Social Media


Allows us to “befriend” one another and mix social
and business


Mobile Devices


Allows us to bring our computing power anywhere

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Skype, Google Docs


DropBox
,
Box.net


Yammer, Chatter


IRC,
FlowDock


JIRA, Confluence


Crucible


GitHub
, Mercurial


Selenium


TightVNC


Pivotal
tracker,
Trellio







OnTime
, Urban Turtle


BaseCamp


Redmine
,
ScrumDesk


Mantis, Rally,
Trak


Jenkins, Cruise Control


Team Central


TopCoder
,
oDesk


MyGengo
,
Smartling


Zendesk


NetworkedHelpdesk.org



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What advantages do you get from distributed
teaming?

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Diversity


Opens up world of opportunity to find best skills


Communicate, collaborate, and create outputs without
time / location constraints


Puts everyone on an equal playing field


Consistency in use of tools and processes


One source of record for documentation


Allows for work
-
from
-
anywhere
-

No one is "out of the
loop.“


Takes advantage of new modes of communication: cloud,
social media, video, recordings, mobile


Removes barriers / silos of physical walls or location


Teams built on trust
-

not on need to "see" one another


More task
-
oriented (can be more productive depending on
personality)

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What guidelines can you set in a
communication plan to help ensure strong
communication and collaboration from a
distance and strengthen trust?

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• Clear rules or expectations when using certain
types of technology

• Clear definition of what effective work
completion means

• Agreement to team charters laying out general
team norms and expectations

• Project planning including time lines and
specified team member outcomes

• Documentation and reporting systems, including
the electronic archive

• Availability expectations



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What ideas do you have for improving
distance collaboration on your team?

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Optional Work
-
From
-
Home Fridays


Pair “isolate” team members with “site” team
members to make sure they have equal
visibility into meetings and other
discussions.


Do virtual team building exercises designed
to get to know your remote team members
personally.


Create a distributed team who’s goal is to
continually improve distributed teaming
within the organization.




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Evaluate Team


What technologies and tools are you using?


What is the team configuration?


What are the issues your team is encountering


Have 1:1 conversations with each team
member


What is their communication style?


Ask for feedback in what could be done to create a
stronger team


Implement ideas and re
-
evaluate
periodically




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Software developer for 17 years at IBM and
Diner’s Club International


Managed distributed teams for 10 years
(Development, QA) at Sun Microsystems


Site Manager for SearchSoftwareQuality.com


with a focus on Agile ALM (Application
Lifecycle Management)


Agile Distributed Collaboration Coach


yvette.francino@gmail.com

/ 303
-
494
-
8080

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