Research Triangle Software Symposium

February 22 - 23, 2019

Eight Principles for Successful Distributed Agile Teams

Friday - Feb 22 1:15 PM - FORD

Johanna Rothman

Johanna Rothman

Speaker, Consultant, Author for managing product development

The common advice for a distributed agile team is, “Don’t do that!” And, we know that at least half of all agile teams are distributed. The common advice isn’t working or useful.

However, many agile teams have problems using agile approaches. Too often, that’s because they don’t understand the principles of successful distributed agile teams. You’ll learn the eight principles of successful distributed agile teams, and how you might take small steps to increase your team’s success. We’ll discuss hours of overlap, transparency, experimentation, communication and more.

We'll walk through these principles and discuss your options as we proceed:

  • Establish acceptable hours of overlap.
  • Create transparency at all levels.
  • Create a culture of continuous improvement with experiments.
  • Practice pervasive communication at all levels.
  • Create a project rhythm.
  • Assume good intention.
  • Create a culture of resilience.
  • Default to collaborative work.

Bring your distributed agile challenges, and we'll explore options.

About Johanna Rothman

Johanna Rothman, known as the “Pragmatic Manager,” provides frank advice for your tough problems. She helps leaders and teams see problems and resolve risks and manage their product development.

Johanna was the Agile 2009 conference chair. She was the co-chair for the Agile Practice Guide, a collaboration between the Agile Alliance and the PMI. Johanna is the author of these books:

  • Create Your Successful Agile Project: Collaborate, Measure, Estimate, Deliver
  • Agile and Lean Program Management: Scaling Collaboration Across the Organization
  • Manage Your Project Portfolio: Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects, 2nd edition
  • Project Portfolio Tips: Twelve Ideas for Focusing on the Work You Need to Start & Finish
  • Diving for Hidden Treasures: Finding the Value in Your Project Portfolio (with Jutta Eckstein)
  • Predicting the Unpredictable: Pragmatic Approaches to Estimating Project Schedule or Cost
  • Manage Your Job Search
  • Hiring Geeks That Fit
  • The 2008 Jolt Productivity award-winning Manage It! Your Guide to Modern, Pragmatic Project Management
  • Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management (with Esther Derby)

She is working on books about geographically distributed agile teams and agile product ownership. Find more of Johanna's articles and her blogs at and at