Agile Software Development with Distributed Teams: Staying Agile in a Global World [NOOK Book]


This is the digital version of the printed book (Copyright © 2010).

All software projects face the challenges of diverse distances -- temporal, geographical, cultural, lingual, political, historical, and more. Many forms of distance even affect developers in the same room. The goal of this book is to reconcile two mainstays of modern agility: the close collaboration agility ...
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Agile Software Development with Distributed Teams: Staying Agile in a Global World

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This is the digital version of the printed book (Copyright © 2010).

All software projects face the challenges of diverse distances -- temporal, geographical, cultural, lingual, political, historical, and more. Many forms of distance even affect developers in the same room. The goal of this book is to reconcile two mainstays of modern agility: the close collaboration agility relies on, and project teams distributed across different cities, countries, and continents.

In Agile Software Development with Distributed Teams, Jutta Eckstein asserts that, in fact, agile methods and the constant communication they require are uniquely capable of solving the challenges of distributed projects. Agility is responsiveness to change -- in other words, agile practitioners maintain flexibility to accommodate changing circumstances and results. Iterative development serves the learning curve that global project teams must scale.

This book is not about how to outsource and forget your problems. Rather, Eckstein details how to carefully select development partners and integrate efforts and processes to form a better product than any single contributor could deliver on his or her own. The author de-emphasizes templates and charts and favors topical discussion and exploration. Practitioners share experiences in their own words in short stories throughout the book. Eckstein trains readers to be change agents, to creatively apply the concepts in this book to form a customized distributed project plan for success.

Topics include:

Understanding Distributed Development
The Productivity Myth
Ensuring Conceptual Integrity
Trust and Mutual Respect
Iterations and Releases
Using Features to Steer the Development Effort
Team Velocity
Virtual Retrospectives
Dispersed Synchronization
Introducing Agility to Global Projects and much more
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780133492392
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 7/29/2013
  • Series: Dorset House eBooks
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 1,183,868
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

JUTTA ECKSTEIN is a consultant, coach, and trainer at IT Communication, based in Braunschweig, Germany. Her know-how in agile processes comes from nearly twenty years of experience developing object-oriented applications. She has helped teams and organizations all over the world make the transition to an agile approach, and has extensive experience in applying agile processes within medium-sized to large, distributed, mission-critical projects. She is a member of the Agile Alliance and serves on the program committees of several European and American conferences in the areas of agile development, object-orientation, and patterns. For more information, visit
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Table of Contents

Preface xiii

Chapter 1 Getting Started 3

Focus 4

Intended Audience 4

Perspective 5

Roadmap to the Book 6

Chapter 2 Assessing Agility and Distributed Projects 9

Understanding Distributed Development 9

Working With Several Development Sites 10

Distributed and Dispersed Teams 10

Large Projects 11

Coordinating Companies 12

Different Sites 13

Customers and Distance 14

Centrally Coordinated or Globally Integrated 15

Overcoming the Distance 16

Understanding Agility 16

Core Value Pair Statements .17

Systemic Approach .19

Risk Reduction 19

The Productivity Myth 20

More Than Practices 21

Neither Chaotic nor Undisciplined 21

Agile Principles Influencing Globally Distributed Projects 22

Summary 24

Chapter 3 Building Teams

Feature Teams 27

Single- and Multi-Site Teams 28

Dispersed Teams 31

Forging a Team 32

Teams Happen, by David Hussman 33

Roles 36

Feature-Team Constellation 36

Architect and Chief Architect 38

Experiences as a Software Architect on Global Agile Projects, by Michael Kircher 40

Coach 43

Product Owner and Product Manager 44

Project Manager 48

Collocate Key Roles with Teams 49

Ensuring Conceptual Integrity 49

Starting Team Provides Model 50

Technical Service Team 50

Summary 51

Chapter 4 Establishing Communication and Trust 53

Trust and Mutual Respect 54

Trust Threshold 55

Changing Meeting Locations 56

Vocabulary 57

Communication 58

In-Person Team Meetings 58

Face-to-Face Project Meetings 59

People Rotation 60

Communication Costs 61

Communication Flow 62

Cultural Differences 63

Similarities Versus Differences 64

Culture Fit 65

Crossing Big Boundaries, by Ainsley Nies 67

Realistic Planning 68

Taking Responsibility 68

Problem Reporting 69

Honest Feedback 70

Noise 71

Humor 72

Communication Media 72

Summary 74

Chapter 5 Keeping Sites in Touch 76

Communication Facilitator 77

Communication Facilitator As Ombudsman 77

Technical and Social Prowess 78

Management By Flying Around 78

Ambassador 79

Site Representation 80

Characteristics and Competency 80

Travel Schedule 81

Concrete Tasks 82

Social Connections 83

Joint Celebration 83

Picture Power 83

Everyday Life 84

Travel Tips 84

Tools .85

Direct Connections 86

Synchroneity Versus Asynchroneity 86

Audio and Video 87

Instant Messaging 88

E-mail 89

Virtual Space 90

Common Repository 91

Wiki and Other Collaboration Platforms 91

Summary 92

Chapter 6 Ensuring Development and Delivery 94

Iterations 95

Iteration Length 95

Done-Done 96

Project Heartbeat 97

Delivery Delay 97

Releases 99

Release Iteration 99

Release Site 100

Integration and Build 101

Local Success First 101

Integration Effort 101

Production Shut-Down 103

Integration and Build Optimization 104

Infrastructure 105

Build and Integration Process and Tools 105

Configuration Management 107

Follow the Sun, by Joseph Pelrine 109

Power 111

Security 111

Network Sense 112

Tools 113

Summary 113

Chapter 7 Ensuring Business Value 115

Steering Through Valuable Features 115

Real-Customer Awareness 116

Connecting to a Distant Customer, by Daniel Karlström 117

Iteration Preparation 119

Understanding Requirements 122

Treating Requested Documentation As Requirements 123

Team Velocity 123

Unknown Velocity 124

Estimation Unit 125

Planning Poker 126

Estimation Parity 128

Velocity Disparity 130

Planning an Iteration 131

Feature-Planning Integrity 131

Planning-Meeting Essentials 132

Planning-Meeting Schedule 132

Tangible Planning Tools 133

Iteration Tracking 134

Planning and Tracking Tools 135

Keeping Goals in Focus 136

Dealing With Change 138

Iteration Length Marks Response Time 138

Change-Request Scheduling 139

Team-Structure Change 139

Overall Project Plan 140

Release Planning 140

Forecasting 141

Release Versus Milestone 142

Summary 143

Chapter 8 Eliciting Feedback and Conducting Retrospectives 145

Customer Feedback 146

Identifying the Customer 146

Distant Customer 147

Customer Presentations 147

Review Meetings 148

Iteration Reviews 148

Individual and Dispersed Versus Joint and In-Person Review Meetings 149

Release Reviews 151

Retrospectives 151

Individual-Feature-Team Retrospectives 154

Project-Wide Retrospectives 154

Joint-Site Retrospectives 156

Retrospective Protocol 156

Virtual Retrospectives 157

Distributed Retrospectives, by Linda Rising 158

Retrospective Attendees 160

Common Retrospective Mistakes 160

Facilitation Techniques 161

Facilitating an Effective Virtual Retrospective, by Debra Lavell 162

Metrics 166

Progress Measurement 166

Estimate-Quality Measurement 169

Increasing the Test Base 170

Summary 170

Chapter 9 Honing Practices 172

Development Practices 172

Pair Programming 173

Unit-Testing 175

Refactoring 175

Refactoring on Large Projects, by Nicolai M. Josuttis 177

Collective Ownership 180

Common Coding Guideline 181

Feature Communication via Tests 182

Distributed Agile and Acceptance Testing, by Naresh Jain 183

Out-of-the-Box Practices 187

Process Practices 188

Development Culture 196

Project-Wide Practices 197

Evolving Practices 198

Different Practices 199

Process Standards Based on CMMI and ISO 200

Equal Rights 202

Summary 203

Chapter 10 Introducing Agility into New and Existing

Distributed Projects 205

Start Locally,Grow Globally 206

Collocation and Rotation 207

Fundamental Iterations 208

Early-On Iteration 210

Time-Boxed Project Start 211

Growing Teams and Growing Sites 211

Kick-Off 211

Project-Culture Transmittal 213

Cultural Training 214

Integrating New People 215

Introducing Agile to an Existing Project 216

Gradual Versus Project-Wide Change 216

Team-Structure Change 217

More and/or Better Coaches 218

Estimation and Velocity 218

Lone Fighter 219

Summary 220

Afterword 223

Glossary 225

References 232

Index 241

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