Managing virtual scrum teams is about clear communication, keeping everything and everybody in the loop, and aiming at self-sufficiency. Here are 7 strategies to manage a remote scrum team:
Focus on Collaboration
Collaboration tools are crucial to bring all the team members of the remote scrum team together for comprehensive and coherent product knowledge and development. However, time differences can be a road blocker for seamless collaboration and communication. Hence, managers should focus on asynchronous communication which involves the team to collaborate without real-time interactions. The collaboration channels should be relevant, accessible, and transparent to leverage them rightfully. Three basic tools to facilitate collaboration are:
- Whiteboards: Traditional offices use work progress boards for discussing product plans, blockers, and work progress. Whiteboards, like Miro and Zoom, could help the teams to replicate that environment with a digital whiteboard.
- Project management tools: Project management tools like ClickUp allows managers to allot work and track progress of the team members. Also, it enables them to assign tasks to individual team members and create sprints beforehand.
- Communication tools (Chanty, Slack, Microsoft Teams): Communication tools help to discuss work progress, blockers, and product updates to have unified project knowledge.
Project management tool selection should be done carefully. It needs to increase efficiency and handle the workload of a virtual scrum team. The tool needs to be able to:
- Track realistic sprints
- Add assignee to avoid ambiguities
- Schedule tasks with realistic deadlines
- Scale tasks and reduce stress for internal teams
- Update work progress in real-time.
A better work progress tracking process helps in efficient sprint planning and task allocation. Also, the work progress is easier to review as everything is centralized on a single platform.
A virtual scrum team needs to be flexible to ensure the work is completed with no extra backlogs. For instance, a daily standup at 9 am sharp might not be feasible for all the members. Instead, shifting to an activity tool where all the members would update and remain in sync is better for remote scrum teams. Your end goal should be to attain the end goal and not strictly follow the SOPs. If you can increase efficiency with tweaks here and there, then your team should embrace those changes.
Better Sprint Planning
Sprint planning is crucial for a scrum team. It is the core of work progress. A manager needs to measure the work done, backlog, and current tasks allocated and proactively plan sprints for the team. It requires constant updates from the team and effort from the manager’s end. Managers should use data from previous sprints to measure, analyze gaps, and enhance sprint planning.
Secondary backlog, constant updates, and multiple tools have one main goal to centralize information. Centralized information is vital to keep teams in sync and build transparency. Often scrum teams face the issue of duplication of work or misinformation. A centralized base helps in tackling such problems. Also, the manager could document all the vital project information to ensure data consistency throughout the team.
Feedback, Progress Updates and Project Visibility
Feedback and sprint retrospectives are great starting points for measuring work progress. Additionally, regular standups highlight work progress and assist in planning sprints accordingly. Analytics tools like Hatica assist in measuring the progress of your distributed development teams. It is a comprehensive platform that tracks your team’s work progress by integrating with different developer tools. It helps you identify bottlenecks until the deployment of issues. The manager gets insights into cycle time which help in better sprint planning. From burnout to unbalanced workload, Hatica highlights all the gaps in your virtual scrum team.
- Trust - Collect feedback, sprint retrospectives and team reaction using insights from data from tools like Hatica
- Self-reliance - sets realistic expectations and helps the teams to communicate better
- Continuously optimize processes and workflows - improves communication, efficiency, and the project's overall performance
Are Scrum Remote Teams Worth the Effort?
70% of companies are planning to opt for a hybrid work model. Remote scrum teams may replace traditional work teams eventually. Hence, managers should focus on planning and tool deployment to manage remote scrum teams seamlessly.
The remote scrum teams help managers to adapt to dynamic product requirements. Finding the gaps and using the right counter-strategy can increase employee efficiency. Collaboration tools like Asana, Confluence, Slack, etc., and analytics tools like Hatica become a helping hand to run remote teams effectively when working with distributed teams.
Remote scrum teams are the need of the hour. With a strategic approach, managers can leverage them to better product delivery and improve workflows.
Request a demo to explore Hatica for getting the most out of your remote scrum practices.