Challenges of distributed team

Distributed teams face many challenges, especially when working with another software firm for the first time. By understanding these challenges, team can work to find solutions before they become bigger issues.

Here are common challenges distributed team’s faces in Agile software projects.

  • Cultural differences: As the team becomes more distributed the cultural challenges between sites often increases. Different cultures have different work ethics, treat intellectual property differently, have different ideas about commitment, may be less inclined to embrace self-organization, have different holidays, different approaches to things, and so on.
  • Lack of Trust: When people are working in different locations and time zones it can be difficult for team members to have trust. There is a tendency to conceal weakness and mistakes, hesitate to ask help or provide constructive feedback and jump to conclusions about the intentions and aptitudes of others without attempting to clarify them
  • ‘us’ versus ’them’: Offshore organization may be treated as “secondary” to the onshore organization; offshore team may want more direction “tell me what to do” than readily opt for a self-governing approach. This approach and attitude is an impediment to agility
  • Time differences: When people are in different time zones it becomes harder to find common working times, increasing the communication challenges. To combat these challenges you will find that you need to create more documentation than you normally would.
  • Restricted Communication: Many problems in distributed agile development are related to communication like unable to understand the customer, the system architecture or system design. These have to be solved by participating in discussions or solving the problem manually.
  • Product Owner far away from team: POs often have other charters to take care of and their unavailability can become an impediment and slows down project progress especially when working with remote teams – distance and unavailability become real challenge for distributed agile teams.
  • Poor infrastructure:  Insufficient VPN bandwidth connectivity, access outages – will increase the distance between the teams and reduces the productivity.
CategoriesAgile Leadership

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