How to Be Successful with Remote Agile Delivery

March 18, 2020
Impact Makers

A key principle of Agile is that the most effective and efficient method of conveying information to and within a development team is through face-to-face conversation. However, what happens when co-location is no longer an option?

We understand maintaining delivery agility when your workforce is running remote Agile is critical to your business success.

Unfortunately, circumstances both within and outside of our control often create the need for remote working arrangements. While operating Agile can be a wonderful experience, when quickly altered from physical co-location to remote Agile, there are some challenges that can impede team progress, individual performance, and the overall sense of belonging to a community. Considering this situation, any gaps that existed prior to the change from co-location to remote may be emphasized. Anticipating these risks can help reduce the impact and help the team be intentional in overcoming them.

Maintain your Agile teams’ productivity at a time when co-location is no longer possible

Ensure teams stay connected and engaged by following key best practices for remote Agile

Here are some of our experts’ key takeaways and advice from our experience:

    • Leverage conference and or video calls for more than scheduled meetings. Have a conference line open for a portion if not the entire day where team members can engage with each other real time
    • Stay true to your ceremonies and self-accountability. During stand up, leverage the same practices as you would on site. This is even more critical given the remote engagement
    • Ensure the use of mid-sprint check-ins to assess the performance of the team relative to sprint goals/objectives
    • For new team members added, be sure to create a channel for introductions and personal alliances. Don’t keep it all business and accelerate their comfort level of reaching out and engaging often
    • Insert ad hoc check-ins throughout the workday to remind the team they are working together and to reinforce the team nature for help
    • Enable connectivity with reliable technology (leverage tools and equipment like Smartboards, MS Teams, Chime, Slack, Webex, etc.)
    • Revisit team norms to ensure alignment and support of a remote working arrangement

SAFe provides some specific guidance published about success factors with remote Agile for things like Product Increment planning and SAFe training as well.

Turn remote Agile into a positive by challenging teams and inspiring them

Remote Agile can be a challenge for some teams used to running co-located. Use this change to inspire them and help drive improvements that can be leveraged when co-location is re-introduced.

  • Be intentional by leveraging retrospectives to identify impediments resulting from the remote working arrangement and develop mitigation strategies to address these impediments
  • Take advantage of the reason for changing from co-location to remote as a connection across the team
  • Make offers to help team members through these external influences and most likely the group will grow more connected through the process

Interested in learning more?

As a B Corp, the belief that we have a responsibility to our communities is at the core of everything we do and serves as our North Star. Our technical depth and strong business acumen uniquely position us to provide support in this pandemic. We are here to help reduce the friction of adopting new tools and technologies, to ensure your people are positioned for productivity, and to guide your organization in weathering this event with minimal disruption.

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