Agile methodology is used globally as a useful and practical framework for software development that assists teams to render value to their clients faster. The significant advantage of this methodology is that it is flexible i.e. it can adapt and change at any step, depending on the market conditions, situations, feedback, etc.
While entering the remote developer’s world, the major obstacle that the managers have to overcome is to change the employees’ mindset by accepting that the developer will not be in plain sight, and where they can manage and monitor the work being done.
Long gone are the days, when software development teams were physically present in the same office and interacting with each other. At the same time, this was thought to be the best way to get the tasks done. Not many employees worked remotely.
Why hire and work with an agile team?
The agile approach aims at the development teams to uncover better ways of building software products by providing a clear framework that in general promotes, iterative development, team collaboration, with a focus on quality and efficiency.
Moreover, it is to be noted that to run a successful agile software team, trust is crucial. You can pass the work between the teams only when there is a good rapport between employees. Personal connections build trust, and we can avoid misconceptions. Via an agile framework, employees can be encouraged to interact with each other to create a high culture, confidence, and increase their morale.
As compared to the present situation, many organizations today have distributed teams. They try to ease the burden on project infrastructure and try to improvise the employee’s comfort level.
Here are some steps, you could successfully implement an agile approach:
1. Define the product vision statement :
Before initiating, we need to work on the project with the distributed development team. Because it is necessary to determine the volume of tasks that must be completed within the given time, this will build a comprehensive work strategy and present the entire picture of the project to the team. The scope of work contains timelines, reports, and milestones for all the deliveries that are expected by the team.
Based on the work strategy, the project can be further divided into several parts and the particular set of work that would later be used for planning product iterations. This makes the development of the product more flexible and makes it easier to change the priority of the tasks according to the user feedback, including other external factors.
2. Conduct regular demos :
Demonstration (demos) of the immediate result of the teamwork that is usually held at the end of each Iteration. So, the primary purpose of conducting the demonstration is to present the picture of the tasks performed by the team, to show what the team managed to achieve during the sprint and whether they meet the expected requirements.
At demos, primarily, the project manager should provide constructive feedback to the team and should make sure that it is documented. Moreover, it is ideal for analyzing the last Iteration, identifying the positive and the negative points, and develop solutions for the same.
As all the members of the software development team are actively involved in the demo, there’s a continuous collaboration between all the parties, which is also crucial for the distributed teams.
3. Invest in collaboration technology :
Collaboration technology is beneficial for offshore development teams to be more productive and efficient. Tools, for instance, Trello, Slack, assists in making the collaboration workflow easy and transparent. These tools don’t replace sitting in the room together; in fact, they keep the whole team on the same page, despite the differences in locations and time zones.
4. Team meetings to sync up team members :
A daily standup, 20 minutes talk or get-together, who share the work between different time zones are an excellent example of agile development teams. The primary purpose of the daily standups is to set the goals and agendas for the day, as well as to discuss and share the problems. Such regular meetings are a simple and yet effective and efficient way to make sure that the entire distributed agile development team is synchronized.
5. Build a uniform software development culture :
Some ways to unite software development culture for a distributed team:
When you shift from the local office team to the distributed remote side, you need to convey all the necessary details with the team members and communicate all the critical decisions from time to time. Consider Use a content management system or a channel like Trello to allow every employee to share day to day updates about their tasks and day to day problems. Use a content management system or a chain like Trello to enable every employee to share day to day updates about their assignments and day to day problems.
b) Consistent Development Environment Across The Team:
Adapt to the consistent development environment across the team to make it easier and convenient for the employees to work together and to track down the issues.
c) Complete the Action:
You should provide a complete action plan with code written in it, pull requests created, system reviewed, has been tested and merged into the appropriate branch.
d) Provide Clear Guidelines For Bug Reports And Troubleshooting:
When some problem occurs, everybody doesn’t need to be online. So you need to maintain proper guidelines for troubleshooting and bug reports stepwise and make this accessible to everyone.
And consequently, anyone on the team can narrow down an issue. Also, consider conducting a code review and automation tests about the codebase. This would help the affected group to ensure that the deployment doesn’t create unwanted side effects.
6. Conduct Scrum Sessions:
Agile development teams who work between different time zones, Scrum is an excellent example for them. Video conference for Scrum is an ideal platform for Q and A sessions. And to discuss the upcoming agenda. Having a daily Scrum is proven to be a good practice, especially for an Agile development team working in remote areas.
A video conferencing could be an effective way of ensuring the entire team is in sync with the agenda. Moreover, you need to make sure that everyone’s happy and no matter what the time zone they work in. Rotation of the meeting between different time zones is an effective way as well.
Putting it Together:
It is understood that In a distributed organization, almost every team is remote. They need to make the required adjustments among themselves and understand how to share the roles and responsibilities between different workplaces, although Good communication and great company culture is the key to the success of remote Agile teams.