Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Distributed ScrumMasters

At the August DC Scrum user group meeting, David Bland gave an Agile2010 preview presentation on Distributed Scrum and the Art of Digital Facilitation. David recommends trying to use light weight tools even in distributed environments and emphasizes concentrating on the process as opposed to the tool. He also recommends video conferencing over phone/email/IM.

One very interesting point that David discusses is dealing with the Daily Stand up across different time zones. David mentions that the 3 questions have to be re-phrased when working across major differences in time zones so that

1. What did you do yesterday?

2. What will you do today?

3. What’s in your way?


1. What did you do today?

2. What will you do tomorrow?

3. What’s in your way?

So due to the difference in time zones, one team (A) is talking about what they will do today where as the other team (B) is about to go home and is talking about what they already did today. David emphasizes that the product owner and scrum owner must quickly address any issues that team B bring up, otherwise, team B will come in the next morning without clear guidance on the stories or priorities and with impediments still blocking progress. Team B will have to wait almost the entire day before the next Daily stand up and before getting any updated guidance from the product owner. Having the product owner address any issues while team B is asleep ensures that team B will be productive first thing in the morning.

You can follow David on his blog http://www.scrumology.net and view the presentation slide deck at http://www.slideshare.net/7thpixel/distributed-scrum-masters-d-bland-agile2010.