“Can virtual teams do agile project management?” This is a short video from scatterwork.com.
Let’s remind ourselves what agile project management is, using this description from MindTools: It’s built around a flexible approach; team members work in short bursts on small but functioning releases and then they test the releases against the customer needs, instead of aiming at some big deliverable right at the end of the project.
Our question is: “For virtual teams, what does this mean?”.
One of the requirements is team cohesion and one of the ways we can help this is to capitalize on face-to-face visits when the occasion arises. For example, a customer visit may bring people together, where a visit just for the sake of meeting may not be justifiable.
Another requirement of agile project management is trust and in the virtual team environment this can be helped by sponsors showing trust by visiting the team. This requires much less travel than if the entire team moves around it sends a message: look guys – you are important; we think so because we are taking the time out to visit you.
Another of the many requirements is informal communication: agile project management requires a lot of come and go of information and sometimes this is informal, but then we supplement it with documentation,particularly when we have a virtual team.
We capitalize, we summarize the status that was arrived at in one location so everybody gets the message. One of the ways of making sure this happens is to have visible process data, so instead of the various flip chart type presentations that are familiar in the agile environment, we need some sort of application that gives the same information but is accessible, usually through a browser.
So if you want to discuss these or other project issues, please feel free to contact me. I look forward to talking to you.
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