Recipe for good Distributed Agile Development

by Sampath Prahalad

At the Agile India 2012 conference, I attended a  superb talk by Rebecca Parsons (CTO of ThoughtWorks) on ‘Agile is not the easy way out, bit it works’. Many one liner wow tweets came from that talk. Check out some of them here.

After the talk, I met her at the ThoughtWorks stall near the Registration area and asked her what according to her was the Recipe to successful Distributed Agile Development.

  1. Split the power. Ensure that no one person at any one location calls all the shots. Try and ensure that there is a balance in the experience and knowledge across  both locations in the team.
  2. Forge a team identity. People who are part of the team across geographies should be treated as One team. Should not be referred to as Onsite team, Offshore team, etc. They are all part of the same Product Delivery  team. What applies to the team at one location should apply to the team members at the other location as well.
  3. Split work across functionality. Work should be split as vertical slices of a product (e.g: Distributed team working on say, User provisioning) and not horizontally(e.g. UI/UX development at one location, Back end processing at the other).

Pearls of wisdom from a person with loads of experience. Took her a minute to deliver and took me an hour to assimilate and digest.



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