Agile in the Global Economy: Managing Distributed Agile Teams

Agile projects are increasingly being conducted by geographically distributed teams. Whether teams are separated across countries or people are taking advantage of changing business practices and working from home, without the right tools and techniques, distributed Agile teams can be less efficient or downright unproductive. While the principles within the Agile Manifesto (that the most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation) remain valid, the world had moved on since 2001 and there are ways to improve information sharing and reduce miscommunication.

This presentation will look at four focus areas for distributed teams;

  1. Communication: how to setup communications procedures early in the development cycle, as well as how to run distributed meetings, such as the Daily Stand-up.
  2. Hiring appropriate staff: how to select or recruit staff for a distributed team while fostering a sense of teamwork and staff loyalty.
  3. Workload Planning: how to use agile frameworks to the advantage of distributed teams.
  4. Reporting: how to ensure all team members and project stakeholders remain fully informed about project progress and issues.

Ultimately, in a distributed Agile project, team members may not often see each other face to face, but must work collaboratively toward a single outcome. And while the reasons for distributing your Agile team will be different for each organisation, it remains critical to build a cohesive and highly productive team.

Learning Outcomes

You will come away from this presentation with understanding many of the skills required to participate in, or run, a distributed agile team. Whether you want to work from home, or your colleagues are in another country, this presentation will provide practical examples and techniques for;

  • The most appropriate communication channels for distributed teams
  • How to instill a sense of “team” when team members do not meet face-to-face
  • What changes are required to common agile techniques to cater for remote participants
  • The difference between remote teams and remote team members
  • The value of rigorous Agile


A brief (5 min) introduction will familiarise the audience with the issues facing distributed agile teams. The bulk of the presentation will then cover the principles and practices therein, with some case studies to demonstrate how these have been used in the past.

Depending on the size of the audience, I generally welcome questions throughout the presentation but will allocate approximately 5 minutes at the end for complex and additional questions.