Good paper on how to increase the chance of success when using SCRUM and agile techniques with distributed teams. Interesting use of the term “project gravity”. From the abstract:
Distributed agile can work, but it is risky. Even more than traditional agile implementations, teams tend to fall into two failure modes: “command and control” or team fragmentation. Distribution between teams or team members has two distinct dimensions: separation and project gravity. Distribution, including physical distance, is the most commonly recognized barrier to effective distributed teams. Gravity is the other, less recognized dimension of separation and is some stable center which teams can organize around. This can take the form of a stable product backlog, a clear mission, or an inspiring product owner. Failing to recognize where your project lies along the dimensions of separation will make it more prone to the two failure modes. Both failure modes are discussed in terms of the dimensions of distribution, with suggestions for remedial actions. In either case, leadership must be aware of both dimensions of a team/project’s distribution, and act accordingly.