Holding Agile Stand-Up Meetings with Offshore Teams

In this video, Dave describes his approach for making agile stand-up meetings succeed for offshore or distributed teams.

Stand-up meetings are a critical element of agile teamwork. This fast-paced, low-overhead meeting style supports the agile mentality by reducing overhead and time spent on meetings, while giving everyone a chance to provide a quick status and address any obstacles they may have encountered.

But how do you adjust this to make this work when working with an offshore team?

Many clients attempt to have the entire team, both offshore and domestic, have a virtual meeting where everyone joins together in a video conference. This can work well, and does for some teams, but when your team is 12 time zones away it quickly becomes cumbersome and less effective.

A simple and effective way to make it work is to have two stand-up meetings, one for each location, and then elect a person to act as liaison between the teams. This allows both teams to have the stand-up meeting on their own terms, at a convenient time, and realize the efficiency that standup meetings can bring. The liaison from both sides is tasked with making sure that everyone across the entire team is made aware of everyone’s progress and issues, and that everyone is on the same page.

Sharing the results of the standup-meeting amongst the teams is usually done via email, with a daily standup meeting report sent every day by the liaison of each team.

One major disadvantage of this approach is that it doesn’t provide crucial face-time for the entire team. An in-person meeting, or even a video conference, is a great team building exercise and is critical to keep a team acting as a true team.

This problem is easily overcome, however, by scheduling occasional ‘all hands’ video meetings where everyone can chat and catch up. As long as you have enough face-time and the team really feels like a team, everything should be just fine.

Dave Hecker

Co-Founder at SourceSeek at SourceSeek
Dave is a seasoned technology executive focused software delivery, quality, process, and helping clients succeed at international software outsourcing.