Agile Software Development with Distributed Teams
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Agile Software Development with Distributed Teams

Staying Agile in a Global World

About the Book

All software projects face the challenges of diverse distances – temporal, geographical, cultural, lingual, political, historical, and more. Many forms of distance even affect developers in the same room. The goal of this book is to reconcile two mainstays of modern agility: the close collaboration agility relies on, and project teams distributed across different cities, countries, and continents.

In Agile Software Development with Distributed Teams, Jutta Eckstein asserts that, in fact, agile methods and the constant communication they require are uniquely capable of solving the challenges of distributed projects. Agility is responsiveness to change -- in other words, agile practitioners maintain flexibility to accommodate changing circumstances and results. Iterative development serves the learning curve that global project teams must scale.

This book is not about how to outsource and forget your problems. Rather, Eckstein details how to carefully select development partners and integrate efforts and processes to form a better product than any single contributor could deliver on his or her own. The author de-emphasizes templates and charts and favors topical discussion and exploration. Practitioners share experiences in their own words in short stories throughout the book. Eckstein trains readers to be change agents, to creatively apply the concepts in this book to form a customized distributed project plan for success.

Topics include:

  • The Productivity Myth
  • Ensuring Conceptual Integrity
  • Trust and Mutual Respect
  • Virtual Retrospectives
  • Share this book

  • Categories

    • Agile
    • Leadership
    • Project Management
    • Teamwork
    • Agile Enterprise
    • Consulting
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About the Author

Jutta Eckstein
Jutta Eckstein

Twenty years of experience in coaching, consulting, training, and development. Main focus on agile processes, patterns, project management, adaptive organizations, and advanced object-oriented design.

Jutta Eckstein works as an independent coach, consultant, and trainer. She holds a M.A. Business Coaching & Change Management, a Dipl.Eng. Product-Engineering, and a B.A. in Education. Her know-how in agile processes is based on over fifteen years’ experience in project and product development. She has helped many teams and organizations all over the world to make the transition to an agile approach. She has a unique experience in applying agile processes within medium-sized to large distributed mission-critical projects. This is also the topic of her books 'Agile Software Development in the Large', 'Agile Software Development with Distributed Teams', and 'Retrospectives for Organizational Change'. She is a member of the Agile Alliance and a member of the program committee of many different European and American conferences in the area of agile development, object-orientation and patterns. At the last election, Jutta has been designated for the Top 100 most important persons of the German IT.

Stay in touch with Jutta:

  • @juttaeckstein
Jutta Eckstein

Episode 97

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Reader Testimonials

Ken Pugh, author of Prefactoring
Ken Pugh, author of Prefactoring

Guidance to overcome Challenges

[Jutta] has covered the gamut of the common and uncommon challenges that teams encounter. This should be required reading for anyone involved in distributed agile development.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Preface
  • 1. Getting Started
      • My Focus
      • My Intended Audience
      • My Perspective
    • 1.1 Roadmap to the Book
  • 2. Assessing Agility and Distributed Projects
    • 2.1 Understanding Distributed Development
      • Working With Several Development Sites
      • Distributed and Dispersed Teams
      • Large Projects
      • Coordinating Companies
      • Different Sites
      • Customers and Distance
      • Centrally Coordinated or Globally Integrated
      • Overcoming the Distance
    • 2.2 Understanding Agility
      • Core Value Pair Statements
      • Systemic Approach
      • Risk Reduction
      • The Productivity Myth
      • More Than Practices
      • Neither Chaotic Nor Undisciplined
    • 2.3 Agile Principles Influencing Distributed Projects
    • 2.4 Summary
  • 3. Building Teams
    • 3.1 Feature Teams
      • Single- and Multi-Site Teams
      • Dispersed Teams
      • Forging a Team
    • 3.2 Roles
      • Feature-Team Constellation
      • Architect and Chief Architect
      • Coach
      • Product Owner and Product Manager
      • Project Manager
      • Collocate Key Roles with Teams
    • 3.3 Ensuring Conceptual Integrity
      • Starting Team Provides Model
      • Technical Service Team
    • 3.4 Summary
  • 4. Establishing Communication and Trust
    • 4.1 Trust and Mutual Respect
      • Trust Threshold
      • Changing Meeting Locations
      • Vocabulary
    • 4.2 Communication
      • In-Person Team Meetings
      • Face-to-Face Project Meetings
      • People Rotation
      • Communication Costs
      • Communication Flow
    • 4.3 Cultural Differences
      • Similarities versus Differences
      • Culture Fit
      • Realistic Planning
      • Workload Responsibility
      • Problem Reporting
      • Honest Feedback
      • Noise
      • Humor
      • Communication Media
    • 4.4 Summary
  • 5. Keeping Sites in Touch
    • 5.1 Communication Facilitator
      • Communication Facilitator as Ombudsman
      • Technical and Social Prowess
      • Management By Flying Around
    • 5.2 Ambassador
      • Site Representation
      • Characteristics and Competency
      • Travel Schedule
      • Concrete Tasks
    • 5.3 Social Connections
      • Joint Celebration
      • Picture Power
      • Everyday Life
      • Travel Tips
    • 5.4 Tools
      • Direct Connections
      • Synchroneity versus Asynchroneity
      • Audio and Video
      • Instant Messaging
      • E-mail
      • Virtual Space
      • Common Repository
      • Wiki and other Collaboration Platforms
    • 5.5 Summary
  • 6. Ensuring Development and Delivery
    • 6.1 Iterations
      • Iteration Length
      • Done-Done
      • Project Heartbeat
      • Delivery Delay
    • 6.2 Releases
      • Release Iteration
      • Release Site
    • 6.3 Integration and Build
      • Local Success First
      • Integration Effort
      • Production Shut-Down
      • Integration and Build Optimization
    • 6.4 Infrastructure
      • Build and Integration Process and Tools
      • Configuration Management
      • Power
      • Security
      • Network Sense
      • Tools
    • 6.5 Summary
  • 7. Ensuring Business Value
    • 7.1 Steering Through Valuable Features
      • Real-Customer Awareness
      • Iteration Preparation
      • Understanding Requirements
      • Treating Documentation as Requirements
    • 7.2 Team Velocity
      • Unknown Velocity
      • Estimation Unit
      • Planning Poker
      • Estimation Parity
      • Velocity Disparity
    • 7.3 Planning an Iteration
      • Feature-Planning Integrity
      • Planning-Meeting Essentials
      • Planning-Meeting Schedule
      • Tangible Planning Tools
    • 7.4 Iteration Tracking
      • Planning and Tracking Tools
      • Keeping Goals in Focus
    • 7.5 Dealing With Change
      • Iteration Length Marks Response Time
      • Change-Request Scheduling
      • Team-Structure Change
    • 7.6 Overall Project Plan
      • Release Planning
      • Forecasting
      • Release versus Milestone
    • 7.7 Summary
  • 8. Eliciting Feedback and Conducting Retrospectives
    • 8.1 Customer Feedback
      • Identifying the Customer
      • Distant Customer
      • Customer Presentations
    • 8.2 Review Meetings
      • Iteration Reviews
      • Review Meetings – Dispersed Individually versus In-Person Jointly
      • Release Reviews
    • 8.3 Retrospectives
      • Individual-Feature-Team Retrospectives
      • Project-Wide Retrospectives
      • Joint-Site Retrospectives
      • Retrospective Protocol
      • Virtual Retrospectives
      • Attendees
      • Common Retrospective Mistakes
      • Facilitation Techniques
    • 8.4 Metrics
      • Progress Measurement
      • Estimate-Quality Measurement
      • Increasing the Test Base
    • 8.5 Summary
  • 9. Honing Practices
    • 9.1 Development Practices
      • Pair Programming
      • Unit-Test
      • Refactoring
      • Collective Ownership
      • Common Coding Guideline
      • Feature Communication via Tests
      • Out-of-the-Box Practices
    • 9.2 Process Practices
      • Daily Synchronization (Daily Scrum)
      • Project-Wide Synchronization (Scrum of Scrums)
      • Dispersed Synchronization
    • 9.3 Development Culture
      • Project-Wide Practices
      • Changing Practices
      • Different Practices
      • Process Standards based on CMMI or ISO
      • Equal Rights
    • 9.4 Summary
  • 10. Introducing Agility to Distributed Projects
    • 10.1 Start Locally, Grow Globally
      • Collocation and Rotation
      • Fundamental Iterations
      • Early-On Iteration
      • Time-Boxed Project Start
    • 10.2 Growing Teams and Growing Sites
      • Kick-Off
      • Project-Culture Transmittal
      • Cultural Training
      • Integrating New People
    • 10.3 Introducing Agile Processes to an Existing Project
      • Gradual versus Project-Wide Change
      • Team Structure Change
      • More and/or Better Coaches
      • Estimation and Velocity
      • Lone Fighter
    • 10.4 Summary
  • 11. Afterword
  • Glossary
  • References
    • Articles
    • Books
    • URLs
  • About Jutta Eckstein
  • Other Books by the Author
  • Notes

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