Using Scrum in multi geography company

There is a fact that nobody discuss: Scrum works well with co-located teams

because the interaction between the Scrum team and stakeholders is crucial

to the success of the project you. Indeed, it is a good advise to have Scrum

team and Product Owner sitting close each other because the communication

is better. On the other hand, we have to consider in which way Scrum should

to be implemented in multinational companies that have several offices

around the world but they share the same vision.

My best approach to deal with this huge challenge is the following: adopting

Scrum in each country with co-located teams so you should be able to keep

strong communication between all the stakeholders.

True Story

I used to work in a big multinational company that bought a Chilean company.

As this company is using Scrum in each of its branches they hired me to

coach new teams. One of the projects consisted in developing a software to a

Peruvian client but the Product Owner was in Argentina and to add more

complexity to the project the Scrum team was located in Chile. Furthermore,

the manager that was dealing with the client was in charge of the Product

Owner so the last won’t be able to take decisions by their own because he

has to follow orders by his boss.

Once the Product Owner and his manager visited Chile and met with Scrum

team members for several days. During that time team members developed

in better ways because they have the Product Owner close to them so he

only to talk to him for a couple of minutes reducing the delays for hours or

even a day that was happening usually.

My challenge as a coach in that company was to struggle to change the

mindset of the corporate because managers get used to order everything so

nobody was the autonomy to decide by themselves. Indeed, most of the time

their opinion were barely requested.

If you decide to use Scrum you have to empower the Product Owner to take

decisions, and Scrum Master to remove impediments and trust on the

professional skills of team members to follow their technical advises.

Last but not least, I found the biggest difficulty to deal with Scrum in multi

geography companies is to help them to change their mindset and reduce the

bureaucracy that produce so many delays.

Author’s Bio:

Scrum in multi location environment
Guest blog – Innovative Agile Trainings

His current interest is advising client leadership and coaching teams on how to be successful with Agile approaches to software development.

He values instilling soft skills and leadership qualities in the people and believes in Servant Leadership as the way to lead change and create a culture of empowered teams, as opposed to Command and Control.

His background includes many industries, including Energy, Retail, Airlines, Financial Services and Insurance companies viz. Edesal, Telefonica, GAP, Lan Chile, Experian Services, Scotiabank, ADP, BBVA, ING Insurance and Metlife.

He has managed multi-shore engagements with resources in India, USA, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Spain and has experience with multiple methodologies, including Waterfall, Iterative, Agile-Scrum and Kanban.

He can be reached at his Linkedin profile:

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