Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Agile Philosophies in Practice for Remote Workers

Have you made your move to your home office yet? Ensure you have a setup that works for you and your team. This may mean investing the time up front to evaluate options and put in place everything you need to be productive and comfortable. First, create a space where you are least likely to be distracted.

From an agile perspective, teams are most efficient when balancing time devoted to collaboration with time allocated to the concentrated efforts required for development and other knowledge work activities. When stationed remotely, workers have to be online — but also share their availability. Tools like Slack and Zoom allow you to communicate. Where possible, set availability status and mute notifications when you are embroiled in “flow.” Using status settings is important when teams are accessing flexible work hours.

Project managers, technical leads, and product owners should regularly enquire with questions about their teammates’ level of understanding around requirements, inhibitors to progress, and what might be needed to improve productivity. Some helpful tips include:
  • Employ digital whiteboard tools for sprint planning and design sessions
  • Schedule video web conferencing for stand-up meetings
  • Assign one person to screen-share during reviews
  • Craft simple surveys to capture feedback

Teams working remotely for extended durations may want to discuss documentation standards and see if more significant efforts would be helpful. Sometimes, documenting can replace in-person implementation discussions — the venerable wiki makes a great tool for this.
Leverage the philosophy of being agile, not just by following agile practices, but in recognizing how to embrace change, for the better.

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