What techniques have you used successfully to promote teamwork between developers and testers who are geographically dispersed?

Here is some context. This morning I talked with someone who works for a small (~30 developers) software company that is distributed across multiple continents. Today the developers do all their own testing. The company is considering building a testing team, which could possibly be in a different city/country than the developers. My experience is that a distributed team is likely to be dysfunctional if no one takes deliberate measures to promote teamwork.


For several months I was testing for a company in the US. What helped?

  • Having a regular Skype call to talk to the team
  • A social network - we use Yammer - to help interactions that are not always work related so you can build up a picture of each other as individuals
  • Occasional face-to-face meetings, I had a couple of visits to the US office and putting faces to names and hanging out with people for a few days really helped

And it got easier once I had a project and was able to show the value I could bring to the team

  1. Travel - Teams exchanging visits to sites as part of KT, Test Coordination will be very helpful to add face to names in Email Conversations. I have personally seen Onsite visits better than video conference calls. You get to work with them, go out for lunch / dinner, participate in QA Execution during onsite travel

  2. Apart from it, Regular Conf Calls, Sharing product Demos, Jointly executing QA releases was useful


If you set your daily goals (probably in a virtual stand-up call on Skype :P) and work towards achieving it then it will automatically increase the interaction between the teams. I believe in Agile practice we emphasize on co-location but that should not be a problem for geographically dispersed teams.

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