Agile is a time-focused, iterative work style philosophy that allows teams of software developers to build a product step by step and deliver it on a set timeline. One main benefit of this methodology is the ability to adapt and change at any step depending on feedback, market conditions, and corporate obstacles.
But today most businesses have a few–or several–distributed teams. This isn’t just a trend; it makes good sense. Distributed teams can work on projects around the clock, and strong talent can be found in less competitive markets. (Not to mention, talent is easily retained by not requiring an undesired relocation.)
But that’s not to say that this approach doesn’t come with its own set of challenges. Here are a couple of challenges that companies face when working with agile or remote teams:
In-Person Methodologies Don’t Translate to Remote Environments
Many teams are finding that Agile methodologies aren’t working for their newly adopted remote environment. There is no longer access to a physical scrum board, for example. Not only can the transition be unsettling for employees who are used to working in a certain way, but it can also disrupt the flow.
A Lack of In-Person Collaboration
Collaboration is the hallmark of a successful agile team. The work culture is disrupted when there is no longer a physical environment for collaboration. There’s no in-person communication, which can impact professional rapport and the ability to receive and deliver feedback quickly.
A Loss of Productivity
This is problematic in Agile, which depends on productivity for successfully meeting project requirements. When working solo, rather than in teams, employees may succumb to distractions or not feel like they’re being held accountable.
How, exactly, do you manage remote Agile teams? Generally speaking, leadership is a little more fluid when it comes to the mindset anyway
Less Opportunity for Personal Connection and Communication
This is all too true in the case of Agile teams, which typically experience in-person communication on a daily basis. In a remote environment, team members may feel a lack of support and a general drop in-group morale.
While the above mentioned challenges can be addressed by incorporating certain policies and processes that allow people to connect with each other both on a personal and a productive level in order to dish out their best work holistically.
If you’re working in an agile landscape, please consider working on the following 5 tips that we have which will help you get results faster and more consistently:
- Rather than ‘just’ automating the development process, remote teams should focus on automation that actually makes sense. Forgo unnecessary Agile tools and processes, and focus on a few but most effective ones. We don’t need to have Slack, Asana, Spark, Skype all at once.
- Keep the Agile process simple. You need not get obsessed with the process; our main goal should be on getting the actual work done.
- Agile is all about quick execution and quick releases. There is no scope of perfection. What you do daily defines what you will deliver.
- The sprints should be short and realistic. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Break down your project roadmap in months, weeks and days and then, execute.
- Execute, but measure what you execute. Then you’ll know where you need to work the most and which plan went perfectly.