GeographicalDistribution

The project is being performed on more than one site

Description

The degree of geographical separation makes a difference.  Ideally a project should all be in the same room; as alternatives, same floor or same building are not as good, but better than same site or same town.  Different town and different country are serious GeographicalDistribution.

Discussion

Specific aspects of GeographicalDistribution are touched on in CostOfCommunication and DifficultyInCommunication, InappropriateArchitecture, InappropriateOrganization, LackOfCommunication and InappropriateTasks.  This list gives an idea of how much impact GeographicalDistribution can have.  Here we keep the focus tight and address solutions that relate specifically to geographical distribution.  A measure of whether distribution is enough to have a significant effect is whether or not the team members from different locations meet informally, and how frequently this happens.  See HallwayChatter.

Prevention, Amelioration, Cure

Traditional

The Architectural partitioning of the project is affected by geographical concerns in OrganizationFollowsLocation.  Owing to the difficulties in remote communication, the partition boundaries should consider using LooseInterfaces.  To get the combined team working together and to a common vision, work FaceToFaceBeforeWorkingRemotely.

Modern

Agile methods strongly discourage GeographicalDistribution, and might resort to ‘traditional’ methods where it absolutely could not be avoided.  In general, a small team of capable individuals is expected to be highly productive; there should be no sufficiently good reason why they cannot be located in the same place.

References

1. Agile Requirements Challenge #2. Project Stakeholders Are Geographically Dispersed

2. Offshore Agile Martin Fowler on lessons learned from Agile Offshore development