Distributed Development

Set-up for distributed development, when development is distributed on many locations

Pulse in a company with one R&D location will have one pulse room. But what to do when there are many locations around the world where development is done? Unlike a hierarchical line organization, Parmatur Pulse is an organizational model that can easily handle distributed development and “multi-site” situations.

Pulse – agile governance

For a business to be agile, it isn’t enough to have agile projects. You also need agile governance that can speed up decision making, deal with overload, queues and deviations, detect problems and deviations early and enable you to work continuously on your strategies.

Parmatur Pulse is an organizational model for agile governance of strategy and development. It is built on simple tools that will speed up interaction and decision making. The Pulse meetings will create an agile decision process where the Portfolio team has control. The transparency will ensure that unexpected events and problems surface early and can be addressed faster and at a lower cost.

Pulse will create transparency that will facilitate governance, priority and focus. When it comes to setting priorities, then the problem is not to say YES. The problem is to say NO! Then, and only then, can you do fantastic inventions and innovations. Pulse will enable the Portfolio team to focus resources and energy on the most important tasks.

Distributed development – when development is distributed on many locations

Multi-site or distributed development means running projects on several locations across the globe. Nearly all Pulse users today have multiple sites. Some sites are semi-independent. Others are more interconnected both technically and with respect to resources.

Each site will need a Pulse room, a Program manager and local Resource management.

The sites will be connected with communication software providing video meetings. Some coordination Pulse meetings (such as the Product Pulse meetings and Multi-site Project Pulse meetings) will take place in all the Pulse rooms simultaneously.

Program plan with several Pulse projects

Pulse projects will be different compared to a traditional projects. They are generally smaller, more focused and much faster.

The Product team will do preparations to reduce uncertainty and risk in the projects. They will prepare program plans with several interlinked projects. Together those projects will develop solutions that will meet business goals. Thereby you will avoid running big and long projects, thus risk and complexity are reduced. You can also as much as possible avoid running projects cross sites. It is often better to run two or more separate semi-autonomous projects locally that are coordinated by the Program manager and the Product team.

If you find a plan or a project that is very complicated or very long, then the plan is wrong. The visualization in Pulse will guide you towards simplification. At the same time uncertainty, risk and cost is reduced.

Planning Pulse projects

The work in projects will be divided up into work-packages, sub-results and activities. When development is distributed on many locations, in Pulse projects you organize the participants so that different sites will deliver separate work-packages, or at least different sub-results. That will reduce the amount of detailed interaction needed. The interaction required between sites in a project will take place on video meetings.

Portfolio and Product teams

All participants in the Portfolio and Product teams will not be located at the same site. There will for example be local Program managers at all sites. The Portfolio and Product teams will interact daily or several times a week on video meetings. Software tools such as Teams can facilitate sharing a kanban-board. Many of the managers will also travel a lot. With video meetings they can participate in the Pulse meetings wherever they are.

Agility requires more interaction

Agility means that you are able to thrive although circumstances are changing. To do that there has to be a constant flow of information, knowledge, decisions, and problems, both within semi-autonomous teams and in between the operational and strategic level. The tools have to be fast and simple, or else the information will not be updated and become obsolete. Shared understanding will also get lost if you don’t talk to each other frequently enough (as when you just send e-mails or add tickets in a computer system). In agility interaction between people always goes before tools.

You can’t beat the time it takes to write with a pen on a post-it note and put it on the Pulse board. And you can’t beat the knowledge transfer, speed and results created by a team that works together in one room.

Multi-site is a fact; we often have distributed development on many locations. There are distances in time, space, language and culture. But with Pulse you will have the transparency and tools needed to overcome these obstacles.

Project tracking multi-site

Being present in a Pulse room will give you all the information you need as a manager. You will be able to see what is working well and what you need to act on. Our Parmatur App will enable you to get portfolio overviews, portfolio key performance indicators, and estimated delivery dates on all running projects based on weekly input of raw data from the projects.

By Jan-Erik Sebestyén

Innovation enthusiast and management consultant in agile organization and strategic work.

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