Questions and Answers from the VersionOne Webinar – Part Two

And now for part two of the questions and answers from the VersionOne webinar.

How did you keep your pilot Agile teams from becoming special protected silos of their own? Didn’t some of the non-pilot people regard them with envy instead of emulation? EF, Technical Writer

Really interesting question. I’m not sure how everyone felt and no one came to me to directly express envy or dissatisfaction. I believe what may have helped us was to have a communicated roadmap with clear expectations for how long we would be running pilots. Folks also knew that holistic change was on its way and we had a rough timeline for when that would occur. This is not to say there wasn’t feelings of envy but I wasn’t aware of any.

Does your distributed team conduct daily standup, how do you facilitate 13 hours of difference for example or is that not a problem for you since they are in South America rather than India somewhere in Asia? PH

Our remote teams are a part of our daily stand-ups and all other Scrum sessions. As you mentioned, they are in South America so dramatically different time zones are not an issue for us. In the past, I have worked with 12 hour difference remote teams and a second stand-up would need to be facilitated very early in the morning or later in the evening or a liaison from the remote team would coordinate between the on-shore Scrum Master. Not easy but doable.

How much focus was there on the engineering practices such as TDD, C.I., Pair Programming, etc and was training provided? CW

During the transformation itself, we did not spend any serious time attempting to change engineering practices. Our focus was first and foremost on developing an organization that was healthy, collaborative, and responsive. Once we established our communities of practices in phase three, our technical communities of practice (Architect, Developer, and Tester) started to put emphasis on advancing Agile engineering practices such as TDD (test driven development) and CI (continuous integration). Not much interest within the Developer CoP for pair programming yet, but we’ll see!

How do you ensure that your offshore team uses VersionOne?  Does your license of the application extend to the offshore team or do they have to purchase the software as well? DJ, E-Learning Specialist

Our off-shore team members are fully integrated with the team and they each have a VersionOne license that we purchased. As they are considered a part of the team like everyone else the team should be holding them accountable for collaboration, engagement, and VersionOne usage.

What was the role of QA dept in your Agile world? RV, IT Program Manager

We embedded the quality assurance role directly with the delivery team and expect a very close collaboration with the developers and the team. The testers still report organizationally to a manager but their everyday role is to infuse and model a quality mindset within the whole team.

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