As teams worldwide are fully immersed in remote working it is important to focus on team collaboration and business continuity. Stand-Ups are one of the most common Agile techniques to ensure delivery of sprints, communicate team members contributions or blockers, and contribute to team cohesion.
These meetings can still be successful without face-to-face interactions to make sure your remote Agile teams are heard throughout projects sprints.
Here are some tips to keep communicating with your distributed Agile teams helping to keep stand-ups moving, as part of regular business, and provide the most value for the whole team.
Keep to schedule
When working remotely, the daily stand-up is often an opportunity for colleagues to "catch up". While this is important, it is equally important to have a stand-up that is short and focussed. Start the meeting on time and stick to your regular agile format to ensure the meeting finishes on time. Move topics that require more discussion to separate meetings. Allow the “catch up” to happen after the meeting, or schedule separate coffee breaks.
Use reliable conferencing software
Daily stand-ups are short, therefore, it is even more important not to waste time getting the meeting started and everyone connected. Reliable conferencing software that is easy to use is necessary.
Share the Agile board
Have the board visible occasionally so that the team can see their colleague’s tasks. This ensures the team are focussed on the correct tasks and have a shared objective.
Ensure the team is aware of the objectives
Agile teams are usually aware of their team, sprint, release or project objectives from other Sprint ceremonies. However when working remotely, it is easy to forget these as they are not discussed in ad-hoc face-to-face encounters. Use the stand-up to remind the team of these objectives and other items that have occurred during the sprint.
Use instant messaging
When a remote stand-up is not possible, use an instant messaging tool for the team to exchange their stand-up status. This ensures continuity but don't use it as a long-term replacement for an online meeting.
Ensure the team knows how to use their Agile board effectively
The Agile board is an important form of communication, especially when the team is remote. Sometimes we take it for granted that members know how to use it. Sharing the board during stand-up, discussing the process for board/ticket management, tips and tricks are all good ways to educate the team and keep the board up-to-date.
By paying attention to some remote daily stand-up techniques your distributed Agile teams can become more connected, motivated and focused.
Anaeko provides remote software services to help technology teams under pressure.
Since 2004 Anaeko has delivered over 400 agile software projects using expertly-managed remote teams. We have perfected a distributed agile delivery model and proven our ability to adapt to established processes and company cultures.