The best tools for remote agile teams available in Atlassian.

Working as a remote team is even more necessary given the current situation. There are also more tools than ever that make the life of remote teams a lot easier. It is also a strategic need for most companies. In 2019 Crain’s Future of Work survey said 78% of the respondents cited flexible schedules and telecommuting as the most effective nonmonetary ways to retain employees.

The rise of agile adoption is because of all of the recent platforms that allow us to have all the benefits of in-person meetings. Even if your team lives in different time zones. An asynchronous team is hard to deal with. That’s why we will explain to you three tools for hosting agile ceremonies that the SoftwareDevTools team has been working on for a few years now. We decided to focus on Estimation sessions, Daily stand-ups & retrospectives.

For estimations: Scrum Poker

The estimation ceremony takes place at the begging of each sprint. The value of this event consists of determining the priority of every item enlisted on the backlog with the purpose of tackling the most important tasks and define the time that will take each activity.

No more looking around for your cards, or worrying about who's keeping count this time. Our Atlassian add-on takes care of everything so that your team only focuses on the discussion. Saving precious time every session, and improving the follow-up.

For your daily stand-ups: Stand-bot for Slack

The daily standup is the event where the team briefly communicates about their progress. Here you can let the team know about what you recently worked on, the next task you will do, but more importantly: your blockers. The value of this event is the capability of sharing with all your team about your work and create engagement and transparency.

The best part of this tool is that the updates can be scheduled according to your needs. Some teams prefer just have two or three standups per week. When you are starting with the stand-bot you can define the times that you want to have the event. It doesn’t even need to be in the same time-zone because it is designed to be asynchronous. Your team members will receive the automated reminder from the stand bot directly in Slack according to their own time. If they don’t have time to respond by the time of alert they can postpone and answer later. They even can skip if they don't have updates with one simple command.

In our last post We talked about how scrum master can increase the agile adoption putting attention on this event. Here is the great benefit for scrum master, you will receive a notification of update and detect immediately if your teams are having blockers. No more waiting until the next day.

If you are working on Jira, the stand bot allows you to check the tickets that you are working on and reference them in your updates.

Retrospectives:

This one is the last event of every sprint. Here the team discusses the things that went well, the things that went bad, and more importantly the action items. The value of retrospectives is encouraging the team to find a solution to the problems that emerged on the sprint with the purpose of avoiding them and adapt the team to the forthcoming tasks.

With Retrospectives for Jira or Confluence, you won’t lose time organizing the event. You just need to make sure everyone is aware of the event, never mind if is asynchronous or not. The preferred format is there you only need to fill it with their observations and vote for the most important problem. The votes can be anonymous or not.

This is the best event to implement engagement and transparency because you will be capable of noticing the problem of the team and how they are facing it. One of the most remarkable benefits of using retrospectives is the possibility of assigning the action items to a member of the team as a Task Jira; that's how you will make sure that follow up will be done and all the team is committed with the improvement.

One of the most common problems of this event is that the members never keep a record or do follow up on their observation. You have all the information saved and you can back every time you want.

In Softwaredevtools we work to develop the best tools for your team because we know that having the best tools is the key to transparency & collaboration for agile remote teams.


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