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Scrum teams across geographies – Try to co-locate them as much as possible

In today’s world, it is now more of a norm that when projects are large, teams can be located all over the world. Getting this geographically spread teams increases the chance of being able to get more talent to work on the issue, and where a low cost center such as India is involved, this also helps in reducing the overall cost of development. However, when you have teams that are geographically split, there are certain challenges that need to be addressed.
Consider that a team is making a large project, using Scrum as the development process, with the total team size of around 40-45. For a number of large companies, there will be teams that are split across geographies, or when there are people based in the United States, there would be people working from their home office. This presents any form of development with a challenge, and Scrum based teams are also hit hard by such challenges. One of the biggest challenge is that Scrum teams work together quite closely, or atleast the members of a single Scrum team (of around 7-11 people) work closely with each other.
There are many occasions when the team members get together for a quick huddle, such as the Daily Scrum meeting, considered the heartblood of the Scrum process. In such cases, it is very efficient when the team members file into the same room, sit down or remain standing, and cover their 3 areas quickly. When such items need to be handled across geographies based on teleconferencing or video bridges, there is an attempt made to ensure that such technologies replace the personal connection as much as possible, but it is not always possible. When teams are across widely spread geographies, the time difference between them also starts to play a role in terms of meeting timings, inconvenience to one set of team members, and so on.
One possible option that I have seen in many large companies is that the aim is to ensure that Scrum teams are co-located as much as possible, and when they are spread apart, even more serious action can be taken such as moving people between teams in order to ensure that the various Scrum teams are located in the same office. The advantages that accrue from such movements is immense, and not something to be dismissed (and there are enough people who will claim that the distance not make a difference, it is the feel that a person is close by).

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