Agile Organization

Has COVID-19 Marked the End of Agile?

Today, distributed teams are a norm in many companies. But, they can be challenging to run effectively. In agile teams, the most efficient and effective method of conveying information within and to a development team is face-to-face conversation. Industry experts believe that remote teams can bring more complexity, communication gaps, culture gaps, skill gaps, lack of transparency, and time zone challenges. Has remote work killed the agile team? In this article at Forbes, John Schwarz explains if COVID-19 has actually marked the end of an agile workforce.

The Modern Agile

Major organizations like Facebook, Google, and Salesforce have announced plans to allow employees to work from home well into 2021. Twitter has announced a permanent work-from-home policy, allowing employees to decide if they want to work from home or from the office.

On the other hand, agile was designed to make software development collaborative, people-centric, and iterative. “A core tenet of this manifesto was that face-to-face meetings are the most efficient and effective format for project success,” says John. For many organizations, scrums, stand-ups, team meetings, and brainstorming sessions became a part of their routine. The current situation has made it impossible for teams to collaborate in the style that agile intended initially. Today, organizations are highly reliant on digital tools to facilitate daily interactions.

Project managers must set the meeting well in advance, and leaders must actively plan to engage the team members, unlike the spontaneous conversations that encouraged the idea of informal brainstorming.

How to Overcome This Challenge?

Remain vigilant about maintaining the team communication. Ensure to implement ‘social hygiene’ check-ins. You can use these check-ins to get a sense of a team’s mood, connectedness, personal challenges, and workload.

Further, make sure new employees learn their roles ‘on the job’ by observing others. In this age of the remote world, allowing new employees to learn from their more experienced colleagues online is critical in the new remote agile world.

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