The Emergent Distributed Team
As the makeup of the technology workforce evolves, work environments are struggling to keep up with the pace of change. It is common for a project to never have all of the participants in the same room at the same time. Building remote teams is more than just dealing with time zones. Remote teams are:
- Sometimes a necessity
- An advantage to your business
- Increasingly becoming an ordinary part of your team composition
This session shares how a flat-structured, globally-distributed, fully-remote organization functions in an Agile and collaborative way. We'll discuss the tools, mindset, and strategies that we use to build first-rate delivery teams. Along the way we'll touch on how to embrace concepts like Open Source workflows, Modern Agile, The Heart of Agile, and Agile in HR.
If you are currently working with distributed teams or are about to embark on an initiative to build a new team, this conversation will provide a forum, blueprint and effective approach.
Outline/Structure of the Talk
This talk provides an in-depth template of how a company can behave in an agile manner while sustaining a flat, fully distributed product and technology organization. It is broken into 3 sections, specifically Commander's Intent, The Heart of Agile, and Open Source Software development methods. We explore the concepts and the applications of each as they relate to building distributed teams.
At the end of each section we'll pause for questions, and explore ideas and opinions from other attendees on what has worked and not worked within their contexts. Time permitting, at the end we'll have more organic conversation and address any questions about specific items mentioned, further things to explore, etc.
Here is a more granular outline:
== Intro (approx 5-6 mins) ==
9 slides covering :
- Types of remote and distributed teams, and reasons why they are remote
- The main point for the presentation (reduce friction at connection points), by using Commander's Intent, the Modern Agile Framework, and Open source workflows
- Discussion around making distributed teams work by making human connections
== Commanders Intent (approx 10 mins) ==
8 slides covering:
- Definition of commander's intent
- Starting with 'why'
- Giving people autonomy, mastery and purpose
- Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)
- Defining a simple view ofsuccess
The gist of this section is to show people the benefit of giving clear objectives and goals to teams so that they can make better day-to-day decisions regardless of where they are sitting.
== Modern Agile Framework (approx 17 mins) ==
14 slides covering:
- Introducing people to the Modern Agile Framework and how it can be applied
- Stressing the value of retrospectives and experiments when building distributed teams
- Hiring, onboarding, and team formation best-practices for distributed teams
- Various communication channels and types of people and roles that you can leverage to make teams stronger
- The value of understanding and caring for team health
- Sources of conflict and communication breakdowns in organizations
The gist of this section is to help attendees understand the importance of team health, communication, and openness when building distributed teams.
== Open Source workflows and habits (approx 8 mins) ==
5 slides covering:
- Asynchronous communication flows
- Information hubs
- various Communication channels
The gist of this section is to present an overview of Open Source Software workflows and how you can leverage them to make distributed teams more effective.
== Summary and closing (approx 5 mins) ==
The gist of this section is to reiterate how a person can apply the above principles and practices to create really good distributed teams, regardless of timezone or location. Time allowing, there will also be an opportunity for clarification and questions should people have topics.
- What are some solutions to the challenges that a distributed workforce encounters?
- How can we leverage the benefits that Commander's Intent and the Open Source Software Development culture provide?
- How can people and teams make decisions while parts of their organization are thousands of miles away and asleep?
- What framework can a company put in place to support and sustain fully distributed teams?
People (especially those in leadership positions) who are currently working with distributed teams or are about to embark on an initiative to build a new team.
Prerequisites for Attendees
No specific prior knowledge is required. People who have worked in distributed environments or on teams with remote members may have a better frame of reference for some content. Those who have not will be able to take what they have learned and apply it to future situations. All are welcome.