Face to Face Collaboration

March 19, 2021     Janet Gregory, Lisa Crispin
holistic testing, collaboration     Collaboration

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Our last blog post was about the importance of asking questions when moving towards continuous delivery environment.

Asking questions is important, but sometimes how you ask them is equally important. Janet shared one experience in a blog post when she thought she had all the answers. After all, she used email and instant messaging to talk with the team, so they must have exchanged enough information.

If you don’t feel like reading the whole post, the short story is that Janet assumed one thing and thought she had understood the problem – her confirmation bias showed up very clearly (afterwards). Only when Janet, the customer and the developer were on a video call and the customer walked them through the example and explained her concerns, did they really understand the whole issue.

Distributed teams are challenging, and when you are on different time zones, even more so. It is important to get the whole team together to have a shared understanding of the problem – whether it’s creating a new feature or diagnosing a bug. Don’t be afraid to ask for a conference or video call when you have questions, or you think you didn’t understand the answer. Sometimes, even if you think you know the answer, it pays to have a quick face-to-face conversation showing examples, and sharing your screen.

Face-to-face conversations don't happen naturally in remote teams - so make the effort. It's worth it. 


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