Agile development was created with the idea that teams would work in close proximity with one another in order to operate faster as a team. But, let’s be honest, working remotely today is as ubiquitous as Elvis in Vegas.
Most businesses now have a few – or several – distributed teams. And for good reason. Strong talent can be found in less competitive markets, and teams can work around the clock.
Even so, being a remote agile team comes with challenges like coordinating across time zones, building team rapport, collaborating among different development cultures, and scheduling meetings. Luckily, communication tools like HipChat can bridge the gaps created by distance and time.
Below we’ve gathered four tips that will help your remote team go agile.
1. Structure your team
Develop a single piece of technology in each office to boost autonomy and get work done more efficiently.
HipChat Tip: When your team begins to work remotely, it’s the perfect time to use HipChat. Boost autonomy by providing an open room for your team to communicate and share information.
2. Build team rapport
Give remote teammates the opportunity to create personal connections. Doing so will build trust, minimize missed expectations, ease self-organization, and boost morale.
HipChat Tip: HipChat lets you communicate via chat, voice, video, or text. Multiple options reduce obstacles preventing communication, giving your team the most opportunities to share business and get to know one another.
3. Create a united development culture
Keep your team in sync by laying down the framework for a united development culture. Helpful tips: over-communicate decisions, minimize the friction in setting up the development culture, clearly define the definition of “done,” and create guidelines for filing bugs.
HipChat Tip: Create a room for your devs to report, discuss, and announce news. Integrate the room with JIRA, so your entire team can stay updated on projects and tasks.
4. Maximize the golden hour
Take advantage of the hours when the local and remote teams are both in the office by holding standups.
HipChat Tip: Encourage your team to set their timezones in their settings, so they can know everyone’s local time. That way, you can be sensitive when you call a standup and you’re not pinging people while they sleep!
In a distributed organization, the reality is that every team is remote. All teams need to adapt and learn how to share work between offices, communicate effectively, and grow a consistent culture across geographies.
The most effective teams seek to find and share successful practices across all locations, with help from communication tools like HipChat.