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Re: [ljc] Managing a Distributed Team

From: Marcin G.
Sent on: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 8:44 AM

Hi Craig,


Fast - Good - Cheap - pick two ;) I hope your bosses understand that. Offshore introduced delays. 


I've been working with offshore teams and I've been part of offshore teams as well. There are couple thing you can do to make your life easier:

* build good relations. You do not "use offshore resources", but you work with people who live a bit way away. If you treat them this way they will go long way to help you. 

* find an offshore leader. Make someone out there responsible for technical approaches/work of the offshore team. Team will say focused all the time, not only when you are online

* establish effective communication channels. Use skype, livemeeting/gotomeeting for screen sharing, msn/lync/icq. Set up frequent short meetings to make sure everyone on the team knows what to do. Work with local leader to triage questions that come to you.

* use proper tools. My favorite one is wiki and onenote. Write down everything (sorry!). Use issue tracker and open defects/work packages instead of sending emails. There will be a single point of truth and you will get design documents for free!

* in-person sessions. That's a thing that I thing you won't avoid - bring the team together for a week from time to time. You will do huge amount of work during a week and the team will be much stronger. If you are bringing people to you pay for their hotel over weekend - let them have some fun. Btw: here is a small trick that works every time: remember to bring a big box of cookies/candy for the first meeting - you'll be the nice guy ;) People like to work with nice guys.

* accept unsocial hours - this is the nature of the beast. Take it or leave it.


Best Regards,



Dnia[masked]:38 Craig Silk napisał(a):

Hi Guys,
Bit of a general question for the group. I'm leading development on a project that uses two offshore teams based in different time zones 3 hours apart from each other and 4 & 7 hours ahead of the UK.
We're just coming out of the design phase (we're not agile) and I found the lead time between a request for my help and me servicing that request to be too long to manage.
Does anyone have any tips that would enable me to work more efficiently with my offshore teams? Getting up at 6am to take calls and review work seems to help close the lead time a little but I'm still asleep through a good portion of the offshore workday.
Any general tips on being a lead for a distributed team would be well received too.

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