Lessons Learned in Agile Distributed Teams


Due to popular demand, we’ve scheduled Matt to do a LIVE webinar of Cero a Cien on January 15, 2015. If you like the slides, you’ll love the behind the scenes context Matt will provide.



Matt Phillips is a Sr. Project Manager and Agile Coach at . Appia is also a customer of Velocity Partners.

I happen to live in Matt’s area and attended a meeting at the local Agile Leadership Network group where Matt gave a presentation entitled: Cero a Cien: Building successful distributed agile teams. (Zero to Sixty)

The basis of the presentation was Matt’s significant experience with distributed, outsourced teams. But the most important influence, was his recent experiences from his Velocity Partners engagement. At the risk of sounding self-serving, Matt and Appia feel that they “found the recipe” for success while engaging us for near shore outsourced agile teams.

Much of his advice was general in nature. But it surrounded the principles and strengths that we have established at Velocity Partners. For example, I’ll share two of his discoveries:

1) Don’t lead with cost:  while cost is certainly a strong consideration, Appia and Matt led with values. They were looking for a partner, who took software development seriously. Who practiced the agile tactics AND values — even when the going got tough. A partner who valued their people and who were straight shooters. And finally, a partner who hired and developed the very best people.

2) You need to invest in face-to-face collaboration: one of the lessons Matt shared was that, if he had it to do over again, he would have planned and budgeted for MORE trips from one office to the other. And to be clear, Appia was fairly generous in this regard to begin with. He also said that he would have front-loaded much of the travel to accelerate the x-team collaboration, learning curve, and team-building, as it was that important to get things moving and accelerating.

It’s pretty cool to have clients who see both sides of things and who are more focused on goals, principles, and results; rather than simply cost.

Anyway, I highly recommend your reviewing Matt’s presentation. It’s available via Slideshare. BTW: he did a great job in the presentation.

Stay agile my friends,


Bob Galen

Bob Galen

Bob Galen is an Agile Methodologist, Practitioner & Coach based in Cary, NC. In this role he helps guide companies and teams in their pragmatic adoption and organizational shift towards Scrum and other agile methodologies and practices. Contact: bob@rgalen.com