Agile Best Practices for Remote Work Excellence
This blog encloses the dilemmas of entrepreneurs struggling with the management of disjoint teams that have formed as a result of the current work from home scenario.
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The COVID-19 virus has disrupted peoples’ lifestyles and the working patterns of many sectors and industries. The IT industry has seen a thorough transformation within the premises, yet no significant changes in the outputs. Here in this blog, let me consider the discrepancies that working remotely has caused the IT companies, especially the Agile software development teams.
The prime role of Agile is to aid the co-located team function effectively. However, the pandemic has obliged everyone to work from home, i.e., working remotely, and the on-floor teams got converted into distributed teams.
Significance of Agility in Remote Work Situations
Agile teams are accustomed to face-to-face interactions, and most of you might not have ever worked remotely for this long. However, the prevailing devastation that COVID has brought along seems to continue the long run’s remote work pattern.
Though I may sound contradictory, Agile Methodology is not bound only to co-located and sitting-together teams. For an Agile team to propel, there are several aspects that you must consider, like adapting to change, tightening feedback loops, and continually learning. Indeed, all these things do not force proximity work, but rather a uni-directional effort.
To excel with agile methodologies in remotely distributed teams, companies need to put some effort and experimentation. I am going to share how you can sync Agile with Remote Teams.
8 Agile Best Practices to Transform Remote Work into Win-Win Situation
Below I have mentioned 8 Agile best practices that you should implement with your Agile Software Development Company when working remotely.
1. Develop Standards and Follow Working Agreements
Being an agile coach, you should manage your remote teams by establishing certain standards that all your team members must follow. Of course, there are unexplainable barriers while working remotely, and to overcome those challenges, these preset standards shall oblige your team members to attain their goals on time.
Another method to enable collaborative work patterns among your distributed team members is by setting up work agreements. Assure that your employees attain these work agreements, and then your aims are clear in front of your vision.
2. Empower Teams With the Right Set of Tools
Communication is a vital element that taken an Agile approach to success. When your team is co-located, the agile practices of stand-ups, scrum meetings, and daily feedbacks are sufficient to keep the project ongoing uphill.
However, when the pandemic has forced your team to work remotely from their homes, you must take mandate steps that take care of your internal project communication. There will be multiple conference calls, and hence, make sure that you provide video-conferencing tools and real-time chat applications for uninterrupted communication.
Also, take care that your remote teams in varied locations match their time-zones and yield maximum productivity.
3. Pre-defined Product Roadmap
The Agile methodology emphasizes on-the-go development where a feedback loop follows each iteration. This method of software development assures that there is no reversal, and the steps are backed.
Now that your team is distributed for remote work, you should see that you preset your development process and your team follows the ideal steps. Hence, to execute the agile software development process with your remote team, predefine a roadmap that they should follow.
4. Encourage Collaboration
Agile methodology is a combined effort of the entire team working together haphazardly to achieve a common goal of project success. It includes a fair game of communication and collaboration. In the ideal situation, your team is on the floor, and they meet every day to synchronize the development process.
In the remote work scenario, you must encourage your team members to collaborate often in a day. Just like they used to conduct stand-ups and quick meetings in a co-located office setup, you need to make sure that your team works in a collaborative environment.
5. Minimize Hand-offs and Wait Times
You might be well aware of how a message is disrupted when passed in a message train game. Sure, you don’t want that to happen during your project development communication. Make your team understand that several communication channels must be reduced and encourage direct contact with the recipient.
Another critical thing to remember and value is time. See to it that a crucial message is not kept on hold for a long time. Otherwise, the purpose of communication is fatal. Your remote team should cooperate and keep no barriers to communication. Like for example, a team member must prioritize an important task message beyond their lunch-time.
6. Share the Pain of Time-zone Differences
As I have already mentioned that Agile is accurate only when the team works simultaneously and collaboratively. When working with an offshore client, there are high chances that their time-zones are different and most probably opposite yours. This was bearable and manageable when working from your office premises. What’s the difference now?
The fatal coronavirus has forced us to obey the laws of social distancing, and you implemented the same by remote work from home. Now, it is not easy to manage the time difference while you are in your home comfort zone.
We have no other option but to accept the new normal of working remotely, and hence, your remote team should be proactive in maximizing the productive times by matching the time-zone differences.
7. Focus on Continuous Quality Improvement
Offices are motivational, employees are enthusiastic towards their work, and for sure, a vibe of competitiveness encourages them to be prompt. Everyone misses the office fun and a daily routine, but this COVID-terror has made us sit home and deteriorate.
Do not let your employees malfunction in the work-from-home scenario and push them towards meeting virtually and even take along their personal gossips with colleagues. This shall give them a zone of office space and hence improve their quality of work.
You don’t want to forsake your project development for sure! Thus, you should boost your remote team constantly to improvise on their quality.
8. Embrace Retrospectives
After each iteration, take out time to conduct a meeting with your project development team over a retrospective. Seek everyone’s feedback and also share your point of view. Distributed teams should rather spend more time on such meetings.
A feedback meeting shall give you insights on what improvements could be made to your project and hence save you from future troubles. Additionally, even your team members feel that their suggestion is valued and appreciated. This gives a sense of responsibility and pride in them, and hence they fortify towards your betterment goals.
As you know the varied advantages of going Agile for your project development, there is no doubt that it is rightly the best choice for your approach. Though the pandemic has changed the working patterns, the Agile methodology is here to help your remote distributed teams.
The 8 best Agile Practices that I shared in this blog post will aid your remote team in collaborating and functioning in a unique manner. Do share your experiences of following agile practices for your remote team and comment below.
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