Extreme Remote: Code Ownership - Granular requirements and tasks

In the last post, we described a kind of 'relay race' development where in-house and remote developers work on the same code modules, but hand off active development as work days start and end with the turning of the globe. In order to achieve this type of development, requirements and tasks must be quite granular - granular enough to be completed within one work day.  

Gherkin-style requirements are ideal for this type of development since each scenario is typically granular enough to be completed in less than a day. Each scenario represents a very specific requirement.  A developer can usually satisfy several requirements each day. In order to 'pass the baton', his/her counterpart on the other side of the globe can simply run the automated tests to see precisely where progress was left off. After a review of the new code, he/she is ready to pick up active development of the module for the day.  

Not all development work maps nicely to Gherkin requirements.  (But, more than you many think!)  Even when you cannot describe the work with Gherkin, the tasks should be skillfully defined so that they are granular enough to be completed within one day.

With granular requirements and tasks, you can run the sort of coding 'relay race' that keeps both in-house and remote team members intimately familiar with the code at all times.