Successful Collaboration in
Agile Software Teams
Martin Kropp & Magdalena Mateescu
University of Applied Sciences Northwes...
A Study Report
•
•
•
•

Interviews in 11 agile IT companies
10 two-hour group interviews - group size of 3 to 5
3 one-hour...
Interview Methodology
• Development of interview guide
• Semi-structured interviews
• 10 Group interviews, 3 individual in...
No successful agile project

without agile collaboration

|
What is Agile Collaboration?

|
Agile Collaboration is …
•
•
•
•
•

Face-to-face
Regular
Often
Informal
Openly

•
•
•
•
•

Under equals
Focused
Transparen...
1. Put People Together
• Open work place
• not only for work 

|
… and distributed teams?
• Always a compromise
• Generates extra effort – think about if it’s worth it

|
What you can do…
• Integrate into daily stand-up
• Use video-conferencing, skype, chat …
• Organize face-to-face work phas...
2. Make Team Self-Organized
• No “hidden” leader
• Can be difficult if the team leader is part of the agile
team

|
3. Establish Continuity
• Apply “Standard” meetings – all
•
•
•
•

Iteration planning, stand-ups, review, retro
Keep them ...
4. Foster Informal Meetings
• Technical meetings
• As needed architecture, design meetings
• Pair programming
• See 1.

• ...
5. Make Information Transparent
• Use Boards
• Physical or digital

• Instant availability
• All-in-one view

|
How about Agile Collab Tools?
Yes, but …
Jeff Langr in Pragmatic
Programmer Magazine
http://pragprog.com/magazines
/2011-0...
The Agile Tool Set is more …
General development Tools
Agile Tools

Communication and collaboration
tools

Physical Tools
...
Role of Email
“…. however it is similar with the Email, frankly
spoken, you cannot sent any assignments per
email, it simp...
The Agile Tool Set is more …
• Automation Infrastructure
CI, VCS, Automation, Test (unit and acceptance),
Deployment
• Col...
Physical boards
In some things unbeatable
• Flexible
• Touchable
• Transparent
• All-in-one view
• Usually in the office

...
How about Agile PM Tools?
• Used in combination with physical boards
• Always extra effort
• Think about benefit
• E.g. fo...
Digital Master
• Meetings with Beamer
• One “writer”
• Print out new US, tasks for physical board

• Print customized over...
Physical Master
• Team works with the physical board
• Changes are added to digital tools afterwards by one
person (mostly...
Pro- and Cons of digital Agile PM
Tools
Pros
• Persistence
• Historization
• Distributed
• Traceability
• Concurrent editi...
The Future?
Project SI-ATAM
“Agile Technologies for Agile Methods”
http://www.fhnw.ch/technik/imvs/forschung/projekte/si-a...
Thanks for your attention!
martin.kropp@fhnw.ch
magdalena.mateescu@fhnw.ch
www.fhnw.ch
|
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JAZOON'13 - Martin Kropp - Agile Collaboration

  1. 1. Successful Collaboration in Agile Software Teams Martin Kropp & Magdalena Mateescu University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland School of Engineering & School of Applied Psychology
  2. 2. A Study Report • • • • Interviews in 11 agile IT companies 10 two-hour group interviews - group size of 3 to 5 3 one-hour individual interviews Total of 44 interviewed people |
  3. 3. Interview Methodology • Development of interview guide • Semi-structured interviews • 10 Group interviews, 3 individual interviews - Two interviewers • All interviews were recorded and transcribed • A coding system was developed accordingly to research questions and the interviews were coded using MAXQDA |
  4. 4. No successful agile project without agile collaboration |
  5. 5. What is Agile Collaboration? |
  6. 6. Agile Collaboration is … • • • • • Face-to-face Regular Often Informal Openly • • • • • Under equals Focused Transparent Respectful Flexible
  7. 7. 1. Put People Together • Open work place • not only for work  |
  8. 8. … and distributed teams? • Always a compromise • Generates extra effort – think about if it’s worth it |
  9. 9. What you can do… • Integrate into daily stand-up • Use video-conferencing, skype, chat … • Organize face-to-face work phases (3-5 days) • fly them in or fly to them |
  10. 10. 2. Make Team Self-Organized • No “hidden” leader • Can be difficult if the team leader is part of the agile team |
  11. 11. 3. Establish Continuity • Apply “Standard” meetings – all • • • • Iteration planning, stand-ups, review, retro Keep them focused Keep them short Adapt as necessary • Keep on with Retrospectives • Also in long lasting projects • Introduce variations (different locations, thematic retros) |
  12. 12. 4. Foster Informal Meetings • Technical meetings • As needed architecture, design meetings • Pair programming • See 1. • Others • User Story Groomings • Code Reviews (Git) • Test competitions |
  13. 13. 5. Make Information Transparent • Use Boards • Physical or digital • Instant availability • All-in-one view |
  14. 14. How about Agile Collab Tools? Yes, but … Jeff Langr in Pragmatic Programmer Magazine http://pragprog.com/magazines /2011-09/the-only-agile-toolsyoull-ever-need |
  15. 15. The Agile Tool Set is more … General development Tools Agile Tools Communication and collaboration tools Physical Tools |
  16. 16. Role of Email “…. however it is similar with the Email, frankly spoken, you cannot sent any assignments per email, it simply does not work. I must construe it (the meaning of the message), there is no feedback possible as to what and about the accuracy. This is similar to Daily, one has to interpret assets. I have to look the others in the eye. This is extremely important.” I11:362 |
  17. 17. The Agile Tool Set is more … • Automation Infrastructure CI, VCS, Automation, Test (unit and acceptance), Deployment • Collaboration Infrastructure Issue Tracker, Collaboration Platforms (wiki, forums), Instant messenger |
  18. 18. Physical boards In some things unbeatable • Flexible • Touchable • Transparent • All-in-one view • Usually in the office But… • Not revisable • Not persistent • Not distributable • No links to the digital information
  19. 19. How about Agile PM Tools? • Used in combination with physical boards • Always extra effort • Think about benefit • E.g. for accounting, needed persistency • Master-Slave problem • All variations applied • Just make clear which way you go |
  20. 20. Digital Master • Meetings with Beamer • One “writer” • Print out new US, tasks for physical board • Print customized overviews • Physical task board for detailed task planning |
  21. 21. Physical Master • Team works with the physical board • Changes are added to digital tools afterwards by one person (mostly PO) |
  22. 22. Pro- and Cons of digital Agile PM Tools Pros • Persistence • Historization • Distributed • Traceability • Concurrent editing Cons • Lack flexibility • Lack haptic experience • Not suited for team work • Lack visibility • Lack instant availability • Lack easy overview
  23. 23. The Future? Project SI-ATAM “Agile Technologies for Agile Methods” http://www.fhnw.ch/technik/imvs/forschung/projekte/si-atam/si-atam |
  24. 24. Thanks for your attention! martin.kropp@fhnw.ch magdalena.mateescu@fhnw.ch www.fhnw.ch |

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