Distributed Agile Development at Microsoft: Patterns and Practices

Microsoft explains how it undertakes agile development projects with teams that are geographically separated.


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Microsoft: Given a choice, most agile development teams would choose to share space, but economic realities mean that development teams are often separated into different offices within the same building or even in different cities. In this white paper, Microsoft outlines the challenges faced by those teams and details some of the practices it has incorporated in order to overcome those challenges. They include:

  • Focusing on communication
  • Planning to travel at certain points in the process
  • Making time each day when team members in different time zones can work together
  • Assigning one person the role of "coach"
  • Avoiding assigning similar work to people in the same location
  • Taking the time to form a team
  • Providing the right development tools

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