Tools are key to success but should not be over-complicated.
Instant chat (Lync, Messenger) and a phone and/or USB headset are key. [All agile tools here are Trademarks]
Voice conferences (BT MeetMe) work well for regular updates with familiar colleagues. Video conferences (Polycom, Skype, FaceTime, Lync) work well for less regular, richer conversations including retrospectives (team sprint reviews) and user requirements or architecture workshops.
Sharing screens (WebEx, Lync) is great for prototyping or exploring requirements as a team.
Large smart boards (as seen in schools) shared across sites can be useful for workshops but can complicate simple update calls. For these sessions, electronic ‘kanban’ (TFS, Jira, Trello) can be used for tracking activity.
Team or community sites (Yammer, LinkedIn, Camp Fire) really helpcontinual, informal collaboration whilst more advanced integrated tools (Slack) help to connect team members with test and build automation systems.
Physical whiteboards remain as key local tools for tracking and discussing team activity whilst also engaging local stakeholders most effectively at regular stand-ups.
There is no one-size -fits all. What tools do you find work best for distributed enterprise agile teams? I will happily add them...
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