There are many benefits to building a remote team, but it does come with its challenges as well. The good thing is, there are several ways to surpass the obstacles and you can make it feel as though you’re working in the same office.
One of the biggest challenges of leading a remote team is keeping your team happy and engaged in the product you’re building. But how can you overcome this? Building a sense of community within your team will create the ownership that’s needed to accomplish all of what you’re trying to achieve.
SoftwareDevTools wants to help remote teams that are using Agile methodologies through better collaboration in Agile ceremonies. Like Agile Retrospectives, Scrum Poker estimations or through the automation of daily updates.
In our experience, the most important practices for building and leading a happy remote team are as follows:
- Embrace the idea of working remote.
Working remotely can be frustrating at times, but it is what it is and you need to make it work. Always keep in mind the advantages that working remotely affords for you and your team. The flexible schedules, reduced costs and working in your pajamas are just the tip of the iceberg. Don’t lose sight of that, it’s worth it!
But in order for your team to build a great product remotely, you must be constantly improving and helping each other. No matter how well a sprint went, there’s always room for improvements. We fail, we learn and plan with retrospection.
You all want to achieve the same goals, therefore, work as though you’re side by side even though the distance is real.
- Create together
Involving the team in other steps of the product development is a great way to bring the team together. When creating a design on a new feature, you can involve all team members from the design of the concept through implementation and testing. For example, a developer may have the general concept of what’s being created, but the designer’s point of view can help him further understand the product’s purpose. This will not only help you work better, but you will also be saving time down the line. And remember: "In #Agile as in life, time is precious"
Small activities such as sketching out ideas for the solution you’re trying to build, sharing with the team and repeating the process until you come up with the winner create a greater sense of ownership for all involved.
- All about the culture
Business or team culture isn’t just having a good time and flexible hours. It’s providing a safe environment where people are free to be themselves, ask questions, learn, make mistakes and celebrate success. It’s important to bring the team together and share all of these elements so that your culture can naturally build a sense of community. At the end of the day, culture is the most valuable thing you want amongst your team. At the very least, encourage your team to share with one another in kick-off sessions and retrospective meetings.
- Technology and communication.
Technology is your ally when it comes to working remotely. How else would you lead a remote team if not with the help of technology? Remember, you need to bring down the “sense of distance” when working remotely, and communication plays a great role in this.
There are plenty of messaging tools that help with regular communication but there are many other tools available that help with planning, retrospection and the following up of tasks. Such tools allow you to involve everyone on your team and give the sense of ownership as mentioned before.
Estimations can be tedious, but with tools such as Scrum Poker for Jira or for Confluence you can get the entire team involved and make accurate estimations quick and fun. Your team will be more engaged and follow up on the results of the estimations.
Are you looking at how to do a retrospective in Jira or Confluence? Using add-on’s like Agile Retrospectives for Jira or Agile Retrospectives for Confluence allows your team to understand what went well, and what didn’t go as planned, in an easy and collaborative way.
Remember, leading a remote team doesn’t need to be a headache if you use the right techniques and tools to get everyone on board and engaged in what you’re trying to achieve.
Trying to improve your #Agile practices? OR are you getting started with Agile? Are you in a remote team? Check out our products for Agile teams at SoftwareDevTools. We focus on making agile ceremonies more effective and easier to adopt for remote teams.
Check out our Atlassian tools:
- Agile Retrospectives for Confluence
- Agile Retrospectives for Jira
- Scrum Poker for Confluence
- Scrum Poker for Jira
- Stand.bot for Stride: A bot to automate daily updates.
- And for Slack also!