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Large-Scale Distributed Agile Is Tough

We generally think of agile development teams as being 5-7 people. That’s fine but it’s hard to build a major enterprise application in any reasonable time frame with such a small group. You can create multiple small teams and face the challenge of coordinating them. Now add the additional complication of not having all the team members in one location.

Major enterprises have development staff around the globe from the United States to Europe, Asia and Africa. Coordinating all that brain power is tough no matter what development approach you employ.

Yet, it can be done! You can use agile methodologies on such projects. They may not be strictly agile in a purist sense but you’ll get the job done with less risk and better quality. Here are a few important questions to ponder:

  • Do you have a way to compare relative team productivity across your organization?
  • Do you have a structured and disciplined approach to estimating task complexity and duration?
  • Do you have a mechanism for teams to share information and operate off a common backlog?

Here is a link to a good article exploring this concept a little deeper via The Agile Journal.

Updated: December 31, 2010 — 5:20 pm
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