Remote Teams are working teams which do not work together in one office. Instead, the team is spread out over different locations (nearshore, onshore, offshore). Remote Moves are Moves training steps which have been designed to enhance the working capabilities of remote teams.
With Remote Moves, teams working at different locations can improve their synchronization so that they even exceed the productivity of single-site teams.
Remote as an Advantage
Contrary to the popular belief that working in different locations is an obstacle to good productive collaboration that is fun for team members and delivers impressive results, the performance of remote teams can even surpass those of co-located teams. Their advantages for employers and employees can outweigh those of a single-site team as well.
A prerequisite for this is giving the team the opportunity to learn the art of remote working and to train itself in optimally coordinating and synchronizing work among team members. Just like a football team has to practice a new game variation on the field, a team spread out over different locations needs to practice its interaction.
The best way for a team to practice is on the job during their daily team work, without additional efforts and any transfer issues.
Each Agile Moves training unit is based on the principles of Kaizen, a method for achieving goals by utilizing small, simple and manageable steps. These principles also apply to Training Schedules, which
- are geared towards a defined goal and
- contain Moves that are executed consecutively or are merged with one another.
The following training plans are designed to specifically facilitate Remote Moves:
Synchronization and Cadence
The daily cadence is the consistent synchronization rhythm within a working day. If I were to organize an orienteering run, and I put up sign posts only every 5 km, it’s more likely that a runner will not manage to stay on course as when I put up sign posts at each kilometer.
Steady cadences are the pulse of the team, and can be put into effect by using defined time slices while working together. An easy example of how to organize time in such a way is the Pomodoro Technique. Time slices supply the rhythm or cadence of the team, although only a part of the working day (max. 3 to 4 hours) is planned in time slices. Once this daily cadence has been established, it needs to be filled with synchronization.
An example of synchronization can be found in pairing sequences. Remote teams can carry these out in 30 to 60 minute time slices, each with a defined objective in mind: two team members meet online and concentrate working together as a pair for the duration of a time slice on a previously selected task. This dramatically reduces the batch size, and those who haven’t yet tried it will be amazed by the results that this compact, concentrated working method can produce. Afterwards, a brief look at the pairing time slice gives insight into what went well and what can be improved. Since the team is working in the same cadence, it is easy to exchange pairing partners at the start of the next time slice – this aspect significantly contributes to improved synchronization within the team.
In addition to the synchronization of individual team members, another aspect of synchronization is the synchronization of the entire team, which should take place daily within the team’s rhythm.
Including frequently synchronized points and a regular rhythm in collaborative work provides for a steady flow in the team’s work, increases alignment and reduces variance and standby times. This holds true for all teams, however, in remote teams, where all the members equally rely on synchronization to be successful as a group, a missing rhythm will be noticed more quickly.