How To Manage Distributed Teams With Agile Project Management by Jay Get Our Tips Straight to your inbox T T T T June 25, 2019 50% of the U.S. workforce will be remote by 2020. In other words, managing a distributed team will lead to difficulties with engagement and collaboration, it’s time to rethink your workplace strategy. Here’s how to manage remote/distributed teams with Agile Project Management. From a recent report, it was found, “In 2018/19, the application development process has emerged as the one witnessing maximum outsourcing opportunity – with 56% of the organizations around the world outsourcing their development requirements”. (Source- appinventiv.com) Outsourced software development has grown robustly in recent years. Companies are getting multiple perks by outsourcing their product development. The two main advantages are access to global technology skillset and the cost advantage. Most of the projects have teams that are dispersed and work on a distributed model. And since 2005, the Remote Workforce Has Increased by 140%. That means exactly 10% each year. (Source- blog.soshace.com) Hence, remote companies have started following Agile Project Management to make sure that the distributed teams can connect with each other and complete the projects on time. An agile team can bring business agility, develop high-quality software, and work in a competitive environment. But companies have to cope with multiple challenges including cultural gaps, language barriers, and time zone differences while managing their distributed agile teams. How do we manage distributed agile teams effectively? #1. Make Your Teams Agile: Agile teams are self-organizing and hence have a high accountability quotient. The freedom to decide on the next product increment leads to higher project engagement. Teams are more open to understanding the customer’s needs, motivated to own outcomes and ensure project success. #2. Distribute Work Evenly: Make sure all the team members understand their role & maintain transparent task allocation. Overloaded resources tend to lose focus and are often reported to deliver less than optimal quality output. With clarity around project schedule and desired results, teams are motivated to deliver on time and are forthcoming in achieving the common goal. #3. Establish Ground Rules: Defining practical & easy to implement engagement rules while working with remote teams help in smooth execution. Ensure everybody on the team is aware of what is expected of them, layout modes of communication, frequency and the desired information to be shared. Provide absolute clarity about the tasks at hand; what needs to be completed when and by whom. Well-defined roles and responsibilities help prevent bottlenecks, faster issue resolution, and task completion. #4. Conduct Daily Scrum Meetings: Daily scrum meetings are an important part of agile methodology. In these meetings, the entire team comes together for a short period of time, where they review: What was done yesterday? What has to be done today? And so on… The team is immediately briefed on the impending hurdles of the day. A project manager or scrum master can use a project management tool to conduct efficient scrum meetings. #5. Regular Feedback from the Product Owner: A product owner is a person who is responsible for managing the product backlog and increasing the value of the work. Product Owners organize sprint reviews and sprint retrospectives to ensure the team is in sync with the requirements and needs of the customer. A product owner bridges the communication gap between the team & the stakeholders and enables proper flow of information among all involved while preventing scope creep. #6. Invest in Tools For Better Collaboration & Communication: According to a study, “97% of employees said they believe communication impacts daily tasks”. With the use of an online tool, teams can improve their outcomes and productivity. In this digital era, communication has become one of the biggest aspects of managing an agile team. “The best communication is face to face, with communications occurring through facial expression, body language, intonation, and words. When a whiteboard is thrown in and the teams work out design as a group, the communication bandwidth absolutely sizzles.” – Ken Schwaber, author of The Enterprise and Scrum A good project management tool can help in team collaboration and communication efficiently and increase productivity. But which tool can be the best choice among all? Tools like Orangescrum have emerged rapidly in bringing the team together and offering them an all in one collaborative platform with automation, integrations, and features that allow them to focus on their core work and deliver their best work. How Orangescrum enables agile product development? Some of the outstanding features of Orangescrum are listed below; Product Backlogs and Sprint: The Product Backlog is the list of all the tasks that need to be done within the project. It is your product wish list. Prioritize and pull out user stories in the backlog to define your next incremental product and deliver them via Sprints. Story, Epic, and Story Point: Stories are a collection of the next set of features that the team can commit to finish within a one or two-week sprint. Epics are the collection of those Stories which can be broken down into a number of small tasks. Story Point is a term used in Scrum Project Management to estimate the difficulty of implementing or completing the task. There is no restriction of scale for Story Points in Orangescrum. Velocity Chart: Orangescrum’s Velocity Chart clearly indicates as to how much of the committed work has been completed by the team for a given sprint. Burndown Chart: Orangescrum’s Burndown Chart is a graphical representation of the Remaining Estimated Hour vs. Remaining Actual Hour in scrum projects. Track Sprint Progress: You can track Sprint Progress from the Active Sprint Page and Sprint Reports enable you to check the team’s performance across the completed Sprints. What Are The Benefits of Using Orangescrum Agile Project Management? Constant Feedback & Monitoring: Greater client satisfaction High-quality product delivery on time Reduces risks Decreases incident response time Quick Decision Making & Execution: Provides clear visual information about what is happening You can easily determine the budget and timeline Proper future planning is possible Better backlog optimization Greater Collaboration & Productivity: You can get a clear visualization of who is working on what Encourages regular collaboration for issue fixing You can avoid errors quickly You can plan for short review meetings How Orangescrum can help in bridging the communication gap? Orangescrum has In-App Chat Option for SaaS (cloud) users that enables real-time communication within teams and prevents unwanted delays. Get the required focus from relevant stakeholders and resolve issues faster. Just type a message, troubleshoot, and brainstorm in real-time. It is user-friendly and easy to operate. It is simple, quick and efficient! Features of Orangescrum In-App Chat: See real-time availability of resources Auto-add contacts of all users from your company Group and private chat with your team(s) Share a file with any user Learn more details on Orangescrum’s In-App chat Conclusion: Agile is widely adopted by companies for timely product releases. Scrum Project Management offers a time-boxed and distraction-free product development as teams focus on just the incremental feature set defined in the sprint. Thus, agile teams ship quality software out of the gates faster. So have you set up your Agile Scrum Board in Orangescrum? Not yet? Give it a try. I’m sure you will love it. Sign Up for a one-month FREE trial and share your experience & suggestions with me! I’d love to read them all 🙂 Related articles you may Like: Product Update: Agile Project Management with Scrum Boards, Backlog & Sprints in OrangeScrum Why Agile Project Management Is Better Than Waterfall? Brief Talk About Scrum – The Most Popular Agile Methodology 6 Reasons you should Adopt Agile Project Management NOW!