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How can Agile Teams Function Remotely?

By their nature #agileteams have usually been co-located. It is easier to work and collaborate together closely, when you are co-located. When this is not possible, the team will need to adapt to a virtual working environment. These adjustments for #virtualagileteams are necessary and quite drastic.

  1. Essential face-to-face conversations need to be done remotely. This requires new skills and good technology. Peeping over someone's shoulder to see how they are getting on and are progressing is not longer possible.

  2. Individual & team productivity will suffer while the team gets used to the #virtualenvironment

  3. The #scrummaster has to adapt all the practices and team organization techniques he has been using. Even a daily huddle is different when done virtually.

In short the entire team organization part of a scrum master's work changes completely. Old proven approaches no longer work and have to be adapted to fit the virtual environment.

#communication has to be doubled, both in quantity and in quality. You need to build in feed-back mechanisms that will give you the feed-back you usually get by looking at your team and their body language or facial expressions. The team needs to learn to give verbal feed-back both when they finish what they are saying or when they have been asked a question. If there is no response the person asking may be left wondering if he has dropped from the meeting, has internet problems, or the others have dropped off, when there is no response.

#teamcollaboration has to be fostered anew. Communication Channels and ground rules need to be redefined and adapted. Shared input needs to be taken online. White boards need to be taken online. The article below lists several online tools. Structure and collaboration tools need to be revisited and adjusted to the new needs. This includes sprint planning tools and sprint retrospective tools.

There is lots to learn, customize and adapt for a team that moves into an online environment. Even if you have already moved, it is good to reflect and see if you have left anything out.

Contact us, we will walk with you on the journey into a Virtual Agile Team environment.

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