10 May Agile Project Management on 3 Different Continents
Having clients from all over the world, it’s important to let your customers know you’re open during their work hours. At Daxima, we have engineers in Europe, Asia, and North America where many collaborate on the same projects at the same time.
Integrating the Agile methodology to project management, you define clear goals to your team where they can get their work done any time of day without needing support.
1. Define the size of the teams/pods
One of most important aspects of Agile development is keeping team sizes below 6 or 7 developers. At Daxima with our extensive experience with Agile development, we’ve found that number is generally dependent on the type of project, however, we we’ve certainly found that larger teams are generally not efficient. There is a degree of diminishing returns when your team gets above 6 or 7 teams members.
At Daxima our pods consist of team members that can be scattered across the globe. Therefore, based on years of experience we
2. Experienced Team Leader
We cannot overemphasize the importance of an experienced and dynamic team leader at the helm. The leader has to be the conduit that make the entire pod function efficiently. They are responsible for interfacing and communicating with the business, planning the sprints, managing the QA process and making sure the team hits the velocity goals defined in the sprint.
In addition the team leader needs to understand geographical challenges, and should effectively divide the work into regional categories where employees from one region can focus on specific functionality that will not hinder on the work of other regions. At Daxima we’ve spent years refining this process.
3. Daily Sprint Meetings
Given the different time zones, finding the time to meet can be difficult. However, it is critical that you find at least a single time slot for the entire team to meet daily for the standup meeting.Daily sprint meetings are a core aspect to successful Agile implementation, but in a large team spread out in different regions, it can become cumbersome. In our case we’ve found that 10 AM PST time zone seems to be the ideal time for all of our team members.
4. Agile Development Tools
At Daxima we’ve used a number of tools such as Jira, Rally, Asana and Visual Studio Online. What we’ve found is that there is no perfect tool on the market, however, it is nearly impossible for us to run a successful agile project without the right tool. In our case the choice of a tool can be driven by customer demand or project type.
5. Communication Tools
Online communication can be difficult, especially if you need to get a clear answer from someone. However, because of the distance between many of our team members, instant messaging and online team collaboration tools allowed us to maintain discussions without having common technical difficulties you may get from VoIP services or video chat.
There is no perfect solution for a communication tools either. At Daxima we use Skype, Hangout and Slack – but again that decision sometimes relies on our client needs.
Leading projects over multiple continents can be difficult, but with the right tools and process in place you can greatly increase the chances of your project succeeding.