Scrum must go on

Working remotely is an important topic, and necessity these days. So, let’s try to share our remote experience with the teams being organized around agile methodology. This is how we roll…

DAILY ACTIVITIES

  • Daily scrum meetings 

As usual, start your day with a short daily scrum meeting. Gather all the people that sit in your development team, Product Owner can open a session explaining the agenda and priorities for incoming days (organization, workflow, and most of all communication). 

Preference: try to keep cameras on as it feels you’re all together at the ‘’round table’’.

Advice: written scheme or explanation should be posted somewhere to be easily found, like Confluence; or email with aforementioned subject should be sent.

  • Agile board

Product owner should track and keep an eye on the boards more than ever, as there are no colleagues around to tell you their concern. Boards are the place to spot any (potential) issues or obstacles – if tickets are going back and forth between teams, if tickets are not moving between teams, if someone is adding tickets/velocity in the current sprint…

  • Communication

This is what makes a good Product Owner, ability to communicate properly and on time with all stake holders. Working remotely, communication can be held in written or verbal form.

Below you may find a list of some tools our members have worked with:

Tools for online meetings: GoToMeeting, WebEx, Zoom

Tools for online chat: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Twist

Tools for exchanging media: Slack

To Do lists: Trello, Asana

Assigning tasks: JIRA

Reporting: Confluence

Surveys: SurveyMonkey

PERIODICAL ACTIVITIES

  • Grooming session

Ahead of the grooming session with a technical lead, Product Owner sends a list of tickets to be examined (or just a link to the next sprint’s potential items). Then, a day after, we hold an online grooming session.

Preference: we don’t share our screens for instance, but white boards that Product Owner and technical lead have in their working space. We have couple of monitors and tickets are always opened in front of us, however, seeing each other and “being present” in the meeting helps us feel like a team.

  • Planning session

Ahead of the planning session, tickets confirmed in previous grooming session are sent to the team, usually couple of days ahead. This way, we are giving them a chance to become familiar with the matter that follows and helps us to lead very short and productive online planning. In this session we are sharing screens due to the volume of participants and tickets, and a need to keep large group of people focused. When voting, everyone puts their story points in the meeting chat at the same time. Then, we ask developers for an explanation, agree upon story points and move on. When we are assigning tickets, interested developers use meeting chat again to volunteer. Who hits the enter button first, wins the ticket 😊

  • Retrospective

Ahead of the meeting, we send an online survey with our questions and space for their comments, problems and suggestions. Then, we gather all the info and discuss it via online meeting. This gives us some time to prepare and propose solutions right away.

  • Demo

Using an online meeting, Product Owner (and sometimes developers and QA) demonstrate new features. Meeting is always being recorded and posted somewhere where everyone has access.

Hope this helps! 

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