Working effectively in distributed agile teams

In past few years, it has become quite common for software development teams to be distributed across time-zones and comprise of multiple vendors with 50-100+ people.

Agile practices encourage in-person interactions to foster collaboration, whereas, distributed and large teams force communication into the opposite direction. Therefore, it is important to achieve agility albeit with different, or modified mechanics, that work well for distributed and large team.

In this talk I am going to share talk about ways of working effectively in distribute teams with examples from real projects and tools and techniques for achieving great results.


Outline/Structure of the Talk

  1. Challenges faced while working in distributed teams
  2. Practices and techniques on distributed team setup, planning and tracking
  3. Agile practices that needs to enhanced for distributed working e.g. daily stand-ups, retrospectives
  4. More tools and techniques that worked for distributed teams
  5. Gotchas and watch-outs while working in distributed way

Learning Outcome

All learnings can be applied and observed immediately for those who are already working in distributed teams.

Target Audience

Teams working in distributed model

Prerequisites for Attendees

Some experience working in Agile teams

schedule Submitted 4 years ago

  • Sunit Parekh

    Sunit Parekh / Girish Verma - Weaving the Service Mesh with Istio (Observability for the microservice architecture)

    45 Mins

    Brings observability to the microservice architecture on Kubernetes

    Microservices and containers have changed application design and deployment patterns. They’ve also brought with them some new challenges, such as service discovery, routing, failure handling, distributed tracing, circuit breaker, retry logic and visibility (monitoring) to microservices.

    Kubernetes can handle multiple container-based workloads, including microservices, but when it comes to more sophisticated features like traffic management, failure handling, and resiliency, it leaves a lot to be desired. Most importantly, we want to do all this without changing the application code.

    Service mesh architecture was created to handle these requirements. Istio is a service mesh created through a collaboration between IBM, Google and Lyft.

    In this talk we will talk about the need of a service mesh, and what Istio brings to the table. We will also give a short demonstration of Istio in Kubernetes.

  • Sneha Prabhu

    Sneha Prabhu / Saptorsi Hore - The Future of Digital is Messy

    45 Mins

    The most radical period of change in industrial history is nearly upon us. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, where billions of people have access to vast knowledge and unlimited processing power, brings with it great complexity. Traditional engineering frameworks will no longer be enough to navigate the messiness that lies ahead. Technology will lie at the heart of every industry, and organizations will have to undergo a paradigm shift to harness it and develop innovative business models. This calls for the role of orchestrators who can navigate organizations through all the messiness.

    This session will be delivered by Saptorsi Hore -COO of ThoughtWorks and Sneha Prabhu - Product Manager, ThoughtWorks Products.

  • Vishal Prasad
    Vishal Prasad
    General Manager
    schedule 4 years ago
    Sold Out!
    20 Mins

    Agile Principle # 12 defines that at regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behaviour accordingly. From Scrum to Kanban and other agile frameworks, this is accomplished through retrospectives and continuous improvement processes. The key to being a successful agile practitioner is to identify areas of improvement and then experiment ways of improving it. But it doesn't stop there; positive improvements ultimately become success stories for other teams and motivates them to experiment with newer ideas which eventually leads to innovation. A negative outcome isn't bad either since it adds to the experience of situations where ideas may not apply. Thus the key to this process lies in being a child, an explorer, and inculcate an experimentation mindset. The SLICE framework addresses this in the following way:

    • S hare: Share an area of improvement
    • L earn: Explore the area for ways of improvement
    • I mplement: Search & apply the learning to identify the success factors
    • C ollateral: Publish blogs, white papers, presentations, etc. as observations of the implementation
    • E xpansion: Grow, Seed, and Split in order to explore new venues for success

    In this talk, I create an environment that inculcates an experimentation mindset and utilise the SLICE framework to drive the exploration.

  • Shane Hastie

    Shane Hastie - Being Agile in a Remote Team

    Shane Hastie
    Shane Hastie
    Global Delivery Lead
    schedule 4 years ago
    Sold Out!
    90 Mins

    In this interactive session Shane discuss his experience working in a distributed, virtual organization which is founded on an Agile Mindset. The challenges of maintaining agility when remote, the ways the ICAgile team have consciously designed their team and organization culture and provide actionable advice based on real experience on how to maintain collaboration, teamwork and live the agile values in a remote only organization.

    ICAgile is a global, virtual organisation working with partners across over 100 countries spanning almost every timezone. There is no single corporate office and the ICAgile team is spread across seven locations in three countries. We have managed to build a strong collaborative culture and a truly safe working environment focused on outcomes rather than activities, holding each other to account and being really effective and productive while having a joyful workplace.

  • Sneha Prabhu

    Sneha Prabhu / Namrita N - The Seven Tenets of New Age Agile Business Analysis

    45 Mins

    In a world where businesses are increasingly becoming tech-led, three new types of businesses have evolved:

    - Physical, now digital: Brick and mortar businesses are replaced with fully online models. Netflix is a fantastic example of having revolutionized the traditional cable companies.

    - Digital native: Products that would never have existed if the technology for it hadn't come first, like FitBits.

    - Digital engines: Businesses that power other digital businesses. Amazon Web Services is the engine that drives a phenomenal number of modern day businesses

    In all, business models are evolving, and technology is at the heart of it all. This pushes the boundaries on how we solution, analyze, develop and measure. The role of business analysts has to evolve to be catalysts for re-imagining how technology is leveraged for future businesses.

    In this talk, we talk about the paradigm shift in technology and businesses, the unique role that Agile Business Analysts can play, and the new age Agile Manifesto.

  • Vincent Kok

    Vincent Kok - Why you're failing your remote workers

    Vincent Kok
    Vincent Kok
    Engineering Manager
    schedule 4 years ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Case Study

    Remote work is a hot topic and for good reasons! It has many benefits, but it also introduces new challenges. In this talk, we will look at how the Trello team embraced remote and made it work for its growing team. We will discuss why remote work can be good for your team and how to continue to get sh*t done and grow a remote culture. After this talk you will have a clear overview on why remote work can help your organisation, the challenges involved, and many pointers for getting it right.

  • 45 Mins

    • How do we shift the mindset of team members from ‘my work’, ‘my job’ ‘my goals’ to ‘our work’, ‘our project’ & ‘our objectives’ ?
    • Do your team members struggle to trust each other or keep blaming each other?
    • Does your team always struggle to meet commitments & deadlines?
    • Is the boss always the villain?
    • Does adapting to frequent changing customer expectations makes your team uncomfortable?

    We’ve all been part of such dysfunctional teams, or may be some of us are there even now.

    Our combined experience of over 11 years at ThoughtWorks across domains, highly distributed setups & team sizes makes us believe it is possible to transform any agile team into an empowered team.

    We speak about the factors that contribute to empowered teams through stories of projects that achieved the unachievable. We will help you with tweaks to your current recipe of agile team to ensure it transforms into and stays an empowered one.

    This talk promises to contain real project experiences from us and people we interviewed across projects .