What is a distributed Scrum team? Tips for Managing and Building an Effective Distributed Team


A distributed scrum team refers to a team where individuals work on the same team on the same project but are physically located in different locations. The Distributed Scrum Team also refers to virtual teams or remote teams, which means that as a member of a distributed team, you can work from any location you want and collaborate with other members. of the team located at a different location.

Tips for Managing and Building an Effective Distributed Team

Any distributed team for software development should follow the Scrum principle for clear communication, transparency, and dedication to continuous improvement of end results. Some of the best practices of distributed teams are:

  • Focus on results
  • Use the right software
  • Study and compare other agile distributed industries
  • Follow the structure of daily and weekly meetings

When all of these steps are followed, the distributed scrum team can better process the product and all operations can run smoothly. Apart from this, the other two essential paths that one must follow when building and managing Scrum in software engineering are:

  • It would help if you did transparency and communication reality checks at the right time.
  • Experiment with different exercises and activities that would be relevant for a distributed agile environment.

Here are the three essential tips for managing distributed teams in agile:

1. Secure a flexible structure for the work

It’s hard to find a suitable structure among the chaos when your team is working remotely. Flexibility does not only involve working time but also other product development operations. Scrum helps developers write only the meta information about the product and fill in the blank space with the right content for the product.

When we talk about the flexibility of team members, the following points should be addressed:

  • The course of the meetings: The answer to questions such as when the meetings will be held, the meeting agenda and who needs to be present is found.
  • Expectations: This is necessary when working with a large team, and developers should mention what they are accomplishing and what they expect from each other. It is a group activity where interactions and transparency between the distributed Scrum team are improved.
  • Which agile tool to use: Here, techniques like drafting a DoD, DoR, team contract, etc. are included.

2. Build trust within the distributed agile team

Building transparency among distributed Scrum team members is a challenge as the team is divided and lacks trust. Therefore, building a foundation of trust becomes crucial for effective collaboration. Trust is the critical factor that needs to be built on both sides i.e. the technical team with the client or the whole business on the client side.

Companies and developers must collaborate effectively and efficiently to create agility between different sites by the Scrum team.

3. Verification of reality in the distributed Scrum team:

  • Does a manager communicate feedback directly?
  • Are sprint retrospectives held regularly after each sprint cycle? How is the team reacting?
  • Are the obstacles taken into account by the rest of the team and the Scrum Master?

Tips for building trust among Scrum team members:

  • Accept suggestions that are good intentions for the success of the project. Members should take responsibility for their actions and not blame others if a specific product increment fails.
  • Set up the basic rule that everyone should follow like:
  • How to communicate with each other during urgent problems?
  • Define a window of time when no one should be disturbed for non-urgent communications.
  • Introduce different forms of communication and understanding that work best as a team.

4. Build self-regulation and autonomy

Everyone in the distributed scrum team should take responsibility and ownership of their work as a self-managed team. It takes maturity and taking the leadership of their task and then extending it to the whole team.

Self-management, autonomy and trust are all interconnected qualities among team members. They are directly proportional to each other, and therefore, if one of the factors increases, the other two automatically increase.

What should you watch out for?

  • Is the goal achieved at the end of distributed agile development?
  • How is the team responsible for their work and actions?
  • Do distributed team members share their responsibilities and help each other achieve the common goal?
  • Can distributed teams describe their current goal and the tasks they are performing to accomplish them?
  • Do team members give each other feedback?
  • Do people trust each other with responsibilities?

Tips to increase the autonomy of the team

  • Establish ground rules for the team to work together. It becomes easier for everyone to understand their limits and to let them know their tasks and expectations.
  • Write down the end goal and expected task that everyone has to complete. Tell team members to hold them accountable for their work.
  • Find the solution to the problem that arises for the distributed team. Some issues, such as members who are often late for meetings, need to be handled with care and the whole team needs to work out a solution together.

Originally published here.

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