In This Video

In this session we will share a simple framework that can help deal with the problem that hurts most development teams that are geographically distributed the misalignment of understanding of what to build. We will cover how this misalignment of understanding is exacerbated by the cultural and contextual differences. The time-zone difference is only a small part of this challenge. From our experience of working with distributed teams for last 15 years or so, across 150+ client engagements across US and India, we observed that some teams seem to sail thru this problem almost effortlessly, while most other teams seem to constantly struggle with this issue.

Based on our experience across these 150+ client engagements, we have come to conclude that one-size-fits-all approach (e.g. insisting on ATDD/BDD or requiring PM/PO role with dev team in India) to this problem is not workable. There are no universal best practices. Instead, we have gleaned a few common patterns that help. We will share the patterns we have seen and how this pattern recognition can significantly improve the odds of getting this train on track and keeping it on track.

1. Recognize the dominant reasons for the early mismatch/derailment. We need to objectively assess the client-side product team’s ability and willingness to provide detailed enough software requirements, and we need to categorically assess industry/problem-domain familiarity of India based dev team. Do this as a deliberate exercise right in the beginning.

2. Based on this assessment, define the role of Product Manager, Product Owner, and Proxy Product Owner (we will describe this new role) in the right geographic location with product team in US or with the Dev team in India. Again, insist on filling this role explicitly.

3. Re-calibrate this set-up every time there is a significant change of product scope on US side, or there is new team on India side, or there is any executive leadership change on either side.

About the Speaker(s)

Hemant Elhence is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Synerzip. Started in 2004, Synerzip is a trusted outsourcing partner for Agile software product development. The company was named to the prestigious Inc. Magazine 5000 list for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. Hemant is distinguished by his leadership style, which defines Synerzip’s culture based on the true spirit of Agile and permeates throughout the company, helping lead clients to a competitive edge. Synerzip values innovation and experimentation in an environment of trust. Hemant’s passion is software businesses. His education, professional experience and personal interests have helped Hemant build a holistic understanding of how to build a successful software company. Areas of particular interest include: business models for product vs. services businesses; Agile & Lean Startup methodologies for delivering software; offshoring/outsourcing development, and private equity/venture capital funding. Before starting his entrepreneurial journey, Hemant built his professional foundation, working at a number of leading companies. Hemant was product-line VP at i2 Technologies, where he lead a portfolio of software products, while managing distributed product teams spread across multiple cities in the U.S. and India. Prior to i2, Hemant was with McKinsey & Company where he served numerous blue-chip clients on operations and business strategy issues. Hemant started his career as a software developer with Digital Equipment Corporation in Hudson, Massachusetts. Hemant holds an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, MSEE from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and BSEE from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi.