Working as part of a team raises its own unique set of challenges. However, the current situation means that most of the time team members of many companies are working remotely, and the challenges are multiplied. Ensuring every relevant team member is kept in the loop is essential, as is making sure you have the tools to successfully collaborate on projects.
While it feels obvious that clear communication should be easy to achieve, language barriers, time zones, and cultural differences can all add up and potentially make things awkward.
The solution and what you need to know
The best tool will allow us to organize our daily work, easily track our progress and that of the team, integrate with other tools our team uses and keep everyone notified about any updates to things that are relevant to them or their tasks. Aligning all the different aspects of a remote team in this way is a challenge Targetprocess is more than up to, and below are our insights and tips to help you achieve seamless remote collaboration.
- Organizing your daily workload
- Tips for handling remote communication
- Holding events, such as PI or Sprint planning
- Aligning all remote team members around clear goals
Get updates to your messenger or email
Remote communication between a team can be a big challenge. We cannot absorb information by just staying in the same room as our team anymore. One way to stay up to date is to get updates about important events to your Slack or MS Teams messenger.
These rules can be creative - from a basic change of assignments and state to reminders that a particular feature is approaching its due date and needs more attention.
Integrating with Slack, Miro and email makes communication really simple and ensures unstructured ideas and discussions become structured work.
For example, the use of a couple of features to keep up to date with progression, such as Follow Entities, allows you to be notified by email whenever an important discussion is happening. You can also use Mentions in comments to make sure all the relevant team members are involved in a conversation.
When you want to collaborate with an external party, you can utilise the Shared View feature. One of the main benefits of following a feature is that it groups events into two-hour batches, allowing you to avoid distractions from notifications and reducing the number of automatic inbound emails.
As well as following individual user stories, you can follow entire Epics or even Products to get highlights of what's going on.
In order to increase productivity, you can use Automation rules. These allow you to set a predefined reaction that will take place when an action is taken in Targetprocess or a third-party service. Automating certain tasks ensures you never miss anything and reduces the time you spend trying to stay in the loop. For example:
- Set a request to automatically reopen the User Story when a comment is added.
- Change the state of a related User Story if a GitHub pull request is merged.
The Automation rules are far-reaching and are capable of a lot more than we can show here, and needless to say, the more tasks that are automated the less likely you are to miss anything and the less you need to do. Automation rules can also bring the work back to the forefront, which can be particularly useful if you ever find yourself procrastinating.
Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important. Stephen Covey
Using Automation rules together with integrations and features in this way keep everyone up to date in real-time with the minimum amount of effort. Having all these resources at your fingertips also makes the daily stand-up more productive.
Hold events remotely instead of in-person
There are many recurring events we’ve grown used to taking part in, in a physical capacity, which undoubtedly has its advantages. However, just because you’re working remotely doesn’t mean these events have to be any less productive. For example:
Targetprocess can ensure remote PI Planning is simple and seamless. You can add the program increment, create the entities used to track and manage ARTs (Agile Release trains), products, objectives, program increments and iterations. It can also be done in a way that ensures all team members and stakeholders receive the communications relevant to their role and level.
There are other factors you must consider, such as accommodating the various time zones of participants. Once the PI Planning is complete, teams can manage their Stories, Features, bugs and dependencies from multiple Boards and Lists.
The flexibility of Targetprocess makes it the best option when you can’t hold face-to-face meetings. Whether it’s remote team communication, DevOps and program metrics, or confidence voting, it’s a truly collaborative experience.
Targetprocess Planning Poker feature
Whether it’s during PI Planning, Retrospectives, or Sprint Planning, our Planning Poker feature provides a fun way to build consensus estimates. With this new estimation tool you can run an estimation session for a particular work entity, share a session link with the team, collect votes and proceed to the next entity. The team lead can see voting results from the team and tweak and apply them to the effort field with a single click.
Because this is a Targetprocess feature, there is no need to download or register for extra services or apps.
Performing remote retrospectives through Targetprocess means you don’t need to invest any money or time into acquiring and learning additional tools. Check-in, collecting feedback, and creating items to be actioned and following up can all be easily collected and organized using Targetprocess.
‘People often say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it daily’
Teams can decide which action items are needed for the next iteration and which to keep for a later date. The Sprint Backlog dashboard makes managing Action Items really simple. While the retrospective itself will require more than this, Targetprocess makes feedback collection and Action Item creation seamless and straightforward.
If you want your collaborative work to have a more visual element, then you can use the integration with Miro, embedding Miro Boards into Targetprocess. Miro is a visual collaboration platform which can be used by the whole company to collect ideas, provide feedback, and express views on a single board simultaneously. These strengths contribute to your work when performing remote retrospectives, as well as for strategy planning and product prototypes etc.
Align remote team members around clear goals
Whether it’s a consistent part of your business culture or a temporary measure, having your teams split across multiple locations can have a negative impact on how everyone progresses. Using clearly defined Objectives & Key Results (OKRs) provides everyone with a clear image of the bigger picture, and their own place within it.
Seeing all the work items in progress or planned to reach key results and achieve your objective ensures even a team working remotely all remain on the same page and pushing in the same direction.
The need to flex our agile muscles is greater than ever. Thankfully, the flexibility of Targetprocess easily facilitates remote working, often while integrating solutions you already utilize. We really are just scratching the surface of what you can do with Targetprocess. If you’d like to discover more about anything above, or have other questions, why not enjoy a live demo or request more info.
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