In this world of remote teams and outsourcing, does face-to-face contact matter anymore? Does a face-to-face meeting with your team members or client increase your ability to work together and your effectiveness as a team?
A few different things have gotten me thinking about this —
First, I’m traveling to San Francisco next week. I have a client in Los Angeles that I’m trying to persuade to fly up for a quick dinner meeting to discuss his project and some other issues. Sure, it’s an expense, but it strikes me that it’s small in comparison to the value it would have to the project.
Second, I have an acquaintance that is suddenly outsourcing quite a bunch of work to India. He was being pressured to do this, but resisted until he went to Bangalore to visit. He spent a week there and was impressed with everyone in a way that he had never been remotely.
Along these same lines, the only good experiences I have heard with offshoring work is from people who regularly sent representatives to the offshored location to visit with the contractors doing the work. They all claimed that the face-to-face meetings changed everything, and it would have been a mess without them.
On a 1.0 release, the maximum distance between the development team and the marketing team should be 50 feet.
However, the guys over at EP apparently impressed the crap out of him, because he has said this about working with them on Truemors.
Honestly, I wasn’t a believer in remote teams trying to work together on version 1 of a product, but Electric Pulp changed my mind.
So, I’m going to drag Aaron into this post by asking him this question —
Aaron, has anyone at EP actually met Guy Kawasaki face-to-face on this project or just in general? If so, do you think it helped you work together on this project? If not, do you think it would have helped?