Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Agile 2008 - Part II

Well, I have survived day 1 of the conference. It is a pretty long day here with the presentations starting at 08:30 hrs and ending at 17:30 hours. Of course we get some breaks :)

In the interesting facts column, there are over 1548 attendees from 42 different countries. 42. I wonder if there is some significance to that? :) Also, 22% of all the attendees are from outside of North America. I would say the US makes up the largest segment of attendees. I have run into more Americans then Canadians so far.

In the seminars I have been in, I would have to say that Macadamian is very advanced in our distributed agileness. So far the majority of people I have talked to do distributed agile on shore, that being that they have teams in different parts of the country. Some do do distributed agile across multiple global centres.

Also, many of the patterns that Macadamian holds dear about how to do distributed global agile are being validated by the people I meet and the seminars I attend.

The one universal shortcoming I have identified so far is our lack of travel. At Macadamian we follow the Ambassador pattern. See I learned the name for what do here :) This pattern is where someone from one of the labs travel to another one of the labs to work there for a few weeks. Where we fall short is the frequency of this travel.

Ideally we should have an ambassador travel to one of the labs (or to our HQ) for the start of every significant project. This isn't something we are doing current. In this model, the travel time could be one or two weeks instead of our standard three weeks.

Basically, the premise of this model is to either pay the cost of the face to face time now, or later in the project with lost productivity, rework etc. I think it would be interesting to examine the possibility of this approach on some of our longer/bigger projects. The impact of this of course is to price this ambassador model into the total cost of the projects.

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