Maria Matarelli Blogs

Monday, January 24, 2011

Distributed Teams and Overcoming Geographic Constraints

It can be difficult to overcome geographic constraints, especially when your team is used to working with people face to face. There is alot of benefit to being in the same room with someone. You can read body language, interact seamlessly and most people are used to working together in person.

Although face to face communication is often preferred, I've worked with teams in different countries and timezones and operated very efficiently while doing so. It helps to have a single point of contact on each of the separate sites for coordination and setting recurring meetings and expectations up front is very beneficial. When coordinating with other time zones, you can essentially set up your teams to work 'around the clock' and gain momentum this way.

Technology allows for many collaborative opportunities that didn't exist in recent decades. We can video chat, share desktops, utilize collaborative online environments to create documents and interact.

The possibilities are quite remarkable. We've had great success with streaming real time video while running presentations, training and holding meetings with remote locations.

We are exploring virtual world collaboration for the next agile users group meeting at IRAUG and look forward to seeing the great possibilities of such an environment. Read more about this on the IRAUG blog

Success requires risk. Leverage your technology.


  1. Very cool! What technology are you looking at using for virtual world meetings?

  2. Thanks Avdi! We use a mix of tools depending on the needs of each event and audience. Tools such as Sococo, VenueGen, Teleplace, Unity, and SpotOn3d all have appropriate uses. We work with the team at to select and leverage the right tool. We are holding our February event hosted in the Agile Business Park at SpotOn3d's BizGrid. It features media and business presentation tools and is highly customizable. We live streamed video and powerpoint presentation to a remote audience and have received great feedback already at IRAUG. Check out the February meeting here:

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