Software development for most enterprises is a global operation.  The agile movement got its start with small collocated teams.  Sometimes we have that luxury, but more frequently teams are distributed and often distributed across multiple locations and time zones.  Todd’s current organization is scattered across 10 different development sites in 6 different countries.  At a prior global organization he faced similar challenges.   Even if you are only split between 2 locations there are significant challenges to effective agility.  Join Todd as he shares several direct experiences with some of the approaches and lessons learned in working with globally distributed teams.  


Outline/Structure of the Talk

This is a variant of my keynote at Agile India 2014.  I updated it at a presentation that I gave at the SQE Agile Leadership Summit.  I now go into 3 specific case studies where we had distributed teams and what actions we took to solve the challenges that we faced.  I utilize the Autonomy/Alignment and Trust/Ownership models as a basis for some of the analysis.  The first example is one I call Integrating Software by Integrating People.  In this case study the business proposition was to increase the integration of our software.  The leadership response was to make sure we invested in integrating our people.  The second case study is one emphasising the value of global talent, but only if the talent is the right talent. In this case domain knowledge was critical and having domain experts distributed with the team was key to being successful.  The last case study is one where the team had been struggling for quite some time and faced major trust issues.  We put specific effort into rebuilding trust and it made a significant turnaround on the team and the team dynamics.  


This talk could be done in 45 or 60 minutes.  

Learning Outcome

How to structure distributed teams to have the greatest chance for success

How to build trust and enable teams to take ownership so that they can become high performing

Target Audience


schedule Submitted 5 years ago

Public Feedback

comment Suggest improvements to the Speaker