I am thinking of using iPad as a Scrum tool to Skype/Google Hangout to coordinate better with our offshore team in a different country.

I am planning to hang the iPad onto the scrum board 'top-center' with clips and other tools. Then, since the iPad's mic or Speaker might not well suited for a place like scrum board, I am thinking of pepping it up with an External Mic and External Speaker, so we are able to be hear and be audible both ways.

I have been using the laptop, (tried standing by the corner of the board and exactly in front of the board, holding the laptop on my palm) but there were issues like (1) Our NYC team could not not hear the offshore team, (2) The offshore team could not hear us, (3) They could not see the scrum board properly (not a major thing I suppose).

So here comes the actual question: Has anyone done this before? How effective it is compared to using a laptop. I would like to know this really, before investing on an iPad!

The iPad idea still might not fix point 3, but I hope it can allow seeing everyone from the board's angle, and could probably hear better since the person who is scrumming will be close to the board and hence the iPad (than me standing in front of the board in an obtrusive way)

Lastly, if any one has used this method, which External Mic and External speakers are recommended?

I have been horribly struggling to connect the offshore and onshore teams as a Scrum master and a Project Manager, and hopefully this will cut down the multitude of email exchanges that sometimes go nowhere. Please let me know your suggestions. Thanks!

closed as not a real question by Brian Carlton, Mark C. Wallace, Willl, jcmeloni, Todd A. Jacobs May 4 '13 at 13:19

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  • 1
    This is not a PM, but a DIY question. Am not sure latest tablet technology can fix your problem, though. – Deer Hunter Apr 23 '13 at 1:00
  • IMHO, I feel PM.SE seems better as it would attract more Agile community and Project Managers, who can understand what is scrum, tell this from their experience. Its a little dicey thing, and cant for sure determine if it should go elsewhere. Please help move this appropriately. Thanks! – oneworld Apr 23 '13 at 11:45
  • Agile has nothing to do with how you communicate with offshore teams. – Zsolt Apr 23 '13 at 13:36
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    @Zsolt: Uh, one of the core Agile principles is "The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation." So yes, I would say that how you communicate with your offshore team is directly related to agile. – Andrew Clear Apr 23 '13 at 14:56
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    @aclear16 this means that if I'm communicating well with my offshore partner, I'm doing agile? I guess not. I think it is time that people stop labelling good stuff agile or Agile. It is easy to pick something from the manifesto and use it to protect an argument, but in the reality it is a fallacy. Here is an example: My hairdresser does not negotiate contracts with her customers, but collaborates with them. Therefore she is Agile... according to the manifesto. I think the OP wants some attention, therefore he or she labels his question [Aa]gile. – Zsolt Apr 23 '13 at 22:12
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Has anyone done this before? How effective it is compared to using a laptop

Of course this has been tried before. And obviously a system with better microphones and speakers will be better than one without them.

Of more interesting to note here though is that you seem to be hosting some kind of "Scrum" meeting with multiple Scrum teams. Is that really necessary? Could you instead use the product owners to coordinate cross-team dependencies?

You also say that the offshore team could not see the Scrum board, which would seem to imply that you have a single board for two teams. Do they not each have their own boards, reflecting their individual tasks? You may find it more effective to have a Kanban-style roll-up board that includes only user stories showing the work of each team, rather than forcing both teams to use the same board.

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