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Remote Working in Agile Teams | Agile Business Consortium

Remote Working

Maintaining a sense of communication, collaboration and accountability across distributed, dispersed and hybrid teams

Remote working is a fact of life. Although co-location is the gold standard for agile teams, there are circumstances when such co-location is unfeasible.

Remote working comes in three main flavours:

  • distributed teams, where a number of co-located sub-teams are located in different places;
  • dispersed teams, where individuals are distributed in different places;
  • and hybrid teams, where a largely co-located team also includes a number of remote workers.

Distributed teams are more common than dispersed or hybrid and have been studied more fully. All three situations face challenges (pain points), many of which are common in all remote working situations, but some pain points are more painful for certain circumstances.

A person sitting at home working remotely.
A collection of people working together as a team.

How To Guides

Our Remote Working Individual template is designed to be used in order to track progress and set goals whilst working across any type of dispersed team. We would recommend updating and sharing your plan with your colleagues on a weekly basis in order to maintain a sense of communication, collaboration and accountability when remote working.

Team leaders can easily collate individual remote working plans into one document using our Remote Working Team Overview template and this can be made visible to the team. This transparency helps build team trust and ensures every team member is working and progressing to their individual and organisational goals.

This guide is not prescriptive and can be used alongside other tools such as virtual Kanban boards and sprints. The Consortium team have found this provides a clear snapshot of the week’s goals, whilst keeping everybody in the loop on projects they are not involved in first-hand.

Download Templates (Members Only)

Remote Working Pocketbook

Agile software development advocates the use of small co-located teams to help reduce misunderstanding, aid face-to-face communication and improve decision-making. The benefits of co-location have been known for many years, and in the early days of Agile working, this co-location principle was stubbornly adhered to. Yet the business reality for many organisations means the use of outsourced developers, third party external specialists or geographically scattered team members. Co-location is not practical in many cases and for various reasons, including the need for specific expertise, and cost, leading to remote working in one form or another.

This pocketbook considers three flavours of remote working: distributed teams, dispersed teams and hybrid teams. The Agile Research Network (ARN) summarise the pain points faced in these different situations and present some key strategies to address them. Distributed teams are the most common form of remote working and many of the issues here are well-known. Less well-known are the other two forms of remote working. For these the ARN draw on two case studies, one for each, to illustrate this specific circumstance.

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Remote Working Pocketbook

Testimonial

As Head of HR at the Agile Business Consortium, when COVID-19 pushed us to begin company-wide remote working our biggest challenge was ensuring we maintained effective communication throughout the team. We introduced the remote working plans which are completed each week and stored centrally on our intranet for complete transparency. The plans have helped the team to prioritise their own work and to get a view of what their colleagues are up to that they may be able to offer help with. The plans also allow our CEO to ensure everybody is remaining motivated and keeping our strategic business goals in mind when undertaking projects. The weekly working plans have been a simple and effective way of maintaining inclusivity and accountability during this transition.

Emmy Christmas, Head of HR

Downloadable Planners

We have put together a selection of daily and weekly planners to help individuals and teams. Please click to download for free.
If you are a member and would like to submit your own task planner to be included on our website, please send these to info@agilebusiness.org.

Daily Planner Weekly Planner Weekly Planner Weekly Task List Daily Planner
Daily Planner Weekly Planner Weekly Planner Weekly Task List Daily Planner
Daily Planner Eisenhower's Urgent/Important Matrix Weekly Priorities
Daily Planner Eisenhower's Urgent/Important Matrix Weekly Planner

Resources

Blog: Working with and for others in a remote setting - by ARN

Our research has highlighted a different set of issues that need to be taken into account when it comes to working with and for others in a remote setting.

Read More

Blog: The Myths and Reality of Remote Working

For many, the idea of ‘remote’ or ‘virtual’ working is attractive. Discover how it can affect areas such as productivity and collaboration, and how to overcoming challenges

Read More

White Paper: Remote Working in an Agile Team

Co-location is the ‘gold standard’ of agile development, but distribution in one form or another is a necessary reality of today’s development activity for many organisations.

Read More
Contact Us

Tel: + 44 (0)1233 611162
Email: info@agilebusiness.org

Agile Business Consortium
International House
Dover Place
Ashford, Kent
TN23 1HU
United Kingdom

About Us

The Agile Business Consortium is the professional body for Business Agility, and our high value, low cost membership is open to everyone.

Wherever you are on your journey to agility, we are there to support you. We create and share agile research, case studies, resources and tools that help you to compete in today’s disrupted world.

We’ve been contributing to agile knowledge for 25 years and are the world’s oldest agility-orientated organisation. A registered not-for-profit, we’re the brains behind AgilePM®, AgileBA®, AgilePgM® and AgileDS™. Over 100,000 people around the globe are now AgilePM certified.

 

© 2019 Agile Business Consortium Limited

Agile Business Consortium Limited is a not-for-profit organisation limited by guarantee.

Registered address: Second Floor, International House, Dover Place, Ashford, Kent, TN23 1HU

Registered in England & Wales. Registration No. 3030597.