What values to adopt in order to lead your agile team over the crisis.

Being in a remote team has a lot of advantages, but with all the chaos widespread for COVID-19 maintaining a good posture and focus on the deliverables is harder than usual. Everyone feels afraid, isolated and distracted. But as remote workers, we need to keep working and give our best.

But how to work with all that bad stuff happening outside? We want to share with you some approaches that not only will help your remote team in these times but all the years to come. These tips will help you improve your agile adoption.

It’s no secret that complexity is a factor present in the work process. As agilistas we know that adapting to problems is necessary. But what other kinds of behaviors help us as an agile team? First of all, we are going to talk about the 3 resilient Principles quoted by Harvard Bussines Review:

Diversity: some remote teams have this characteristic by nature, because of the multicultural environment. But beyond that, have a multidisciplinary team will help you to have other approaches, that will result in unique and diverse responses. Encourage your team members to be involved in all the processes; including all of your teams in every relevant meeting. Not just to improve their engagement. They will also understand all the processes, resulting in having the best deliverables.

Having the right people with the right skills for priority projects is among the top three delivery challenges, according to PMI research.
diversity teams

Modularity: This one can be a little contradictory to the last one, but you need to understand when to apply each one. Remember that Agile is a mindset. The entire team needs to know all the processes for better deliverables. But, that doesn’t mean that every member is able to work on all the areas. Modularity refers to dividing your team into little groups that help each other with their own business.

High complexity teams have three times more core team members than low complexity teams.

High complexity teams

Evolvability: This one may sound familiar to you because the basis of evolving is adapting. Have the capability to respond to a dynamic crisis - like COVID-19 - is the best way to maintain your company improving. There are no right answers, the answers need to change. You have to prove every action you need and determine which works better for you and remobilizing around the results is likely to be the most effective strategy in the short term.

Some other sources speak about the next values to deal with the changes resulting from the current crisis that will help us to stronger our agile adoption:

Leadership: Remember that agile is a mindset. You need to lead your team on agile principles and help team adoption. If you don’t believe it and with your attitude you display the wrong values, your team will never adopt agile rightly. Agile doesn’t have to be seen as a goal but as a culture.

Simplicity: You can’t expect your team to deliver the best result if they don’t understand what is going on. We are getting back to the collaboration & transparency. The right path to take all your team on the same channel is Simplicity. As I said some paragraphs above is not that all of your team is going to be a developer or designer. It's about how your team interprets the project. Find the way that your members understand the project and the agile methodology easily.

Team identity: According to PMI report project professionals rank collaborative leadership as the most essential team skill. And the best way to encourage collaboration is to keep your team engaged, feeling they are part of the team. This is not just about working on the same project. It's about working with your team and knowing that your opinion is important. Like during the retrospectives, having the certainty that when you give your opinion it will be considered. collaborative teams

Ready for anything: With all, we talked about the postures to adopt agile, we want to express that your teams need to be ready for anything. I’m not referring to have an answer right now, but being able to respond when trouble shows up. Being fast and flexible, you need to rethink the ways the work is done and what will you do in case of another crisis.

And remember to put the customer first: The way we used to know the company that creates a product and delivery is changing. Now is about how you redefine your product to satisfy the user needs, how to solve the problems that your user is having with your product and what kind of product your user is looking for.


We are also including some Must-Haves from PMI. Clearly looking beyond the usual technical realm, project professionals say the most essential team skills are:

  • Collaborative leadership
  • Empathy for the voice of the customer
  • Risk management
  • Innovative mindset
  • Methodology or framework governance

Agile is an excellent methodology for your team if you know how to implement and takes your team on the right path. Even more, if you are an agile remote team.

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