The Situation Context Framework (SCF) calls out seven scaling factors, see Figure 1, one of which is geographic distribution. We’ve found that there are four other scaling factors which are often co-related with geographic distribution:
- Domain complexity. A complex problem often drives the need for larger teams, which in turn drives the need for geographically distributed teams.
- Team size. It isn’t always possible to staff a large agile team from a single location as you may not have enough people with the right skills all in one place. As a result, the larger a team gets the more likely it is that it will be at least partially distributed.
- Organizational distribution. Many times one of the reasons why a team is geographically distributed is because a portion of the work is being outsourced.
- Skill availability. The greater your willingness to work in a geographically distributed manner, the easier it will be to find the right people for your team with the requisite skills, or the ability to readily gain those skills, to work together effectively.