How to Integrate Time Zones for Successful Collaboration
Many managers of distributed agile software teams struggle with time zones. Team members may also struggle with maintaining a traditional eight-hour workday when separated by multiple time zones. Perhaps it’s not the time zones that are the challenge; the real challenge lies in re-thinking the workday of the team.
First, we should consider why we have some of our distributed team members in the first place. Some of the team members could have deep subject matter expertise that cannot be easily taught or found in others near you. Perhaps your company went through a reorganization or acquisition, and now you have people available for knowledge work projects that have some good expertise in areas needed. However, these same available team members might be able to contribute in a number of ways to the project. This allows some flexibility in how the team organizes the work.
Regardless, you find yourself in a situation where certain tasks can be done by one or more team members on the team—and the timing of these tasks can impact whether your project is successful or not. Also, as an agile software team, some of these tasks may benefit from collaboration. Yet multiple time zones can make this challenging. What is a manager to do?
Distributed Teams Do Not Have Eight-Hour Days Together
First, let go of the notion that distributed teams work a continuous eight
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