- Even if your own development organization is not Agile, there is a compelling argument for using Agile-capable suppliers if you need to outsource your development. We feel that shifting to Agile processes with your in-house team will yield greater benefits than outsourcing to a waterfall supplier.
- It is extremely easy to integrate Scrum with XP practices, even on large distributed teams. This can improve productivity, reduce project risk, and enhance software quality.
- As counterintuitive as it may sound, single teams with members distributed across sites can enhance code ownership and improve autonomy essential to team self-organization. One Scrum meeting a day has been critical to the cohesiveness of the project, and it includes all team members across geographies. Most outsourced development projects do not hold formal daily calls and the communication bridge is never formed.
- Written communication prior to joint meetings improves communication and reduces misunderstandings due to cultural and distance barriers. (Communicating in writing as well as on the phone helps mitigate any risk of misunderstanding due to poor phone line or accents.) Project leaders in Provo, Utah, and St. Petersburg have a remarkably common view of the project because of the transparency and frequency of communications.
- Automated communication of Product and Sprint backlogs throughout the organization combined with upward reporting of Scrum status to management can tightly align a global organization.
- The issues of Product Backlog being quot;readyquot; for implementation in a Sprint and working software being quot;donequot; at the end of a Sprint are key areas where even the best teams need improvement.
About the Authors
Peter Vaihansky is the Vice President of StarSoft Development Labs. With headquarters in Cambridge, MA and development centers in Eastern Europe, StarSoft provides software development outsourcing management expertise and services to global US and European companies including: Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), T-Mobile, IBM, Fellowes, Contex, ScriptLogic, WebSideStory, and others. StarSoft specializes in applying Agile methodologies (XP and Scrum) to distributed, offshore software development projects.
Jeff Sutherland, Ph.D., is CTO of PatientKeeper, an MIT-based startup providing mobile/wireless applications to clinicians. He has been CTO or VP of Engineering in nine software technology companies and introduced improved Agile development processes to each of them. His work on reusable business object components through the Object Management Group and the OOPSLA Business Object Workshop during the last decade has led to new database products, software development environments, CASE/OOAD tools, as well as vertical applications in multiple industries. As an inventor of the Scrum development process, his experience in organizational development has repeatedly enabled high-octane development teams to deliver world-class software products. Learn more about Jeff on his website.
Anton Victorov works as Site Manager at StarSoft Development Labs. He runs an offshore development center (ODC) in St. Petersburg, Russia for one of StarSoft#39;s US customers. Anton has been with the company for 6 years. He is one of StarSoft#39;s most active Agilists and an outspoken enthusiast of XP and Scrum. Anton is a frequent speaker at professional conferences, where he delivers presentations on the topics of Agile software development.
 J. Sutherland, A. Viktorov, J. Blount, and N. Puntikov, quot;Distributed Scrum: Agile Project Management with Outsourced Development Teams,quot; in HICSS#39;40, Hawaii International Conference on Software Systems , Big Island, Hawaii. IEEE, 2007.
 Jones, C., 2000, Software assessments, benchmarks, and best practices / Capers Jones , Addison Wesley (Boston, Mass.).