Speaker – Dave Grabel – Globally Distributed Agile Projects

Dave is a “recovering command & control manager!” Nice to see a little bit of transparency in the beginning. Before Agile Dave lead effective waterfall processes. So what is the reason to go to Agile?

“Change was impossible midstream.”

A Tale of Two Projects – Flipping the Agile Manifesto

Two projects that Dave is working on use Scrum, but not completely.

  • Project A was a project team of 25 people converting classic ASP to ASP.net offshore. – Successful project.
  • Project B was a project team of 150 people doing over 1000 Visual FoxPro screens converted to JSP web pages using BEA web portal offshore. – Failed project.

“Agile can be wrong, but it should only be wrong for two weeks. Because you retrospect every iteration.”

If teams turn the Agile Manifesto on its head, it becomes ScrumBut.

Dave gives us an interesting story about the two projects and told us the differences between the two teams. It was an interesting take on how to contrast successful vs. failed projects for distributed teams.

“You can handle change by being responsive to the stakeholders needs, that’s what Agile is all about.”

The biggest takeaway would be that to work with overseas teams or distributed Agile teams, there needs to be some very solid processes in place to ensure your team is communicating and collaborating daily.

What Agile Scout liked about Dave Grabel’s talk:

The fact that Dave could easily show us the differences between two teams their failings and success.

For Agile distributed teams, Dave suggests:

  • Required overlap hours for offshore teams
  • Bonding – face to face time
  • Video conferences – daily
  • On site technical liaison
  • Coding standards
  • Peer reviews & automated static analysis
  • Daily conversations – developer with SME
  • UAT for ever iteration
  • Automated testing

For Agile distributed teams, Dave suggests that you NOT:

  • Have very detailed user stories or detailed requirements documents
  • Contract SLA’s
  • Big Bang releases

To have your Agile team reach the next level:

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