5 Benefits of Employing Colocated Teams for Agile Software Testing

Works within one physical location which enables its members to have regular in-person communication and interaction. In addition to that, the co-located team model is also beneficial to streamlining of the coding process, as it enables identifying roles in the group, assigning tasks and monitoring the progress of the project. Let’s have a look at the core advantages of team https://globalcloudteam.com/ collocation to determine how they can benefit your project execution. Another argument against remote workers being more productive is that they are more prone to face distractions than if they worked in an office setting. This has been proven wrong by various studies that have determined employees who work in an office setting are the ones who face more distractions.

Why are things easier for co-located teams

It is intended to give teams the environment they need. However, you should never forget that there might be people who would prefer to work remotely. Be open and transparent about your “why” and involve the employees in the decision-making process, motivating and strengthening the engagement. Co-located teams need time and space to understand the visions and align on goals. Besides communication, the two-pizza team, a team that can be fed with two American pizzas, also refers to having everything necessary to get the job done within the team.

Types of Teams: Collocated vs Distributed Teams

We call Jotto the “shared understanding company” because these are the problems we want to help solve. The key fact is that bridging the distance with tools is critical. This study also highlights the difference between homogenous how to build culture in a remote team and heterogeneous teams, noting that more diverse teams (diverse in background, experience, location, culture, etc.) will require more support initially. Understanding and collaboration are key to success and effectiveness.

Having worked in virtual teams, I can guarantee you that this is a huge incentive. So if there are specific security or productivity concerns, there is more incentive to address them. Remote-first is emerging as an increasingly viable model, given the quality and cost of digital tools.

Why are things easier for co-located teams

While a couple of volunteers are helping him, other programmers can discern some valuable information with the help of peripheral hearing. Of the project, and boost creative thinking of team members.

Face to face is easiest for communication as you are picking up nuanced non-verbal signals among other things. Social and community spirit matters – whether dispersed or co-located teams that have a sense of team identity, trust each other and get on well socially perform better than teams without any one of these. Team size matters (whether or not co-located) – smaller teams work better than larger teams on various dimensions including trust, productivity, and knowledge sharing. Remote workers may come from different parts of the globe and they may or may not have a face-to-face meeting with their colleagues or manager. A virtual team is composed of members who may be working together on the same project but report to different managers or team leaders. Like I mentioned in my first comment, people have signed up to work for Tridaz with the premise that they want to work remotely, because it fits their lifestyle.

Co-located teams versus Remote teams, Key Considerations

The prerequisites for this kind of cooperation are effective, open communication and appropriate space and time. Team-building activities are not just a task for remote teams. Co-located teams need this explicit time to become and, indeed, be a team.

Why are things easier for co-located teams

It is easier to keep everyone pointed in the same direction (i.e. understanding the why, not just the what, behind your business). This model requires less duplication of management, is more resilient to leadership change. The conventional wisdom today seems to believe that co-located is significantly better.

These benefits have included the ability to hire without geographical restrictions, saving millions by not having office space, and building a better product. The key conclusion was that leaders must assist the team in bridging the distances. It took a different kind of leadership to make this happen on the teams, and ultimately took effort from leaders and team members to be effective. Team autonomy is incredibly important for quality decision making, especially in remote teams. On the one hand, you want to encourage communication and interaction between team members, but, on the other hand, you need to make sure that there are not too many people on the team.

Choosing an Outsourcing Solution

In a co-located team we had backend developers and testers, and myself as a scrum master. Each of these models has pros and cons, and your choice will depend on context. Each model requires effort to get culture right and to build shared identity and shared understanding within and across teams. Hopefully this post can help you think about the model that works for your business. People form relationships and bonds that improve motivation and collaboration. The team can focus less on documentation and more on action.

Why are things easier for co-located teams

The business reality is that having all employees in a single location is next to impossible to build or maintain. The system builds inflexibility, and the next thing you know, certain people are allowed to work from home while others are required to come in daily. On the other hand, I am often surprised by how little attention is paid to these same policies and controls once you are inside a physical office.

Distributed vs colocated agile teams: Pros and cons

However, such situations can raise independent specialists, paving the way to their rapid professional growth. Moreover, by having a distributed team of programmers, IT companies can get a round-the-clock business operation . In this regard, the co-located team model is considered to be extremely time-effective, as it enables programmers to rapidly address possible errors which can lead to faster project fulfillment.

  • For teams to reach this level of communication and effectiveness, they need appropriate training and support.
  • Although we are all remote, because of these planned meetings, we do not feel that disconnected from each other.
  • In-person workshops and meetings with hands-on methods, like using canvases and sticky notes, foster creative thinking and open discussions.
  • Let’s have a look at the core advantages of team collocation to determine how they can benefit your project execution.
  • It’s tough to stay focused when people are walking by or even having conversations nearby.

In aco-locatedteam we had backend developers and testers, and myself as a scrum master. We were sitting next to each other and seldom had any home office. What happens to people that spend majority of their day time with each other? They are getting to know each other, discover similarities and differences in personal traits, and in work styles, too. Communication flows freely, whenever you have a question, you just ask.

What are the 4 fundamental roles in a virtual group?

And in doing so, the overall knowledge of the team increases. Alistair Cockburn even coined the phrase “osmotic communications” for this phenomenon. What the research shows is that for dispersed teams to work well there has to be a conscious and ongoing intentionality to make them work well. Where they are co-located there has to be a view on what co-location means (a team spread across two floors is not necessarily co-located). The most important factor that is considered while a Scrum team is formed is the physical location of all the team members.

Agile success requires flexibility and collaboration

Because they aren’t punching a time clock, remote workers are largely motivated by results, which equates to higher productivity. We had no teambuildings, we didn’t know personal things about each other that much. With time, one of the locations started transforming into sort of a knowledge hub. More developers from our sub-organization were there, they were sharing experience with the guys in our team, discussing best practices, etc.


Gassman and von Zedwitz argue that radical or architectural innovations, or innovations requiring transfer of tacit knowledge will require greater centralization , hence would be inappropriate for virtual teams. After 1 year of a home office I developed signs of depression and it took me 1 more year to realize that it was not just a burn-out from running a company. I had to stop sitting at home, freeze my web agency and go work somewhere where I had people around. One of my must-have criteria for a new occupation was to be part of a team, to work together with people towards a common goal. What’s your experience about working in co-located and remote teams?

It doesn’t matter what field you’re working in—being constantly interrupted is both annoying and counterproductive. Never have we had so many tools available to measure productivity. When establishing the ground rules for your project, make processes as clear as possible, setting expectations based on well-defined metrics.

High-quality, experienced software engineers are difficult to find and retain, so limiting the talent pool to one geographic area is exceptionally restrictive. The ability to manage and hire distributed teams is a much desired skill. The wave of the future is flexible working conditions—distributed teams that work across boundaries. A hybrid approach bringing remote workers together for some activities, then working virtually for others, allows us to optimize physical location. The cost savings in maintaining large office spaces and infrastructure pays the short-term travel expenses. With the rise of co-working spaces and low-cost airlines, the business case for this model of working in teams practically writes itself.

When choosing an outsourced solution, there are different options for how teams will be distributed geographically. It takes a different type of leader to manage a distributed team. So getting the right skill-set and the right mindset is crucial to success. It may be possible to have weaker leadership when a team is co-located without impacting the team. But to have a successful distributed team, there is less room for weak leadership. Whether it is a remote team or a co-located team, achieving a shared understanding is critical.

Remote team members of a satellite agile team.In Slovakia, we felt a little left out. Yes, people were nice and we did good work, but there was something lacking. Colocation is overrated and represents a knee-jerk reaction to fixing the communication and comprehension problems that can occur when working with agile team members in different parts of the world.

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