Yo! Pass the potatoes!

Posted by Doc
Jun 11 2009

Many of us have seen, and firmly believe, that co-location works for agile teams. The freedom to interact any time, all the time, is intensely powerful. The value of being able to see and hear one’s teammates is incalculable.

Working with a distributed team on my current project, we’re seeing how challenging it is for the folks over in India. The team here talks to each other all the time, expresses and resolves issues, jointly decides on architectural challenges, and overall is just more effective.

What’s particularly joyful for me is watching this team go from completely non-co-located and struggling to being mostly co-located and effective. It’s impressive and gratifying.

The level and quality of communication has gone up.

The number and severity of problems has gone down.

The “customer” is thrilled with the amount of communication and his understanding of what’s going on.

Perhaps best is that the project manager’s manager wandered in and asked the lead developer to show him the system. The lead developer did. The manager, after bouncing up and down with joy, proceeded to show some of the members of the user/customer community the system, and they are thrilled too.

Co-location works. Give up your walls and partitions and privacy. Embrace the connection with your teammates, greater productivity, greater satisfaction, and the joy of being siginificantly more effective.


3 Responses

  1. Twitter Comment

    Spooky. We were just talking abt this in #artofagile RT athought Blogged: Yo! Pass the potatoes! [link to post]

    – Posted using Chat Catcher

  2. Tim Ottinger says:

    I am a remote member, and my agile2009 talk was on remote pairing. A few random thoughts:
    * If you can be local be local. First rule is “don’t do it”.
    * Embrace the fact that it’s not the same.
    * Do not reduce everyone else to being “virtually remote”.
    * Latitude hurts, but longitude kills.

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