Having employees or freelancers thousands of miles away in a different time zone can present a number of problems, regardless of the difficulties of just trying to get everyone on the same page with a development.
The Agile and Scrum processes were direct responses to the needs of modern organizations where employees may clock in in the morning while their colleagues leave in the evening. Breaking tasks down into manageable and (very importantly) trackable chunks meant it was suddenly possible to coordinate complex tasks across continents and get a result.
Communication is key
There are a number of communication platforms that can all be used together to keep communication and tasks in one place. Skype, WhatsApp, Google, they all have ways to make sure everyone gets the message and knows what they’re doing. Uploading tasks to the cloud for everyone to access, comment, test, and review makes successful development much faster and richer. Do you need a revision quickly? Push it to the cloud and see who can be assigned the task.
yes meeting They shouldn’t be what everyone fears, and with Agile they should be kept to at least 10 minutes of “standing up” at the start of each work session. In reality, this is not often the case, as there is often a lot to talk about. If they do it right, they can make sure everyone knows what to do and when to do it. Tasks that are outsourced are treated much the same as tasks that are taken on with the Scrum process, making it a (hopefully smooth) process.
When a development task is broken down into small slices and assigned in the Scrum process, people typically go off to work on their task and call in when they need help or are done. To avoid this becoming siled, having a meeting where everyone can report helps people feel part of a team and ensures everyone is doing the right things. It’s not uncommon for someone in a meeting to say, “No, I didn’t ask for that!” And that’s the benefit.
Work it out
What has to be outsourced and what has to stay on land? That is the question. Analysis with Agile can show you who has what skills and time, and give you a pretty quick answer to the question. You can then scrum it and assign where there is a need. It sounds a lot easier than it often is, but it’s efficient if you do it right.
If you can, use the time difference. At the end of the day, if they get it right, all of your employees and freelancers will check in at specific times, allowing you to schedule “night shift” tasks in preparation for your “day shift.” This works for everyone as it doesn’t keep anyone waiting and makes everything much faster.
Know the goal
Everyone on every team needs to know what they’re working towards and a rough path to get there. Most importantly, talk to your outsourced help as much and as often as possible about developments, improvements, revisions, and the work ahead.