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Codestock 2019 - Build a successful remote agile team in three easy steps!


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Many agile coaches think it’s a prerequisite to co-locate the team in order to be successful. However, what if you have remote team members or are considering adding them to your team but afraid it will only slow you down.

As more people choose to work remotely it will be important to learn how to be a part of or lead successful remote agile teams. We will discuss three mindset changes that are critical to helping your team, regardless of location, implement agile and lean principals to help your team be a successful agile team.

Learning Outcomes:
Learn about the four remote team types and some of the traps and how to overcome them with your team.
Learn how to use the agile mindset of encouraging and managing for change to encourage the team to experiment with everything so they can decide when to change.
Learn how to encourage your team to emphasize communication and collaboration and come up with ways the team can do that effectively with remote teams.
Learn how to use agile principles and adapt them to your team.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Codestock 2019 - Build a successful remote agile team in three easy steps!

  1. 1. @paulmgower BUILD A SUCCESSFUL REMOTE AGILE TEAM in three easy steps!
  2. 2. @paulmgower
  3. 3. @paulmgower I discovered From Chaos to Successful Distributed AgileTeams: Collaborate to Deliver. I realized that Rothman and Kilby had written down much of what I have been teaching and promoting in my practice. I have integrated their ideas into this presentation.
  4. 4. @paulmgower How to build successful remote agile teams?
  5. 5. @paulmgower MINDSET
  6. 6. @paulmgower
  7. 7. @paulmgower
  8. 8. @paulmgower “Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.” Steve Maraboli
  9. 9. @paulmgower How to build successful remote agile teams?
  10. 10. @paulmgower AGILE & LEAN PRINCIPLES
  11. 11. @paulmgower AGILE SOFT. DEV. PRINCIPLES 1. Deliver early and often to satisfy the customer. 2. Welcome changing requirements. 3. Deliver working software frequently. 4. Business people and developers must work together 5. Trust motivated people to do their jobs. 6. Face-to-face conversation is the most efficient and effective method of conveying info. 7. Working software is the primary measure of progress. 8. Maintain a sustainable pace. 9. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility. 10.Simplicity—the art of maximizing the amount of work not done—is essential. 11.The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams. 12.Reflect and adjust at regular intervals.
  12. 12. @paulmgower LEAN SOFT. DEV. PRINCIPLES 1. Eliminate waste 2. Amplify learning 3. Decide as late as possible 4. Deliver as fast as possible 5. Empower the team 6. Build integrity in 7. See the whole
  13. 13. @paulmgower Start with what you do now Agree to pursue incremental, evolutionary change Respect the current process, roles, responsibilities & titles Encourage acts of leadership at all levels KANBAN PRINCIPLES
  14. 14. @paulmgower KANBAN CORE PROPERTIES 1. Visualize the workflow 2. Limit WIP 3. Manage flow 4. Make Process Policies Explicit 5. Improve Collaboratively (using models & the scientific method)
  15. 15. @paulmgower How to build successful remote agile teams?
  16. 16. @paulmgower REMOTE TEAMS
  17. 17. @paulmgower “The optimal distance for communication frequency is less than eight meters.”
  18. 18. @paulmgower RemoteTeamTypes 1. Satellite 2. Cluster 3. Nebula
  19. 19. @paulmgower One or few remote from team Satellite
  20. 20. @paulmgower Team in a few locations Cluster
  21. 21. @paulmgower Whole team dispersed Nebula
  22. 22. @paulmgower 3 MINDSETS • Experimentation • Communication & Collaboration • Principle-based agile approaches TRAPS
  23. 23. @paulmgower EXPERIMENTATION
  24. 24. @paulmgower
  25. 25. @paulmgower
  26. 26. @paulmgower
  27. 27. @paulmgower
  28. 28. @paulmgower “Running too many experiments at once can lead to ‘change fatigue’. Instead, run experiments with a clear hypothesis and a short duration.”
  29. 29. @paulmgower Insufficient Experimentation Mindset TRAP
  30. 30. @paulmgower EMPOWERTEAM • Ask:“What are our hypotheses, what options do we have to test them, and how will we measure the results?” • Set a time box and regularly gather data. • Map theValue Stream toVisualize CycleTime
  31. 31. @paulmgower Leaders should experiment SOLUTION
  33. 33. @paulmgower
  34. 34. @paulmgower
  35. 35. @paulmgower
  36. 36. @paulmgower Team Not Created for Collaboration TRAP
  37. 37. @paulmgower
  38. 38. @paulmgower Build Respect with Working Agreements SOLUTION
  40. 40. @paulmgower REMOTETEAM PRINCIPLES 1. Establish acceptable hours of overlap. 2. Create transparency at all levels. 3. Create a culture of continuous improvement with experiments. 4. Practice pervasive communication at all levels.
  41. 41. @paulmgower REMOTETEAM PRINCIPLES 1. Establish acceptable hours of overlap. 2. Create transparency at all levels. 3. Create a culture of continuous improvement with experiments. 4. Practice pervasive communication at all levels. 5. Assume good intention. 6. Create a project rhythm. 7. Create a culture of resilience. 8. Default to collaborative work.
  42. 42. @paulmgower Forcing a Specific Agile Approach TRAP
  43. 43. @paulmgower OWNERSHIP • Allow the team the space to work with the Agile & Lean Principles we discussed. • Allow the team to fail and learn from it. • Help the team focus on customer value delivery.
  44. 44. @paulmgower Keep cadences as short as possible SOLUTION
  45. 45. @paulmgower MORETRAPS
  46. 46. @paulmgower Save Money with Lower Salaries TRAP
  47. 47. @paulmgower LOWER SALARIES • Allow team space to innovate and learn. • Allow them space to collaborate. • Have at least 4 hours of overlap
  48. 48. @paulmgower Acceptable Hours of Overlap SOLUTION
  49. 49. @paulmgower Management with Traditional Mindset TRAP
  50. 50. @paulmgower MANAGER’S MINDSET • “To create a successful distributed agile culture, managers need to change their mindset also.” • “Successful agile managers work up and down the hierarchy, helping their colleagues and their managers change the measurements and desired outcomes.”
  51. 51. @paulmgower
  52. 52. @paulmgower Cultivate Growth Mindset SOLUTION
  53. 53. @paulmgower MINDSETS • Foster Experimentation • Encourage Collaboration • Guide with Principles not Practices
  54. 54. @paulmgower AVOIDTRAPS • Insufficient Experimentation Mindset • Team Not Created for Collaboration • Forcing a Specific Agile Approach • Save Money with Lower Salaries • Management withTraditional Mindset
  55. 55. @paulmgower EXTRATIPS
  56. 56. @paulmgower FACE-TO-FACETIME • Helps fix systemic problems that can cause increases in cycle time. • Builds respect within the team learning strengths and weaknesses. • Meet for a minimum of one week per quarter
  57. 57. @paulmgower “You might think the travel expenses are ‘too high.’ However, the team saves time and money through faster clarification of the vision, mission, goals, and working agreements.”
  58. 58. @paulmgower BACKCHANNEL • Dedicated chat channel to support synchronous or asynchronous conversations. • Always available—it adds context and allows people to collaborate. • The whole team uses it and only the team uses it.
  59. 59. @paulmgower ALWAYS USEVIDEO
  60. 60. @paulmgower “The problem human beings face is not that we aim too high and fail, but that we aim too low and succeed.” Michelangelo
  61. 61. @paulmgower Thanks to Rothman and Kilby for From Chaos to Successful Distributed AgileTeams: Collaborate to Deliver.
  62. 62. @paulmgower TAKE-AWAYS @paulmgower
  63. 63. @paulmgower RESOURCES • From Chaos to Successful Distributed AgileTeams - • Lean Software Development:An AgileToolkit - • What is Kanban? - • Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change forYourTechnology Business - Technology-Business/dp/0984521402/ • The Scientific Method - How ChemistsThink - Map%3A_Introductory_Chemistry_(Tro)/01%3A_The_Chemical_World/1.4%3A_The_Scientific_Method_-_How_Chemists_Think • The Education System: Now ClimbThatTree - • Value Stream Mapping for Knowledge Work and Services - knowledge-work-and-service-organizations • Tools for remote teams -