CHAPTER 45Topology and Proximity

So far, we've talked about the composition of product teams and how to scope them, but we haven't discussed the dimension of physical location of those teams. When creating the team topology, this is another important and practical factor to consider.

Even before the pandemic, there was a trend around moving to alternative office strategies mainly driven by the shortage of available talent and very high costs of living in major technology hubs.

In many companies, there is simply no practical way to hire enough people with the necessary skills at the same location as the company's headquarters, so they're forced to consider options.

At one end of the spectrum is to fully embrace remote employees. This has several benefits including being able to hire talent from nearly anywhere, and people can choose to live where they prefer.

At the other end of the spectrum, some companies want to keep everyone working in the same office center, but due to lack of available talent and high costs of living, they opt to move their headquarters to a new location.

However, there is also a very effective middle ground, which is remote offices.

Many companies have been opening remote offices in cities around the world—especially in urban centers with a good supply of engineering and design talent—and then working to staff product teams in those remote offices, supplemented as necessary with remote employees.

This model taps into supplies of local talent, while still ...

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