Agile teams are commonly known to work in a highly efficient way on dedicated projects and are co-located in one location. They are they key to an organization’s disruptive, focused, and short term projects. They adapt and learn quickly and can be the competitive advantage of an organization. They make decisions fast, communicate frequently and collaborate on multiple things.
With the pandemic shifting teams to a remote world, there have been concerns about building highly efficient and productive agile remote teams. Although it might sound complicated, it isn’t. Remote agile teams can be as efficient as physical ones if built the right way. And post pandemic, these teams can shift to a hybrid model and take advantage of both remote and office environments.
Firstly, the key to build a remote agile team is to build a remote collaborative culture. In office, agile teams bond over chats, group discussions, snacks or lunches. In a remote world, although the gap between personal and professional lives is reduced, there is a greater level of hesitation in communication with one another. Therefore, it is important for remote agile teams to focus on team bonding before anything else. This can be by introducing virtual happy hours, virtual watch parties, introducing family and pets etc. These personal bonds help in building a great level of camaraderie with one another. When team members get along well on a personal level, the teams become more productive.
Remote agile teams also need to recognize the fact that what worked in physical office settings might not work in remote settings. For example, whiteboards that exist in physical offices make it easy for communicating ideas and representing them. In a virtual setting, ideas need to be curated carefully due to the absence of white boards. Moreover, meetings need to be organized in advance and be prepared for. This helps in preventing crucial information from missing out.
Overall, the strength of remote agile teams is in team building. Occasional virtual team building programs that help in improving collaboration, decision making, communication, empathy and leadership will help in building efficient and productive remote agile teams.