• Our varied and in-depth experience in different flavors of Agile have hard-coded some key strengths into our DNA.

    Clarify Early, Clarify Often -

     At BSIL, we start with clarity. Although product owners may not know all features that their product will eventually have, it is still possible to provide clarity with big picture product definitions, such as "we are building an email client / enterprise collaboration tool", etc. Having as much clarity as often as possible helps motivate the team and gives everyone a sense of purpose.

    The Advantage of Multiple Timezones -

     As a team spread across multiple geographies, our distributed models use the global 24 hour cycle to maximum benefit, so that the work in the project remains constant and continuous (fig-01). Of course, the key in this situation is to identify key work packets that each team will handle so that the benefits of distribution are maximized.

    Planning & Adaptation -

     We work with our clients to qualitatively map the responsibilities between colocated and distributed teams. As the project progresses, we enable the client to re-examine and change this mapping of responsibilities as necessary. This exercise is critical to success. For example, we have found that the list of activities shown in the table below should be handled solely at client's premises, as there are no benefits in the Product Owners being in distributed locations far away from market-listening mechanisms.

    Agile task name Colocated Distributed Remarks
    Sprint Planning
    High level requirement analysis Yes No Core activities that need to be performed by product owners and colocated core teams.
    Estimation of effort for the sprint Yes No
    Attending sprint planning sessions Yes No
    Business Analysis
    Business Analysis preparation Yes No Core activities that need to be performed by product owners and colocated core teams.
    Business Analysis review by all stake holders Yes No
    Requirements Analysis / Assessment
    Detailed analysis of requirements Yes No
    Feedback to key stakeholders Yes No Typically requires in-person discussions.
  • Get granular -

     If we consider individual aspects of a Distributed Agile cycle, such as planning and development, then we can identify best practices within those individual sets of activities. Figure 02 lists some best practices within the significant component aspects of a Distributed Agile cycle.

    Tools, Roles & Functions -

     From our multiple Distributed Agile engagements, we have identified the right tools and the right roles for each activity / stage of a Distributed Agile cycle. Figures 03,04 & 05 provide some insight into how we at BSI have approached people and tools management for different stages in Distributed Agile development.

    Plan for Travel -

     At BSIL, we aim to start every project with the entire team being colocated. We plan for periodic travel of members from distributed teams to meet and interact with teams in other locations. We find that the benefits of a travel budget typically outweigh the costs of increased risks due to ill-formed personal relationships and needless documentation down the road.

  • Focus on People -

      Respect for every individual is ingrained in the BSIL fabric. We love the diversity of different cultures, and treat every team member with respect. We honor cultural differences at all times, and are acutely aware that while people from some cultures are openly communicative, those from other cultures may find the uninhibited communication requirements of Agile's flat hierarchy a little intimidating. At BSIL, we have surmounted these challenges by focussing on building interpersonal relationships across teams, with frequent cross-pollination, and the use of visual tools like video conferencing. Our project managers and SCRUM masters work hard to protect the health of our teams by preventing team burnout - better planning allows us to limit the amount of individual sacrifices involved in maxed out schedules to critical junctures of product delivery.

    Choose the Right Location -

      Being a global company, we are experienced in being mindful of time-zone differences and the sacrifice of team members who may need to come in very early or stay late to accommodate meetings. Our global footprint allows us to offer mutiple choices of distributed locations that provide overlapping hours with colocated client teams.

    Autonomy is A Great Motivator -

      Our clients have always found strength in the power of our individuality. They have set goals and expectations, and then allowed us to break down subsequent responsibilities as needed. And in every case, our clients have been pleased with the end-results.


     

    Would you like to know more about how we can help you? Please take a look at what our clients say about us; or better yet, go ahead and ask us about our Star Agile Framework. We would love to hear from you.