Tools for Collaboration in Distributed Teams

A couple of weeks ago I was asked about tools that can help to setup and/or enhance collaboration between distributed team members. I wish to share a summary list of these instruments with you since due to lot's of relocations recently you or your team members may also look for solution to improve collaboration among project members located in different offices.

Please, note that the main tip about these tools it's to start using it or the ones you find appropriate. It can be painful, especially when you are used to talk directly to a person to see his/her face and to hear the voice without delays or interruptions, without registrations and logins. Nevertheless the communication with some video and/or interactive instruments is much better then without it, as during communication humans are getting nearly 70% of information non verbally. Thus, you can significantly increase effectiveness of distributed team collaboration by using interactive tools.
Google Calendar Google Calendar is a free time-management web application:
  • Online content access
  • Sharing of calendars and events
  • Personal to do task list
G+ Google Hangouts is an instant messaging and video chat platform:
  • Group video chat with up to 10 users at a time
  • Instant messenger
Pointing Poker Online tool to make Retrospectives and play planning poker:
  • No download and signup necessary
  • Easy to use
  • Provides feature for both Retrospective event and planning poker
WebEx Separate Webex account for one or two team, available any time when needed
Jira Agile Creating and estimating stories, building a sprint backlog, identifying team commitment and velocity, visualizing team activity, reporting on team progress – JIRA Agile makes all these things easier than ever
squadeditSquad is a web-based collaborative IDE used to open, edit and share code in real
GatherPowerful collaboration, code review, and code management for distributed Video conversations with up to 8 people for free.
No login — no installs
Velocity Range Calculator To calculate a range around your velocity, you need data for at least five iterations. Enter them in the field at right in any order (lowest to highest, random, most recent first, etc.). You can optionally indicate how many iterations remain in the project. This number will be used to tell you how much work can likely be completed in that time.
Webstandup You will receive a reminder email when your next meeting starts, including a summary of the previous meeting.
Enter your updates and see your teammates' updates in real-time.
Comment on your team mates' updates.
In a rush? Just reply to the reminder email with your update.
Teamreporter convenient tool for a team to make status reports
Linoit Nice board to use for Retros
Sensei Tool for Retrospective that provides several stages of Retro conducting
Virtual team-building game Second Life The game which is possible to play with team members
Team-building games with facilitator I can make online sessions with team members, suggest team-building activities to perform and facilitate the process ask me ))
Agile Specific on grey background

Svetlana Mukhina

An Agile coach and a trainer at Luxoft Agile Practice. She has over fifteen years of experience in IT as a delivery manager and department head. She is currently working closely with delivery managers, teams and businesses, performing project assessments, providing teams and individuals Agile coaching, creating and conducting trainings and workshops. She enjoys observing how a new concept or approach is internalized and waiting for the “A-ha” moment to arrive. She is passionate about showing innovative and useful tools to teams and individuals, and loves helping make their daily tasks less burdensome and more fun.

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