Project Management

Developing Remote Agile Teams

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

An article from consulting firm McKinsey & Company called “Revisiting agile teams after an abrupt shift to remote” stood at for me because of some statistics it quoted; in particular, two Harvard Business Review sourced statistics: 52% of people said they didn’t feel as though they were being treated equally by their colleagues, 41% of people said they believed colleagues were saying bad things about them behind their backs.

Those are scary numbers. The second statistic is mitigated somewhat by the fact that 31% of collocated workers also worry about people talking behind their backs, but that’s hardly encouraging. When I was asked for advice on how to go about building new agile teams while everyone was working remotely, those numbers impacted how I responded, and I thought it was worth exploring here.

There are a number of obvious elements to the article, but reminding ourselves of the basics helps to ensure these things stay at the front of our minds. Those obvious things include:

> Ensure that communication is a constant focus. Especially with remote teams it’s almost impossible to overcommunicate. When teams are first coming together it’s critical that everyone understands what’s going on, how they have to contribute, how the team is working together, etc. It’s also important to communicate to everyone collectively wherever possible, that way everyone gets the …


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- George Bernard Shaw