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Working in a Remotely Agile Environment

A little bit of definition – What is Agile ?

Agile is a time boxed, iterative approach to software delivery that builds software incrementally from the start of the project, instead of trying to deliver it all at once near the end. Agile software development refers to a group of software development methodologies based on iterative development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams.

What is Scrum ?

Scrum is a subset of Agile. It is a lightweight process framework for agile development, and the most widely-used one.

  • A “process framework” is a particular set of practices that must be followed in order for a process to be consistent with the framework. (For example, the Scrum process framework requires the use of development cycles called Sprints, the XP framework requires pair programming, and so forth.)
  • “Lightweight” means that the overhead of the process is kept as small as possible, to maximize the amount of productive time available for getting useful work done.
One common “historical” requirement of Scrum is that participants in the development process occupy the same workspace so they can engage in crucial collaborative efforts together. In the age of social distancing, this often proves to be difficult. In today’s environment, it is critical that agile development teams communicate effectively. The generalized direction should be that communication requirement to take place in physical proximity will be hindering companies from drawing on a wider talent pool as well as introducing potential team health concerns.

How to ensure that Remotely Agile teams communicate

Create a workplace culture for your remote teams

While managing or working on a remote team, it is important to have a vision of team culture. Culture is about human beings, and people want to feel part of something positive and bigger than themselves. Remote Agile teams will need to create a  culture that has the ability to focus on quality, productivity and commitment in order to operate effectively. 

Allow a degree of flexible working hours

Previously working from home has allowed people to get the flexibility with their working hours. It is an important aspect to include flexibility in working hours to manage remote teams. Child care issue’s when a family member is not in school is an important aspect to consider when thinking of flexible working hours.

Remote Communication Tools

Nothing is more important to remote team communication than the team’s digital toolbox. Without the ability to have organic, in-person interactions, employees can easily become forgotten. Staying available through the use of virtual tools can also help the team to stay connected and at the same time, they can chat and resolve any sorts of upcoming issues.

Some popular tools to perform this are:

  • Microsoft Office 365 / MS Teams
  • GotoMeeting
  • Zoom
  • WebEx
  • Google Hangouts

Remember

Remote teams can bring more complexity, communication gaps, culture gaps, time zone challenges, skill gaps and lack of transparency — if we let them. We can also thrive and bring many benefits of remote teams while addressing the challenges head on, and with success.

Take your team to the next level !