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How To Manage Distributed Teams With Agile Project Management

How To Manage Distributed Teams With Agile Project Management 1, Project Management Blog
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The Agile project management process gives much significance to communication and collaboration. It requires team members to be under one roof to carry out various ceremonies such as stand-up meetings, sprint review meetings etc.

But when working with distributed teams it becomes challenging to manage them in an agile workflow. To truly carry out the methodologies of agile project development with remote teams, project managers need to bring out new strategies.

In the following blog we will delve deep into the process of managing remote projects using agile methodology.

By 2025, 32.6 million Americans will work remote

 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.

Three 1, Project Management Blog

(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 when managing their distributed agile teams.

Contents

Top 10 Trends on Remote Work You Should Know

Remote Work Stats, Project Management Blog

(Source: vpnalert.com)

  1. Remote Work Adoption: In 2023, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 42% of the U.S. workforce was working remotely full-time.
  2. Hybrid Work Models: A Gartner survey revealed that 82% of company leaders plan to allow employees to work remotely at least part of the time post-pandemic.
  3. Global Remote Work Trends: A Buffer survey found that 99% of respondents would like to work remotely, at least some of the time, for the rest of their careers.
  4. Productivity and Remote Work: According to a study by Prodoscore, the average workday lengthened by 49 minutes in 2023, but productivity increased by 20%.
  5. Remote Work Technology Adoption: Microsoft Teams saw a 775% increase in the number of meetings and a 222% increase in the number of participants between February and June 2020.
  6. Impact on Commercial Real Estate: A report by CBRE suggests that office leasing in the U.S. dropped by 36% in 2023, with a trend towards more flexible workspaces.
  7. Remote Work Challenges: A FlexJobs survey found that 51% of remote workers cited distractions at home as the biggest challenge to productivity.
  8. Remote Job Market: Between 2015 and 2023, remote job postings on Indeed increased by 460%.
  9. Mental Health and Remote Work: The State of Remote Work report by Buffer found that 20% of remote workers struggle with loneliness, making it one of the top challenges of remote work.
  10. Remote Work Security: A survey by Cybersecurity Insiders reported that 71% of organizations increased their cybersecurity measures due to the expanded remote workforce during the pandemic.

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 Managing Remote Teams?

Some of the benefits of creating distributed teams include the following:

  1. Talent Accessibility: Building a distributed software development team enables project managers to hire top talents from across the world.
  2. Cost-Effective: The rates and salaries of team members can vary according to their geographical areas. For example the average salary of a software developer is around $100,000 in the USA and UK. But you can hire competent developers from other countries with an annual salary less than $30,000.
  3. Increased Productivity: When working with distributed members, the chance of losing valuable team members is less as they perform better, take fewer leaves and get work done faster than in-office environment.

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.

Orangescrum In App Chat With One User, Project Management Blog

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

Orangescrum In App Chat With Group, Project Management Blog

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 15 days trial and share your experience & suggestions with me! I’d love to read them all 🙂

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