Andrew Burrows and Ian White
Talk: Working with Distributed Teams
While we prefer collocated teams, we accept that remote teams are unavoidable in certain situations. Ian and I have been working with non-collocated teams during our time at IBM, and at companies prior.
The challenges of non-collocated teams are well known. Extra work is required to communicate, to be transparent and to work effectively. Even the best teams can struggle to overcome these obstacles, which can manifest themselves in different ways.
Our approach to support and enable successful non-collocated teams involves evaluating them against the behaviors we expect to see, and coaching and supporting those behaviors.
Andrew Burrows is a Scrum Master with IBM. In a past life, he worked in video game development and numerous shipped titles, including “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe;” “Transformers: The Movie;”and “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” When not writing bios, Andrew enjoys watching baseball and spending time with his incredible wife and son.
Ian is currently employed by Ogilvy & Mather as scrum master on the IBM Voices product team. The agile team, which consists of team members from various agencies, is based out of the new IBM Marketing and Communications lab in New York’s Midtown.
His career in technology began 15 years ago when he was invited to join a Toronto Dominion project team leading Y2K software optimization efforts for tools used by recently acquired US brokerages (Kennedy Cabbot, Jack White and Waterhouse Securities). As a business analyst, he facilitated projects focusing mainly on compliance and major conversions (trade decimalization, escheatment, undeliverable mail and T+3) until he was invited to lead an operations team of his own (imaging, Archives, Fulfillment). As a strategist for Publicis his focus was in implementation of major marketing software initiatives (Hubworld.com, Citi Bike App, Citi Private Pass).
His frustration with the traditional agency project management model led him to explore methods that would ultimately bolster the effectiveness of the teams he led. He has spent the last 5 years facilitating agile projects with his unique perspective on using the agile framework to achieve results.