Agile development, when a team is distributed across time as well as distance, is not easy.

As UX architect on a such a team for almost three years, I believe that if your team focuses on the methodology, rather than the methods, then agile is both possible and beneficial.

In this story, I’ll share, from a UX perspective, what worked, what didn’t work and key takeaways you can try with your own distributed team.

Like many organizations, the one my team and I worked for used some agile rituals, but still developed software in a waterfall manner. When my team formed, we wanted to be agile, but we didn’t know exactly how to start.

We worked together for a few waterfall-y releases, before our first leap into agile. We’ll call this one ‘bare-metal agile’, since we tried to follow the leanest, meanest practice we could. We’ll call the second attempt, ‘little waterfalls’, since we broke down the project into parts and we used waterfall for each part. The final, and most successful attempt was a hybrid of both.

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