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Belling the ‘agile’ cat - using agile to manage virtual IT teams

Belling the ‘agile’ cat - using agile to manage virtual IT teams

As the reality of COVID-19 hits us hard, more and more SMB organizations are transitioning to remote work environments and agile methodology.

As per 14th Annual State of Agile Report and a survey by Digital.ai in the US, 33% say they increased agile adoption in the last 90 days to help manage distributed teams.

Prima facie, agile teams, are more equipped to handle such turbulent times since they have 3 key advantages in adapting to - changing business scenarios, disruptive technologies and digitization at breakneck speed. However, this unexpected shift to remote working needs some tweaks in the methodology to manage agile teams better.

Virtual Agile Teams

Companies using agile are now wondering how to alter established agile methods and ceremonies to fit into virtual routines while keeping the core of agile intact.

The critical challenges remote agile teams face and must overcome:

The remote working scenario brings out challenges in some of the major agile principles of:

  • how teams communicate and work together within teams and across functions internally
  • the way they interact with the customer externally

Eurisko Mobility, a leading firm which is into AI, IoT, game development and Enterprise Mobile & Web development , with teams across the globe, has adopted an agile corporate culture and an innovative devops powered work from home strategy.

"By maximizing automation and adopting SCRUM methodology, we were able to implement an agile corporate culture driven by self-organizing and cross-functional teams." - Edgard Tawk, CEO Eurisko Mobility

Here are some tips to help you ease the transition and minimize the disruption.

Team communication & cohesiveness:

Communication is a crucial factor for the success of an agile team. In a physical setting where teams work together, the bonding is stronger with face-to-face meetings and coffee breaks/ team lunches.

In a remote setting, use more asynchronous communication:

  • leverage more video
  • have smaller teams and regular team catch ups
  • use tech tools - virtual whiteboards, instant chats to collaborate & co-create with cross functional teams
  • have virtual fun team building activities

Customer satisfaction:

Customer satisfaction and collaboration may see a dip due to teams being scattered and work distributed remotely.

Collaboration in solution development can be increased by using video to show live & real-time product testing. E-commerce websites or model websites are also good ways to test the market for the product.

Agile ceremonies & new ways of doing it

Agile ceremonies or meetings are done to communicate shared vision and goals, progress of teams and have the latest information updates.

The natural tendency for agile teams is to replicate whatever worked for them in a physical co-located setting. But what worked in an office setting won’t always work remotely. The trick is to work backwards - start with the results you were getting within the office and adjust your scrum ceremonies accordingly.

Agile ceremonies & new ways of doing it

Remote work has its benefits, but it requires a bit of planning to start off on the right foot. Although it can be easier for agile teams, a few changes in the agile methodology, while keeping the basic agile culture intact, will help them sail through remotely.

At Clarion technologies, we use these agile methods day in and day out. For any queries or more information write to us at info@clariontech.com

#agile #remotework #agilemethodology

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