a new word: Dislocated

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This week I am attending the 2011 Agile Alliance Conference in Salt Lake City, and so this seemed like a good opportunity to share my new word with you. I’m going to start referring to non-collocated teams as dislocated rather than non-collocated.

Saying “dislocated” seems to have the right amount of sting, without being offensive or overly neutral

One of the principals of agile is the idea of co-location, that is, having teams work together where they can be face to face. From the Agile Manifesto 12 principals of agile:

The most efficient and effective method of
conveying information to and within a development
team is face-to-face conversation.

There is an acknowledgement that the best way for teams to work and communicate is face to face, and that there is a hurdle that must be recognized when we are not able to work face to face, or when our working hours have limited overlap do to time-zone differences.

We often use the term non-collocated to refer to distributed teams, or to the degree that they are distributed. I’ve always felt that non-collocated was strange since it didn’t describe what the team was, but rather what they were not. Also, the term distributed doesn’t really convey the challenges that must be addressed and worked through when teams are highly dislocated.

What do you think? Does the term “dislocated team” make sense to you? Does it communicated that natural dysfunctions that often arise from dislocated teams if not addressed?

11/2 Update: Looks like Ken Collier (@theagilist) beat me to it. Check out his post on Agility in Dislocated Teams. Glad to know I’m in good company!

Photo Credit: (cc) John Scone

About Caleb Jenkins

Caleb Jenkins is an international speaker, author and 6 time Microsoft MVP award recipient, he currently works for Solera as a Director of Software Development. An entertaining and informative speaker who approaches software from a fresh perspective that spans UX, agile practices and technologies for enterprise customers from across the globe. Leading UX product design teams, coaching multi-team agile transformations and architecting and mentoring at some of the largest companies in the world, As a long time community leader and former Microsoft Developer Evangelist, Caleb is well known for his engaging speaking style, depth of knowledge and creative energy. Founder and Principal Mentor of Proaction Mentors, former UX Manager and Agile Coach, Senior Architect for Six Flags Corporation, Product Architect on a Cloud Marketing Platform, Caleb has made a career out of empowering others while building products and teams that delight customers and solve business needs. You can follow him on twitter (@calebjenkins) or his blog, DevelopingUX.com and if you're still reading this, then you could also subscribe to his blog RSS feed or sign up to receive updates by email