Monday, September 25, 2006

Importance of coaching in distributed agile development

When an organization starts a new practice or introduces a new process into software development team, there would be some slack time before it really sees some gain. This is true especially when an organization decides to move from traditional development to Agile methodology. The practices like test driven development, refactoring are not so easy to learn without a coach in place.

In a distributed agile development scenario, one needs to be careful about the gap about the knowledge of agile methods between onsite customer and offshore customer. More the gap, more resistance resulting in reduced productivity. Generally this type of productivity problem happens, if both the onsite customer and the offshore team are new to agile methods. If one of them has really mastered agile methods then the gap can be reduced fast and there would be a productivity gain.

For Ex: if the onsite team coordinator "thinks" TDD is good, and starts pushing offshore team to practice "TDD". The offshore team, which is new to TDD would not only resist this, but also will try to write code to make the coordinator happy. This results in overstepping the values behind TDD or any other agile practice for that matter.

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