3 Ways Agile Methods Can Enhance Remote Work

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Work-from-home is among the most popular phrases in the past year or so, thanks to the pandemic. With a lot of restrictions put in place by various governments in response to COVID-19, businesses have had to find ways of coping with the changes. For instance, cessation of movement in some countries immediately after the pandemic struck forced some companies to close down. Those who were ready and flexible enough to adopt strategies were the only ones who were able to pull through that rough patch.

Today, even as the restrictions are slowly being reduced, remote working is still gaining popularity. Many businesses have now realized the advantages of having their employees work from wherever they are, without having to commute every day. The downside, however, is that not everyone is able to afford a conducive and professional work environment. Nonetheless, there are a few ways of motivating your team and ensuring high productivity rate even for remote workers. Read on to learn more!

What Is Agile Methodology?

The best way of explaining this methodology is by considering a software development process. As a company, you have two options: either you create the product from start to finish before making it accessible to the customers, or have the customers test the product. If you adopt the former strategy, then you’re basically using the waterfall model.

Agile methodology, on the other hand, allows consumers to test and suggest changes to the software before the final product is released. Also, with this model, the development process is divided into small chunks and distributed across the development team. It's also worth noting that software creation is given higher priority than the documentation process.

So, in this day and age, where working from home is slowly becoming the ideal option, how can agile methodologies enhance your team's performance?

1. Increases Productivity

The best thing about agile model is that it doesn’t only apply to big projects. It can also be used to facilitate the delivery of recurring tasks. The shift from traditional office setup to virtual offices can cause a lot of disruptions and lack of organization. In fact, this is something that many businesses had to deal with during the initial implementation of these changes.

Agile methodologies encourage a small-scale, self-organized work process. Having such a setup in your business can lead to flat hierarchies, wherein all team members feel appreciated. As such, there’ll be transparent goals and effective communication from top to bottom. A combination of all these factors is a recipe for high productivity.

The fact that various people are tasked with one project also makes it easier for every team member. Having one area to focus on ensures that you put all your energy into it, especially now that you’re likely to face a lot of distractions at home. Working on a lot of tasks at once in such an environment is likely to reduce the quality of your output; not to mention the fact that projects might take longer to complete.

2. Regular Evaluation And Improvements

One reason why many companies were reluctant to adopt the work-from-home strategy at first was the expected drop in job quality. Since employees are no longer working together in the same physical room, there’s a fear that the overall job quality would be compromised. Of course, in some cases, this is what happened. When you make abrupt changes to your operations, then those are some of the outcomes that you need to cope with.

However, everything doesn’t have to go south before your business picks up again. Agile methodologies ensure that this doesn’t happen by allowing you to constantly make improvements. As earlier mentioned, this model has instances wherein products can be tested before further developments are carried out. You can take advantage of these phases to assess the performance of your team.

This is where retrospectives come into play. As a manager, you can conduct regular sprint reviews after specific periods to ensure that everyone is on the same page. These meetings shouldn’t take more than three hours. Some of the questions you’ll need to pose include:

  • Which area had the best improvement?
  • Where do you need some changes? For instance, highlight some unproductive programming habits that your software developers must avoid.
  • Will you be able to implement those changes in the next sprint?

This approach will not only give you an insight into everyone’s performance, but it also creates an excellent environment for teamwork.

3. Brings Employees Together

Working from home has its advantages, but one downside is that your workers may feel disconnected from each other. Since it’s their first time—or, at least, for most of the employees—working outside their physical offices, it might take time for them to adopt to the new environment and way of doing things. As such, it’s important that you devise a method that ensures constant interaction between your workers.

Agile methodologies are, perhaps, the best when it comes to this sector. They allow regular communication between the team members, with everyone reflecting on their experiences thus far and sharing best practices with their colleagues. In the long run, this will bring all the employees together, and even improve their productivity.

Conclusion

Change is inevitable! Many companies are now coming to terms with this statement. The pandemic had a huge impact in the business world, but, perhaps, the most significant effect was on the flow of operations. Everyone is currently working out a few strategies here and there to ensure that their employees can work safely and efficiently from home.

Agile methodologies have been around for many decades, but not all businessowners are willing to adopt them. If you want to get the best out of your remote workers, agile methods could come in handy. This mode of operation allows constant communication between you and your workers. You get to understand performances and make adjustments where possible. Another advantage is the fact that it allows the team members to come together regardless of their current locations. At the end of the day, everyone wants high productivity, and agile methods could offer the best output in that regard.

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