Bringing Distributed Teams Together

It was a very busy week for me – representatives from all the teams that I work with were in London for three days of group workshops. I was running around trying to make sure everything happened when it should, which was quite exhausting. In the end, pretty much all the participants gave a big thumbs up to the experience, which was a big relief.

To give some background, I work in an investment bank with teams in London, Kiev and Krakow. The team in Krakow is also very new to the bank, while the London and Kiev teams are quite seasoned. We have a number of applications we maintain together, and so effective teamwork is an important concern to us. The distributed nature of the teams makes communication and empathy much more difficult.

I had arranged the onsite event with three goals in mind:

  • help all the team members to gain empathy and understanding for each other, and to allow us to gain a shared vision of how we work
  • allow the teams to work on a shared technical vision and approach
  • allow the teams members to practice some some technical skills together

Luckily for me, I was able to bring in an experienced consultant to help with the planning: Paul Field from Clarity of Purpose. Paul was hugely influential in helping me define the outcomes from the onsite, as well as acting as facilitator for the first day.

With the three goals defined, and three days together, it was a short step to divide the onsite into three parts:

To avoid making this post too big, and to keep each day focused, I’ve put the details of each day into a separate post. Follow the links above for the story of each day.