Agile Notes (No. 22)

Yes! We skipped a week. I took some time off for the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. last week.

Every Friday, I send out an email highlighting a concept relating to Agile/Scrum/Continuous Improvement. Lets get to it….

This week, we will stay with McKinsey & Co. This week we will look at: Revisiting Agile Teams After an Abrupt Shift to Remote. I am starting see the Agile enforcers loosen up on being so strict about teams MUST BE CO-LOCATED. I was working remotely as a Scrum Master/Project/Program Manager for a few years - before COVID-19. I have been a Release Train Engineer for a globally remote team with teams in every U.S. timezone, India, Russia, and other countries. I am currently a Scrum Master/Agile Coach for a remote team based in the U.S. Southeast. We make it work. I understand the challenges of the abrupt shift to remote. The rest of our company went through it.

This article is really helpful. It points out scenarios and issues you may encounter. It provides possible solutions. The authors provide a very handy matrix of these possible scenarios and solutions.

For my current team, we had many of the recommended solutions baked in. We do our Daily via video. In fact, we do EVERYTHING via video. I think this is critical to our success. We bring a little informality to the Daily, too. Sometimes, team members get on video early to just chat. We have fun. We joke. We tease. We don’t cross any professional lines. Sometimes, team members ask for a quick code review. We do this after we finish individual updates. Sometimes, we will do a Demo after the Daily. Its a way to solicit feedback and help from the team. This is outside a formal Demo during the Retrospective.

We use a web app for Sprint Planning and pointing. It facilitates the planning process and the points planning. This has been super helpful.

A programming note: I’m having surgery on December 14th. I might skip a couple of Notes while I recover. I don’t like to write ahead. I like to write in real-time. I should have a Note next week but we might miss a few between the surgery and the Holidays. I will definitely be back in 2021. Be good to each other. Keep good thoughts. Here’s hoping the dumpster fire of 2020 gets put out. :)

Thanks for reading. Please, leave a comment. Don’t be shy.

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