We have a Scrum team of 3 developers, a scrum master, and a product owner. Everyone works out of their home (except the product owner who works at his organization's headquarters).
In the past, we have used formal inspections for peer reviewing design and code concepts to facilitate communication among the development team. However, the peer reviews often get put on the back burner in favor of implementation. The peer reviews turn into "This is what I've done, let's document the review and move on" instead of "This is what I'm thinking about doing, what do you all think?"
We use Skype and Webex to communicate w/ screen-sharing, and we upload our design / code review documents to Sharepoint for easy access.
One of our long-term goals is to be appraised at CMMI level 3, so documenting and analyzing the results of our peer reviews works towards the verification of our work products. Although, I do not want to advocate peer reviews for the sake of documentation. I would like for the development team to want to communicate with their peers. I do not want to bog the team down with having to document every communication, but I do want to capture the benefits of peer reviews to analyze for process improvement.
- How can a distributed agile team facilitate communication without it feeling like a chore?
- What software products exist that can facilitate communication across a distributed team?
- What methods of peer review would match our goals of people-over-processes while effectively documenting the results for future analysis
Just for perspective, I am a junior developer who was moved from a separate project to start a QA branch for the company, so I am researching how to implement CMMI with our Scrum project management. We are working with very limited resources.