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Thursday, April 01, 2010

Retrospectives in Agile Multi Site Development

Distributed Retrospective Unlike other Agile practices, Retrospective sessions involves a lot of
emotions. Emotions could be easily understood(also handled) by looking at the body language of the people around us. However, in a distributed development projects, teams are scattered across various locations and this in turn makes it hard to understand the body language. This is one of the reasons why it takes more time for the scattered teams to bond with each other and thus reducing the efficacy.

Even though no tool or technique can replace the experience
emanating in a collocated team, there are a few that could

be practiced to improve the effectiveness of distributed retrospectives.

From the logistics perspective, one or more of following tools
could be used


Tool Name Effectiveness

Voice chat through Wired phones, typically what is
termed landlines or using popular
tools like Skype, Yahoo
Messengers, etc   without  Web cams

Low

GoogleDocs, Wikis in addition to voice chat and no web cams.
Download the GoogleDocs Retrospective template from here

Low

Web cameras connected to tools like Skype
or Office Communicators in addition to use of Google docs, Wikis,etc

Medium

 

http://www.CardMeeting.com


Using this in addition to voice/video tools increases effectiveness


image

Medium

http://www.Dabbleboards.com


Using this in addition to voice/video tools increases effectiveness


image

Medium

http://www.IdeaBoardz.com


Using this in addition to voice/video tools increases effectiveness


image 

Medium

http://www.IdeaScale.com

Using this in addition to voice/video tools increases effectiveness

Medium
http://www.mindmeister.com

Using this in addition to voice/video tools increases effectiveness

Medium
http://www.etherpad.com

Using this in addition to voice/video tools increases effectiveness

Medium
http://en.linoit.com

Using this in addition to voice/video tools increases effectiveness

Medium

Telepresence and Video
Conferencing kind of tools  in addition to one or more of above mentioned tools

image 

High

 


Note: Some of the above mentioned online tools could also be used for other Agile practices like Requirement gathering, brain storming, design discussions in distributed mode.


 

Patterns

Two popular patterns of distributed retrospectives include
1. All hands Retrospective
2. Location Specific Retrospective

In case of All hands Retrospective, all teams participate together
using one or more of above logistics. This pattern works well if teams
are located in same or closer time zones. May not be a good idea to apply this for larger teams . 

Location Specific Retrospective, In this pattern, location specific
teams conduct retrospectives and then the leads from each of these
location conduct “Retrospective of retrospectives” synching
Sad/Mad/Glad data. Larger teams (>15) can apply this pattern.

4 comments:

Chirag Doshi said...

Hi Venkatesh,

Thanks for mentioning IdeaBoardz.com on your blog post. We recently released a new version of the app. http://post.ly/mirf

Hope you like it.

daveskaren said...

Awesome blog,I like very much. enterprise application

Venkatesh Krishnamurthy said...

Thanks so much

Russ Beinder said...

Is your rating of effectiveness your own opinion or is it driven from some analysis you have performed?