Agile Project Management Process Grid–Process 6.1 Colocated/Distributed Teams


In his book “PMI-ACP and Certified Scrum Professional Exam Prep and Desk Reference,” John Stenbeck has created an “Agile PM Process Grid” which contains 87 processes used in agile project management divided up into 5 process areas and 7 knowledge areas.

I’m now covering all the processes in the first process group called Initiate, and have covered all the processes in that group under the first 5 knowledge areas.   Now I’m moving on to the two processes in the sixth knowledge area of Communications, 6.1 Colocated/Distributed Teams and 6.2 Participatory Decision Making.   This post will cover the first of these processes.

Colocated Teams

It makes sense, given the fact that agile project management depends on team collaboration, that a team that is in the same location, or a colocated team, is going to have the natural advantage as opposed to a team which is split up in different locations, or a distributed team.   A colocated team will only require the normal level of support when it comes to communication.

Distributed Teams

However, given the global nature of many businesses, you may have to have a distributed team, in which case you will require a higher level of support when it comes to communication, including the following:

  1. Synchronizing communication–shift core hours to find an overlap in which conference calls can occur, but enable groupware tools such as e-mails and wikis to provide communication BETWEEN core hour shifts
  2. Enabling collaboration–given the fact that different time zones often translates into different native languages being used, it is best to encourage written communication in parallel to any verbal communication to avoid misunderstandings
  3. Providing enough communication bandwidth-the key here is to provide enough bandwidth to achieve knowledge sharing.   These can include rotating team members across projects, features, and modules, or using groupware tools such as e-mails and wikis.

The purpose is to set up the communication infrastructure beforehand, even before planning takes place because planning itself is a collaborative process–that is why this process belongs here in the Initiate process group.

The next process 6.2 Participatory Decision Models will be covered in the next post.

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