You may be concerned that an Agile team you oversee will face significant challenges in making the permanent switch to remote work.
That is a legitimate worry. According to McKinsey & Company, an abrupt shift to remote work can cause problems with efficiency and reduce cohesion.
Nevertheless, the same article also notes that Agile teams that operate remotely right away don’t experience those kinds of problems. Therefore, the transition itself presents a challenge rather than a distributed working style.
This blog post will offer some pointers on how agile teams can improve their remote teamwork.
Let us first examine the tenets that form the foundation of Agile. This overview of Agile methodologies will serve as a helpful reminder, even for those who are already familiar with them, of how well-suited this framework is for remote work.
The Agile manifesto
The Agile manifesto was first drafted more than 20 years ago. Since then, one of the most widely used project management techniques is agile project management. The foundational ideas of the historic document are as follows, in case you’re unfamiliar:
- People and their interactions with procedures and equipment
- Functional software as opposed to thorough documentation
- Client cooperation as opposed to contract drafting
- adjusting to circumstances rather than following a plan
Agile is being used by teams in many different industries these days, including web development, engineering, and advertising. More importantly, teams are beginning to apply the Agile philosophy virtually. However, how?
The best practices for remote Agile teams
Agile systems are designed to be flexible. As you go through these best practices, remember that as your team gains knowledge, so too should the way you implement them.
As an illustration, you could start a daily video call to develop Agile communication practices.
However, you can do away with the daily meeting and substitute more time for focused deep work as your team becomes more adept at recording their work and utilizing information resources.
This section’s Agile strategies provide a strong basis for your remote team. Create a plan that complements the dynamics of your remote team starting here.
Rethink in-person interactions
Principle of the Agile Manifesto: People and their interactions over procedures and equipment
An essential component of the Agile manifesto is face-to-face communication. Agile’s core principles remain to be this kind of communication, according to purists.
For these individuals, it is nearly hard to envision a situation in which in-person communication is not necessary. It is regarded by many as the most productive and successful form of communication.
It is true that when a team works remotely, it can be more difficult to communicate priorities and deadlines; however, this is only an issue if your team is accustomed to speaking face-to-face.
In any case, face-to-face communication isn’t always the most effective technique. Take a look at this statistic:
- An adult can read up to 300 words per minute on average. Conversely, understanding requires speaking at a much slower rate of 150–160 words per minute.
- Can you speak as quickly as an auctioneer, but will most of what you say still be understood by the public?
- Speed of communication is only important if both parties can understand each other. Thankfully, note-taking tools help remote teams in this situation.
Techniques for remote conversations let you record meetings, take notes, and monitor the output of your team. Here are a few resources to get you going:
The most widely used team messaging app available is Slack. It makes sense why; it’s an intuitive app with lots of useful features that works well with other apps.
- Your discussions are arranged into channels on Slack according to various teams, projects, or subjects.
- You can hold team meetings with Slack since it allows both audio and video calls.
- You can utilize the more than 650,000 available custom apps to increase Slack’s functionality.
An automated transcription tool called Fireflies produces comprehensive meeting notes on your behalf. Include it in your meetings and get talking; the rest will fall into place. As of right now, its translation accuracy into English is 90%.
Among its best attributes are:
- Fireflies’ smart search feature allows you to look for terms other than just keywords. Additionally, you can search for KPIs, dates, times, and other action items.
- Topic trackers: You can make your own personalized topic trackers if you find yourself going back to the same highlights meeting after meeting.
- Regretfully, Fireflies is currently exclusive to English speakers. However, support for additional languages, including Spanish, French, and others, will soon be available.
Manage your own and your team’s pace.
Key tenet of the Agile Manifesto: Functional software as opposed to thorough documentation
If the product suffers, what good is agile project management?
It doesn’t indicate a great project manager, whether you work in development, marketing, or another area, to rush through tasks at breakneck speed. However, it also won’t work to drag out projects with voluminous documentation.
Concentrate on establishing a reasonable, comfortable pace that enables you to achieve the greatest outcomes. Overpressing a team can result in burnout and eventually high turnover.
Because you spend less time with your coworkers in person, you might not notice the symptoms of burnout until one of them begins to exhibit serious performance problems.
Rely on your productivity and project management software to maintain balanced and manageable workloads.
Due dates can help remote team members stay on task and prioritize tasks at the appropriate times.
Give stakeholders and clients transparency
Key tenet of the Agile Manifesto: Client cooperation as opposed to contract drafting
Internal team management is only one aspect of remote project management. Additionally, you will serve as a point of contact for your business’s clients and other project stakeholders.
These outside teams will want to see progress reports and other information on how their funds are being used because they have a stake in your success. Unfortunately, it may be challenging for them to view this data instantly due to time zone differences.
Compared to remote teams, in-office teams have far easier access to scheduling meetings, conference calls, and other progress updates. Clients may occasionally even stop by in person to see how things are going.
- You require a more lucid method of viewing that data in a remote setting.
- The best time tracking software for Agile teams working remotely.
- Start project planning with the 14-day free trial, which has all features.
- Make use of a time-tracking application.
Additionally, you can use this data to support your requests for additional resources or to explain changes to stakeholders.
You have the information required to precisely explain what has occurred and what you anticipate thanks to clear, objective data.
This form of tracking and reporting helps teams that work together in the same space. It’s a necessary component of conducting business as a remote team.
Adopt scheduling strategies
Key tenet of the Agile Manifesto: Adapting to change as opposed to sticking to a plan
Agile is all about change, which is also how it got its name. However, that doesn’t make preparing for the unexpected any simpler.
The hard truth is that plans tend to change rather often. In fact, 37% of PMs said that projects that failed had unclear objectives.
The fact that you never know who will be available in an emergency presents another of the major difficulties in leading remote teams.
Many tasks carried out remotely are asynchronous. It can be challenging to locate the appropriate team member to contact in an emergency because remote agile teams operate around the clock from different time zones.
Select a method
Adopting some unusual scheduling strategies may prove beneficial. Here are a few instances:
- Establish a standby pool to help you find team members who are available to work extra hours when needed.
- Encourage open communication: Maintaining a constant line of communication can help you find team members who are willing and able to step up to take on additional responsibilities at short notice.
- Examine work habits: Most members of your team probably still follow a routine if they operate on a flexible schedule. Certain individuals favor working on the weekends or in the evenings, while others prefer to start early in order to finish sooner. Examine the past to see who is typically online at this time when something comes up at an unusual hour. Appic Softwares is a very helpful tool.
- Because they are spread across multiple time zones, global teams function especially well. You have continuous coverage, which is an advantage despite the difficulties. Because a member of your team is constantly online, work never stops.
- Remote Agile teams can communicate and cover for one another, saving weekend plans or requiring a team member to work past their usual hours. You can just reassign work to teams that are available after a brief discussion.
Using an agile project management tool for remote teams is the most effective way to accomplish this.
Explain Virtual Agile Stand-ups The central tenet of the Agile Manifesto is: Adapting to change as opposed to sticking to a plan
Managers on conventional Agile teams can tailor schedules to their preferences.
On a remote team that operates across time zones, that may, regrettably, never occur.
Compared to in-office teams, remote Agile teams are even more committed to the Agile manifesto’s fourth core belief. They will need to modify their workflow in addition to reacting to changes within it.
For this reason, many remote Agile teams have embraced virtual Stand-ups as an asynchronous means of communication.
Standing vs. sitting Stand-ups?
You guessed it: stand-up is the preferred mode of conduct for stand-up meetings. Your team shouldn’t have time to sit down and talk because they are brief and targeted.
- Teams typically gather around their desks for a brief in-person meeting.
- A meeting room is not necessary.
- Stand-ups that are agile are even more effective.
It’s challenging to replicate the real standing portion of a stand-up on a remote team. However, why would you wish to? Ultimately, the majority of us are most likely still wearing our pajamas.
The real difficulty lies in coordinating work across time zones, which can complicate meeting scheduling.
However, a Harvard Business Review study finds that teams are already meeting far too frequently. To boost productivity, Asana, Facebook, and our team at Appic Softwares have started to plan days without meetings.
Tools for virtual stand-ups combine the best aspects of both worlds. Upon completion of their workday, each team member submits their update, as opposed to attempting to get everyone online simultaneously. Even if teammates work different shifts or in different time zones, everyone can still see the updates from each other.
Team members can quickly summarize tasks by filling them in straight from their Sprint by using the “autofill Stand-up” button. Additionally, they can complete the tasks they have been doing by hand:
Technology is essential to making sure that your dispersed teams put in a lot of effort and deliver results, regardless of whether you decide to hold virtual meetings or have teams submit their Stand-ups.
It may be desirable to conduct both synchronous and asynchronous meetings; however, it is advisable to establish some guidelines for in-person interactions.
To succeed in the changing workplace, one must become proficient in managing remote Agile teams. Our manual offers crucial techniques, approaches, and resources for productive teamwork, guaranteeing long-term success in remote Agile development.
Moreover, if you are looking for a company through which you can hire dedicated DevOps developers, then you should check out Appic Softwares. We have pre-vetted developers that can help you gain the most out of your software. So, what are you waiting for?