Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Working from home and remote locations communication

Usual question comes up in Scrum gatherings or on discussion boards :

How do you do Scrum with an Offshore Team ?

One of the principle of Scrum is normally to have a collocated team. Communication being the main cause of failure of IT projects, off-shoring part of the team is just increasing the chances of failures.

Communication is already difficult when people are located just next desk.
Who never got an E-Mail from a colleague instead of walking over your desk?
And what about working from home ? When the person does not answer instant messaging for half an hour ?
Accepting a working from home situation is acknowledging that the communication within the team is already at risk. Next step could be to simply put the team in remote locations.

But sometimes the decision is not ours, and in that case, the communication should be improved within the constraints. Any means to improve it is welcome.
Phone, webcams, and occasional gatherings (trips) to ensure people trusts each other, and won't hesitate to pick up the phone to call another member if they have a question.