How to Make Agile Project Development More Effective in a Distributed Team?

What is Agile Project Development?

Agile Project Development is an iterative approach that delivers maximum value in the time and budget allowed against the business. It is quite different from traditional management. Agile empowers professionals to adhere to immediate changes while undergoing a project. These changes are the feedback received after the completion of every phase.

Agile Project Development is a people- and result-focused approach. It is flexible and fast, and aims for contiguous developmental improvements. Unlike traditional methods, the main aim of Agile Development is to get benefits throughout the development of a project rather than only achieving towards completion.

The most popular and common examples of agile methodology are as follows −

  • Scrum

  • Extreme Programming (XP)

  • Feature Driven Development (FDD)

  • Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)

  • Adaptive Software Development (ASD)

  • Crystal, and Lean Software Development (LSD).

What is a Distributed Team?

A distributed team refers to a team in which employees of the same team, belonging to the same organization, works at different locations.

Communication is an integral part of any project. Yet, distributed teams are more prevalent even though the team locations are spread across different places. As organizations need to have a global presence, explore talents globally, and develop options that are suitable not only to the geographical reach of the organization but rather globally.

Hence, to tackle such hurdles, agile project development is the best alternative available, because it takes feedback from the stakeholders into consideration by sharing their ideas even before starting the project and ensures that all the criteria are met.

Furthermore, the distribution team methodology does not allow revisions and very less flexibility is involved. Once an application is in the testing stage, it is very difficult to go back and change something that was not well-documented or thought upon in the concept stage.

Co-Located vs. Remote/Distributed Teams

There are several constraints for the organization while working with a distributed team. Let us see the differences between a distributed team and a co-located team.

  • Co-located teams are the ones who work at a specific, common location whereas the distributed team are not physically present in front of each other.

  • Co-located teams are viewed to maximize the ability of the team to communicate properly since they are physically present and can interact. Whereas, in a distributed team coordination and cooperativeness do not go hand in hand.

Let us now delve into a few points that make agile project development more effective in a distributed team.

Investing in Team Collaboration Technology

Collaboration technology plays a great role in making a team more effective. A distributed team in order to make a project more effective needs continuous integration through tools like −

  • Skype;

  • Various other chat web and applications;

  • Video conferencing;

Owing to the lack of such things, development could go very slowly.

Invest in Self-Organizing Teams

Owing to lack of motivation, sometimes the teamwork goes down.

It is assigning people the work they could effectively work on. If done in the wrong way, it directly destroys initiative and kills motivation. To make a strong team for a productive result there must be greater motivation which will push them in the right direction. In like manner, the listed Agile methodologies below help in combating such situations −

Minimize Wait Times and Hand-Offs

In today’s times, delays most likely hamper upcoming work. A team should have the potential to look for upcoming possibilities while working on a project. Everyone in the team should be active so that they can resolve issues on time. Similarly, Agile methodology helps the team in addressing future possibilities and recommends measures for its mitigation.

No Shortcuts to Great Teams

It is seen that working with a distributed team is at times hard as compared to co-located teams. In a distributed team, enforcing and reinforcing assigned tasks takes time and effort. Hence, Agile practices play a vital role in tackling such conditions and ensuring productivity.

Use of Professional Tools

To make a distributed team productive, implementing an agile project always goes along with the use of professional tools that improve team collaboration, such as −

  • Video Conferencing for face-to-face interactions

  • Work Management

  • Instant messaging app for proper and faster communication

  • Cloud storage for delivery of files and documents

  • Whiteboard collaborations

Such tools can reduce the effort that takes in managing the task. It will help in the project's meeting management and proper documentation. These professional tools help in resolving multiple tasks. A good professional tool with the most intelligent features can cover all aspects of agile project management.


Well, it’s becoming a new norm that all the organization wants to grow globally, they want to extend their reach to global limits. So, in order to achieve that AGILE could prove to be the best possible approach or a one-stop solution to all the concerns that may arise while going through such phases of development.