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When Do We Have a Distributed Scrum Team?

My Personal and Simple Definition

17 October 2013

Mirko Kleiner

I’d like to present you my personal definition of "Distributed Scrum." Do not take it too seriously. But on the other hand, it's not so wrong, either.

In discussions with newbies about distributed Scrum, I often notice that they view the idea in terms of nearshore/offshore teams. This gave me reason to find a simpler definition, one that makes sense for other types of business people too.

It's a fact that a lot of informal talks, but also social integration, cover important topics during coffee breaks. Thinking about this, I came up with idea that


If teams don't do this, they are distributed and should organize themselves as distributed Scrum teams do. I often saw, on the customer side, that those teams are not aware of being distributed teams. In other words, companies with multiple offices, even within the same street/city/country, have distributed teams and should be aware of this fact while implementing Scrum.

Follow me at Twitter @MirkoKleiner and find other articles about my experiences from the field in my blog

Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.

Article Rating

Current rating: 5 (1 ratings)


Dan Babington, CSM, 10/17/2013 7:50:18 AM
Hi Mirko,

I like that a lot :-)

Sums it up pretty well for me. Not something I had thought about much before, but something I will add to my thought process in future.

Mirko Kleiner, CSP,CSM,CSPO, 10/17/2013 9:19:48 AM
Hi Dan,

thanks for your Comment!-Isn't strange that a lot of scrum users are not aware of it's distributed teams?

Best Regards
Dan Babington, CSM, 10/18/2013 7:52:39 AM

Yes, I think you're right (myself included). I've often worked with teams where our Daily Scrum required people to dial in and because they were based in the same country as the rest of the team we didn't think anymore about it.

We did however treat a team of colleagues that we had working offshore differently, primarily because they were in another time zone.

You're absolutely right, we need to think about these things because they do impact ways of working. What I particularly like about your definition is it's simplicity.

Very useful - thanks again,

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