The challenges associated with distributed agile collaboration may differ depending on the type of distributed composition. Facilitation differs significantly when working with remote team members, often requiring different considerations depending on the team structure. One misunderstanding that complicates the situation is that distributed teams are often regarded as a single formation or structure. In actuality, distributed teams can have three types of different compositions.
· Distributed Agile Teams – Two or more co-located teams working from remote offices. An example of this could be two teams based in different countries, with their own collocated teams. When collaborating to create a product, both teams need to communicate and work together because they work in a scaled environment, creating a distributed Agile Team setting.
· Distributed Members – All individuals are remote. This results in a scenario with no central physical location, and all communication is taking place remotely.
· Hybrid Distribution – Any combination of Distributed Agile Teams and Distributed Members composition. Organizations may have a co-located team(s) in addition to individuals that are always partly remote to the central co-located office(s). If you have at least one remote team member that connects to the office, you have a form of hybrid distribution.
Because distributed teams do not all have a single composition, figuring out the type of distribution will allow you to choose the right form of facilitation appropriate for the team and address the needs and challenges.
These challenges vary depending on the team distribution, making distribution identification an integral part of optimizing teams. For example, in a Distributed Team composition, where groups of team members are in different locations, the co-located teams tend to communicate more with their co-located counterparts. This means that the remote facilitation will need to be coordinated between teams instead of individual members. This differs from the needs of a Distributed Member composition, where all the members are distributed, and most interactions require remote facilitation.