Distributed Open Teams

March 24, 2011

Chapter 8 – Open Teams

This chapter has mentioned very little about being telecommuting. Creating an open team is good for all teams, not just distributed ones. Openness is especially important when the team is distributed. Distributed teams have a stronger tendency to become separated. The isolation of team members will lead to territoriality, a difficult-to-maintain product, and a very unpleasant working environment.

You are also much less likely to get promoted. Open teams make it much easier for remote engineers (and everyone else) to have their contributions recognized. This benefits all engineers on the team and makes it a more even playing field for the remote ones.

Open teams share knowledge much more efficiently than closed ones because they get a lot more practice. Everyone on an open team will know how to contact everyone else and be familiar with their communication styles. This makes it possible to communicate in a simple email instead of a long conversation. Lowering the time and effort it takes to communicate with your team is your ultimate goal as a remote engineer.

You just can’t afford to allow your team to stay closed. You must push for a more open team with full communication and peer review, or you will be left out. If your team doesn’t communicate well then it will be very difficult to be part of the team.
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