A Waste Of Time, Collocated Or Distributed

The net result was wasted effort by their colleagues, unanticipated rework for them, and frustration all around. (Source: Harvard Business Review, Managing a Virtual Team)

There are so many good points in this article.

As we - as a workforce - get more and more distributed, responses to the questions in this article will become critical in our success.

From an agile perspective, the idea of distributed workforces is perplexing. One of the key pieces of successful agile projects is the collocation of the team. If teams are distributed, how does it affect the effectiveness of communication and collaboration?

As noted in the above article:

...when distributed, we tend to engage in relatively little of the spontaneous and informal "water-cooler" communication that both promotes shared understanding and is the vehicle for adaptation.

To make working remotely effective, we - as a workforce - will need to create tools to help us tackle these pieces. Thankfully, many of these tools and platforms have been introduced and have helped keep collaboration and communication front and center to the success of projects.

But these tools need to get better. (I think Google Hangouts is a huge leap in the right direction.)

Then, it's up to us - as a workforce - to accept them, utilize them, and make them fit into our workflows.

So we don't waste our collective time, whether we're collocated or distributed.


Speaking of agile, here's the book that got me started down this path. A great read.

(This is an affiliate link to Amazon.)