Sunday, April 25, 2010

Agile in Offshore- Oslo gathering (Meet-up)

It was on 20th April (Last week) at Scotsman pub, Oslo. I was so happy to be there. It was not a typical business people discussion.. It was all about meeting other agile practitioners who use agile in Outsource/Offshore context and sharing ideas, challenges in such context as an open space discussion ( Though there was no much space as the room got filled in no time). Hosting this meet-up group was a new experience to all of us at Exilesoft

The event started around 5 pm with more or less 25 participants who really experience agile way of working in their day to day offshore projects. The best of all is that there were onshore members dealing with their offshore teams in Romania, Spain, Russia, Ukraine, India and much other offshoring destinations. We were the only offshore company who was there specially to share our ideas from offshore perspectives with onshore practitioners. I think it helped onshore team members to rethink about the issues in a different angle.

, the host of the group started the event by explaining the objective of “ Agile in Offshore” meet up group, and some insights to Exilesoft. I had to play more or less a facilitator/moderator role to keep the discussions going..To have a kick start, I used a real case study to explain why we moved to agile way of working in offshore projects by leaving heavy processes aside.. When finishing 2 slides.., here comes Pizza. It was kind a treat after a long workday as we all were hungry.. :-)

I started the discussions with few prioritized issues we face in offshore projects when using agile, the very first was the challenges when it comes to project initiation with an onshore customer who is not in to agile. In the same time if the onshore customer is in to agile and not the offshore team, how this conversion happens when you are not too sure that other foreign company, it's culture and management structure is ready for agile ..? I soon opened the discussions to the audience as I couldn’t wait anymore standing in front without grabbing a Pizza for myself.. ;-).

That was a cool debate.. When we felt we have discussed a point to an extend, in agreement we moved to the next point.. Likewise we discussed and debated about many concerns from onshore as well as from offshore perspective such as the challenges in highly integrated scrum models, Scrum master role in integrated teams, Isolated scrum team models, Product owner and use of Proxies , how effective is the use of offshore PO proxies, culture issues , language issues when it comes to casual communication, the extend of actual usage of the collaborative tools in such context etc.

It was very nice that 3 other Exile colleagues Buddhima, Shiran and Adipa who were in Oslo also joined the event, they were good contributors to various practical issues we discussed on engineering , and source controlling in distributed environments.

Ofcourse the event was time boxed. :-) In 2 hours we had to end the event, Still we received lots of comments from some of the participants who waited little longer. It was a great experience and there were many requests to continue this group. Currently there are 61 members there, so that now we put our thoughts together on how to progress with the group with some new ideas for the upcoming events.

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