DevOps Leadership with Scott Ambler Exc#3: Is Colocation Required


Colocation vs outsourcing discussion is a trend in supply chain management … and in software development. I’ve had discussions with folks like Gene Kim about whether or not DevOps is even possible with outsourced teams, or long distances.

I think they are. A lot of people I respect a lot are not so sure. It’s one of the things I love about this community: smart people discussing things and not finding complete agreement, but enough basis to start a real discussion and not accept the first conclusion you stub your toe on.

I wanted Scott’s take on it because at the heart of the idea of outsourced is not just that its outside entities but physical separation of internal teams, too. It’s a big deal for today’s IT.


          Scott:  [You] get people telling you what you can’t do Agile if you’re not co-located.  That is complete rubbish.  But, maybe you don’t know how to do Agile if you are not co-located but people certainly are succeeding with Agile and they’re not being co-located.  So, let’s have a coherent discussion about that.


         […]The majority of [many] teams are geographically distributed in some ways.  This is one of those dirty little secrets that the Agile community often doesn’t want to discuss.

And one of the things I do, I run the industry level surveys to find out what people are actually doing as opposed to telling them what they’re doing.  And as a result you get very different things. Most Agile teams actually look what you – if you spread across the floor of a building, or they are all working in cubes or on different floors. Some people work from home, or might totally spread it across the globe.

Only the minority are actually co-located together.  And it is actually interesting, there’s so much discussion out there about how difficult it is to be co-located, yet the Ops that had the discussion of, well, actually most of those aren’t co-located, so what are we going to do about that?



Scott Ambler’s DevOps Leadership Page is Here.

These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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