Agile methodology instead of a more rigidly structured approach is allowing software development teams to thrive. The methodology revolves around adaptive planning and self-organization and involves shorter incremental delivery times for each task.
It was previously assumed that such agile methodologies only work well when everyone on the team is in the same building. The shared workspace allowed everybody to ask questions and receive answers quickly, solve problems without scheduling a big meeting, and made it easier for colleagues to team up for certain tasks. It was believed that being together under one roof was necessary for this kind of teamwork and that the likes of video conferencing and group chats just wouldn’t work.
However, the pandemic has forced software development teams to find a way to apply agile methodology to remote workers. Here we look at how software developers and organizations can lay the foundations for a successful transition to remote agile methodology.
Setting-Up Remote Workspaces
For remote methodology to work, every team member must have their remote workspace set up to maximize their productivity and availability. This means finding a good working space itself, but also identifying helpful work disciplines and ensuring everyone has all the equipment they need.
If a team member is involved in a lot of video calls, then they should set up their workspace to facilitate this. Good lighting, a sober background and a good webcam and microphone are crucial.
Be Available for Each Other With Agile Methodology
In-person agile methodology works so well for software development because everybody is right there able to help or contribute whenever it is needed. Remote teams must emulate this availability by staying connected and in communication with each other.
Some balancing of time will be necessary with regards to tasks requiring high amounts of focus, but this can be achieved with availability status notices that show when one teammate is concentrating on coding or another focus-intense development activity.
Collaboration is very important for remote agile methodology, so scheduled meetings to exchange ideas and update everyone is important. Also keep in mind that people communicate differently online than in person, and some may be more comfortable in the group chat than speaking via video.
Replicate Scrum Rituals Digitally
Most software development teams have some kind of scrum ritual or agile ceremony at the beginning of each day to take stock of the project they are working on and make sure everyone knows what they’re doing that day. Such scrums or agile ceremonies are a source of motivation, much like the pre-game huddle of a sports team, and should be recreated digitally for remote teams.
Any other team behavior that helped keep everyone on track when working together in-person should be replicated in some form over the internet.
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