New Agile Ways of Working Remotely

Dipesh Pala
Dipesh PalaIBM Asia Pacific - Agile Capability Leader à IBM

New agile ways of working remotely: a Point of View that goes beyond the tools for those working in remote environments - by Dipesh Pala and Cobus Beetge

New Agile Ways of
Working Remotely
A point of view that goes beyond the tools
for those working in remote environments
Authors Dipesh Pala and Cobus Beetge Version 1.0
Foreword by Amol Pradhan July 2020
Now more than ever, we need to unleash the talent of individuals and teams who are
working remotely. This might be the only hope we have to not just survive but thrive
and make it psychologically safe for everyone.
We all have adapted to working remotely, and it is becoming the new normal. What we
see from our experience is that there is a higher focus on the tools and productivity
than the emotional and mental state of team members. There are a plethora of tools
and techniques available for organisations to use for remote teaming. We want to focus
on creating the right environment for the teams to thrive in addition to the tools and
processes.
Stephen M. R. Covey referred to trust as “an economic driver,” noting that “high trust is
a dividend; low trust is a tax".
The Futurist Leader would focus on outcomes over micromanagement to boost Morale,
Mental health, and Productivity.
We believe this point of view will provide an opportunity to reflect on how your team
has managed the transition and help you to address shortcomings and bring them back
to high performance. With just a few months into an unprecedented situation,
developing an agile mindset is unavoidable across geographic variability. Join us to
unfold energies virtually together!
By Amol Pradhan
Amol leads IBM’s Enterprise Agility practice globally, helping organisations deliver business value early and
often through Agile, Lean, and DevOps principles and practices. He frequently speaks at industry conferences,
and has helped numerous Fortune 500 clients in aerospace, oil & gas, retail, automotive, media &
entertainment, information services, and financial industries.
Foreword
Introduction
What are the key considerations for:
Organisations who have remote team members?
Remote teams to be Agile?
Organisations moving to remote way of working?
Team members moving to remote way of working?
Organising workshops with remote team members?
Recognising and avoiding virtual fatigue?
Effectively using tools and techniques in remote
workshops?
Key Takeaways
About the Authors
Table of Contents
1
2
3
4
8
9
12
16
17
11
Introduction
In recent times, some organisations have
transitioned employees to work from home
relatively easily; others have shut down operations
in whole or in part. At IBM, we have had the
privilege of supporting and enabling many such
organisations through the crisis, while planning their
journey ahead.
Traditionally, the standard operating model for
businesses, governments and other organisations
was location-based: people would go to work, rather
than work coming to them. People would physically
transport themselves to a specific site to get
something done.
The global pandemic has helped change that
perception. Work now comes to us, wherever we
happen to be. Most of us are well equipped to
engage with colleagues, customers, and suppliers
virtually.
As a result of the pandemic, in May 2020 IBM
Institute of Business Value conducted a survey of
global executives. A key finding was that by 2022
they expect their remote workers to have increased
by 250%.
With that in mind, this Point of View (PoV) from the
IBM Global Agile Center of Competency brings
together the learnings from our experiences and
those of our clients, with the aim of expediting
other’s ability to work remotely together now and
into the future.
One fortunate aspect of the era we live in is the
sophistication of our new collaboration tools. A
broad array of tools and technologies allow us to
plan, communicate and operate in a way that past
eras never could. Now we have the opportunity to
employ these tools fully, and to help us deal with the
constraints of working remotely. By using the latest
collaboration tools, we not only continue to meet
immediate needs, but we in some cases are also
becoming more efficient than ever before.
Empowering a healthy remote workforce goes
beyond just providing collaboration tools and
technologies. Equipping employees to change from
a successful physical to a virtual collaboration model
requires a major cultural shift.
Leaders who focus on building trust, respect and
empathy into a remote workforce culture are
helping their employees be the best versions of
themselves, both physically and mentally.
This PoV provides clear guidelines, organised around
seven key areas that will be useful for any
organisation wanting to unleash the full potential of
their remote employees collaborating.
We outline the key considerations for:
• Organisations who have remote team members.
• Remote teams to be Agile.
• Organisations moving to remote Way of Working.
• Team members moving to remote Way of
Working.
• Organising workshops with remote team
members.
• Recognising and avoiding virtual fatigue.
• Effectively using tools and techniques in remote
workshops.
These key considerations can make the difference
between organisations that thrive and those that
don’t when working remotely.
1
Leaders who focus on building trust, respect and
empathy into a remote workforce culture are
helping their employees be the best versions of
themselves, both physically and mentally.
Cost Efficiency
Outsourcing functions of a business to lower cost
economies is a common model used widely across
all industries reducing operational costs for many
years.
With a well thought through plan to best leverage
the talent in multiple countries, it can be less
expensive to deliver a solution.
Access to Talent
Employees are discovering the benefits of flexibility
provided by remote working. This is now a
minimum requirement that organisations need to
offer in order to attract and retain the best talent.
Secondly, organisations are discovering that remote
workers allow them to access a wider range of talent
as the need for complex work visas has been
eliminated.
Extensive Travel Time and Costs
Bringing everybody together has always led to
extensive travel time and costs. With distributed or
remote teams we are able to remove wasted travel
time and reduce cost of travel.
Expanding for Innovation and Thought
Leadership
IBM continues to drive growth in emerging markets
and continues to grow, nurture and develop
software development team members in these
markets.
With diverse teams in highly dispersed locations, we
are able to expand innovation and thought
leadership across these geographic locations.
Unplanned Travel Restrictions
The primary reason for companies to embrace
remote team members in 2020 is the COVID-19
pandemic. The pandemic has forced everybody to
be remote.
What are the key considerations for organisations who
have remote team members?
2
Percentage of Employees Working Remotely,
Pre-and Post- Pandemic (Projected) according to
Gartner
Always Sometimes Never
Pre-Pandemic
0%
30% Work
Remotely
70%
50%
100%
20%
10%
Post-Pandemic
52%
29%
19%
48% Work
Remotely
Flexibility of remote working is now a
minimum requirement that organisations
need to offer in order to attract and retain
the best talent
Individuals and interactions
Working software
Customer collaboration
Responding to change
10. Simplicity
Simplicity--the art of maximising the
amount of work not done--is essential.
Legend: With more focus on New Remote WoW Values, Remote Agile teams will be able to follow this principle
Remote Agile teams will be able to follow this principle with some or no additional effort
With modern tools, Remote Agile teams will be able to follow this principle
What are the key considerations for remote teams to
be Agile?
3
A common question that many Agile experts and practitioners alike are pondering is whether or not the Agile
Values and Principles from the Agile Manifesto are conducive to the new remote Ways of Working (WoW).
Which of these principles will be be challenged or require additional effort in remote environments?
The Agile Manifesto1 was written in 2001 in an era
prior to the release of sophisticated collaboration
tools. The Agile Manifesto was written two years
before Skype was founded, 9 years before Apple®
FaceTime® was introduced and 10 years before
Zoom.
Technology has drastically changed since the Agile
Manifesto was written. Face to face communication
is still the preferred and most effective way of
communication but technology has removed the
physical constraints. This is not a major challenge
anymore.
Technology has enabled us to be face to face and
work together daily, even from remote locations.
In the IBM Think Forward Jam 2020, 58% of IBMers
stated they only need to spend 20% of their time
working face to face. Only 1% of IBMers who
participated stated that they need to be with others
100% of their time.
Agile Manifesto
Values
over processes and tools
over comprehensive documentation
over contract negotiation
over following a plan
Teams prefer to be co-located to enable high
bandwidth communication such as working closely
together, allowing direct and visual collaboration.
Low bandwidth communications that take the form
of emails, documents and information that relay
through multiple communication handoffs is less
efficient.
Leaders need to encourage and enable their teams
to strive for the richest communication channel to
retain the benefits they had with co-located teams.
The key to getting the most out of remote working is
to spend more energy on ways to enhance how we
work remotely together rather than working
remotely as individuals.
While new technologies bring some consolation for
overcoming the challenges highlighted (in red), the
real secret to success is to embrace the Agile New
Remote WoW Values of Trust, Respect and Empathy
when working remotely. The next section discusses
this in detail.
1. Satisfy the Customer
Our highest priority is to satisfy the
customer through early and continuous
delivery of valuable software.
4. Business + Development
Business people and developers
must work together daily
throughout the project.
7. Working Software
Working software is the primary
measure of progress.
8. Sustainable Pace
Agile processes promote sustainable
development. The sponsors, developers,
and users should be able to maintain a
constant pace indefinitely.
11. Self Organising
The best architectures, requirements, and
designs emerge from self-organising
teams.
2. Welcome Change
Welcome changing requirements, even
late in development. Agile processes
harness change for the customer's
competitive advantage.
5. Trust the Team
Build projects around motivated
individuals. Give them the environment
and support they need and trust them
to get the job done.
3. Deliver Frequently
Deliver working software frequently,
from a couple of weeks to a couple of
months, with a preference
to the shorter timescale.
6. F2F Communication
The most efficient and effective method
of conveying information to and within a
development team is face-to-face
conversation.
9. Technical Excellence
Continuous attention to
technical excellence and good design
enhances agility.
12. Reflections
At regular intervals, the team reflects on
how to become more effective, then tunes
and adjusts its behavior accordingly.
1. www.agilemanifesto.org
Organisational Values
A strong culture underpinned by values that include
Trust, Respect and Empathy lay the foundation of
working remotely successfully.
Empowering a healthy remote workforce goes
beyond providing collaboration tools and document
management software. Equipping employees to work
productively outside a traditional office requires a
cultural shift.
Leaders who focus on building trust, respect, and
empathy into an agile workforce culture empower
their employees to bring the best versions of
themselves - both physically and mentally, whether
they are working face-to-face or screen-to-screen.
Those who feel they are physically and mentally
supported in their remote locations are those who
know they are trusted by their leaders, respected by
their peers and they are shown empathy by all.
There’s so much to be gained from remote Ways of
Working, however, it is just as important to
recognise what organisations, leaders and teams
have lost. Close human contact and everything that
are associated with human contact. The non-verbal
communication, the body language that really
answers questions for us and the ability to really see
our team members at work, achieving together both
physically and mentally.
In remote Ways of Working our view is that every
organisation should emphasise more on the human
values of trust, respect and empathy to create a
collaborative and diverse environment, in which
every team member can thrive.
What are the key considerations for organisations
moving to remote Way of Working?
4
“Trust is becoming the competitive
differentiator of our time,”
- Ginni Rometty, IBM Executive Chairman
Culture
COURAGE OPENNESS
Enough trust to
let self-directed
teams find their
own solutions
Respect for all
voices as teams
iterate toward
greatness.
Empathy, first
for each other,
then for our
users.
Openness means
being inwardly
receptive to new
and differing
ideas, and being
outwardly
transparent with
my team.
The courage to
take risks and to
course correct
as we learn
The IBM Agile Values - These are the five core elements that drive our interactions. They embody the way we
want to be treated, as well as the way we want to treat others. While Courage and Openness are important,
Trust, Respect and Empathy need more focus in the remote Ways of Working.
Remote Ways of Working
Culture
TRUST RESPECT EMPATHY
IBM Agile Values
5
Leaders should focus on
building trust with and
within teams in the
absence of visibility and
monitoring of progress that
an office environment can
provide.
Leaders need to regularly
communicate and provide
clarity of outcome,
followed by trust in their
team members to find and
deliver the best solutions
and outcomes.
Trust
I pledge to be Family Sensitive.
I pledge to support Flexibility for Personal Needs.
I pledge to support “Not Camera Ready” times.
I pledge to Be Kind.
I pledge to Set Boundaries and Prevent Video Fatigue.
I pledge to Take Care of Myself.
I pledge to Frequently Check In on people.
I pledge to Be Connected.
It is important for leaders
to acknowledge any stress
or anxieties that the team
members may be
experiencing but not able
to display or share their
struggles when remote.
Leaders need to be careful
with the language they use
and the emotions that they
may portray with the lack
of non-verbal cues can
generate a lot of anxiety
and stress.
Empathy
When working remotely,
showing respect for each
other’s unique working
circumstances and
constraints is imperative.
Putting more focus on
building practices that
enable the team to amplify
each team members
potential contributions is
paramount.
Respect
IBM Work from Home Pledge
The value of empathy shined through in the IBM work from home pledge during the COVID-19 pandemic. This
was broadly circulated, internally and externally. IBM’s CEO, Arvind Krishna, shared this pledge in an interview
on CNN recently and IBM employees signed up from around the globe.
Communication, Communication,
Communication
When not in an office setting, it is more difficult to
embed new processes and to communicate key
messages. Especially in times of crisis, team
members expect even more regular touchpoints
with their leaders. There are and should be more
Town Hall events, one-on-one coaching sessions
with managers and over communication from senior
leaders to remain connected and aligned.
This can be achieved by having a clear
communication plan and one integrated
collaboration platform that helps align the teams
and improve transparency, productivity, efficiency,
and trust across projects and organisations.
Communication is key. Be aware that what leaders
think they are communicating isn’t always being
perceived the way they intend. IBM research shows
that 74 percent of industry executives say they are
currently helping their employees learn to work in
new ways, yet only a third of surveyed employees
said the same: a 36-point gap2. Clearly, we need to
build feedback loops into all interactions, iterate on
it in real-time and as per the previous point, it needs
to be consistent.
2. source: IBM Beyond the Great Lockdown publication
"In the new normal, how we work with each other is
essential. To have, not just sensitivity but real
consideration and empathy for each other as we
work together but remotely."
- IBM CEO Arvind Krishna
6
New Remote WoW Champions
In the same way as we have Agile champions,
Chapters, and Guilds, we need to have new remote
WoW Champions. Organisations need to create a
team of champions that are experts in remote Ways
of Working.
This group becomes the catalyst for transitioning
this Way of Working consistently across the
organisation. They also become the ‘go-to’ for any
questions or guidance that will no doubt be needed
by people who are caught off-guard.
Consistent Messaging on the New WoW
We need to ensure consistent messaging on the new
remote WoW to reduce confusion and anxiety.
Organisations need to create and communicate a
single version of the truth that will guide all team
members in the new remote WoW. We believe a lot
of our clients are at this point and we as IBM can
provide guidance here.
Don’t try to replicate the ‘In-office’
experience
Some of the new collaboration tools, if used
effectively, can replace many of our current
meetings. The principles of working remotely are
vastly different from the traditional ‘in-office’ work.
We should not assume that all face-to-face meetings
are all still needed and that they should be
converted to virtual meetings. Such approaches can
lead to significant fatigue and impact productivity.
Communication is key. Be aware that what leaders
think they are communicating isn’t always being
perceived the way they intend.
Don’t Introduce All New Tools at Once.
Organisations need to avoid introducing a whole
new stack of (virtual collaboration) tools while team
members are still coming to terms with working
remotely.
We recommend leaders introduce the new Ways of
Working first and then decide on the tools that are
fit for purpose. Just because organisations have
access to a lot of great tools, doesn't mean they
need to try to use all of them. Organisations should
aim to minimise the tools stack while focusing on
reducing silos and increasing collaboration.
Strategic Rotation still Applies when
Working Remotely
Teams should be rotating team members
strategically while ensuring the core team is loosely
coupled with highly integrated end-to-end
capabilities in each team, reducing handoffs and
dependencies across teams.
Organisations need to provide opportunities for
team members to learn all the skills necessary to
build and run the systems they are responsible for
whilst regularly rotating them through different
roles. Core members and non-core members for
each squad should be identified. Core member
rotation is recommended to be capped at 10% of
the team and with a 6-month frequency. Non-core
member rotation is recommended to be capped at
30% of the team and with a 3-month frequency.
Financial Impact of Remote Working
The cost of remote working can be high, however it
is not all bad news. Organisations need to invest in
appropriate software, hardware and home office
equipment, but can save on other expenses, like real
estate. According to Global Workplace Analytics, real
estate savings with full-time telework are US$10,000
on average per employee per year. Some of this
savings can be used to offset the additional financial
cost of remote working.
Remote vs Distributed Work
The term “remote” and “distributed” work are often
used interchangeably, but they are not the same.
Distributed refers to teams that are split across
multiple physical locations, that may or may not be
remote. Remote refers to the distributed team
members doing work from home or from anywhere,
not a physical office location.
Traditionally, most organisations have been
adopting a distributed operations model and moving
forward it is evident that most organisations have to
be remote biased, while adopting and empowering
more remote Ways of Working across their business.
Regardless of whether teams are co-located,
distributed or remote, use the WoW practices and
modern collaboration tools that are now available to
ensure that we continue living the values that we
would see in a face to face environment.
7
Introduce the new Ways of Working first and then
decide on the tools that are fit for purpose
Co located Distributed Remote Allowed Remote biased All-remote
Flexible Workspaces
Focus on ergonomics and do not compromise on
comfort, We need to separate work and living space,
but it doesn’t have to be that way all the time.
Your productivity, health and mood will depend on
this aspect being right, work from the sofa, if that is
comfortable, moving around, is also ok, being
comfortable will make you more productive. Do
what works for you, don't have anxiety about having
a video call from your sofa or a family member in the
background It is your house and you need to be
comfortable.
Go Easy on Yourself
There can be days were we are on camera for an
entire work day whole day. It can be exhausting so
go easy on yourself. Don’t apologize about needing
a bathroom or snack break. Extra care needs to be
given to when you begin and end your work day.
Create a clear separation between work and life.
Drop any shame and embarrassment and humanise
the experience as much as possible and be proud of
the whole you.
Physical and Psychological Safety
Individuals need to have physical and psychological
safety during calls. All team members should feel
comfortable enough to disclose at the outset what
might be distracting them during a call. They might
expect a delivery, their kids may come and ask
something, all of which should be perfectly
acceptable. Remember that it’s also ok to look away
from the video camera.
Celebrate Unique Surroundings
Your surroundings and background should not be a
source of stress and anxiety, but a reason to
celebrate or an invitation for others into your home
or haven. Celebrate unique surroundings. Be proud
when others see your achievements and at the same
time, we need to respect the fact that people still
need to retain some privacy.
If somebody does not what to be on camera or show
where they are calling in from, we need to respect
that. There is a big drive around the world for people
to call for ”not camera ready” mode.
Manage and Resolve Dependencies
With team members working remotely, the team
need to raise dependencies early, clear resolution
plans need to be agreed and the resolutions must be
tracked. Various collaboration tools can be used for
this, including Slack, Trello and Mural to ensure
visibility of all dependencies.
Getting Remote WoW Right will take time
The transition to working remotely will take time
and needs to be treated as a process. New remote
WoW is a transition that will continuously evolve
with newer tools, technology and expertise. What
works for one remote individual or team might not
work for others. We need to give our people the
time to adjust and get used to this Way of Working.
Inspection and adaption is a core component of
Agile and we need to use the already established
practice of retrospectives to continuously improve
on the remote WoW.
What are the key considerations for team members
moving to remote WoW?
8
"81% of respondents consider they are at least as
productive, if not more so, working in a virtual
setting than in an office.”
- IBM Think Forward Jam 2020
Geographic Locations
Everybody must focus on being more culturally
aware and show respect to different personal
situations. When working in remote environments,
we are crossing both geographical and cultural
borders and we need to embrace the diversity and
overcome any challenges.
As a start, share the country and city of every person
with the team and, include the time zone difference.
There is a small gesture of empathy and respect in
that action.
Multiple Time Zones
Don’t let your team become sleep deprived or the
quality of your workshops and the outcomes
produced will suffer.
A simple but effective way to ensure you recognise
everybody in the workshop is to outline the agenda
by time zone. Remember, latitude hurts, but
longitude kills.
Physical and Psychological Safety
Prior to recording video sessions it is essential that
you have gained the consent of all participants, for
internal and external meetings.
Ensure that everybody has the option to leave the
meeting if they don't feel comfortable with the
session being recorded. There can be multiple
reasons for this, including confidential and sensitive
information breaches.
The recordings can be invaluable for using as a
reference later. Recording important scoping
sessions can reduce conflicts and ambiguities.
It is also important to regularly check if every team
member is physically comfortable.
Technology and Tools
Invest in technology and tools, but don’t skimp on
investing in training up all team members to use
these tools effectively.
When facilitating a workshop don't assume
everybody is familiar with all the tools that will be
used. Build time into the plan to teach the tools in
the workshop and ensure all participants can use
them well enough to meet the current need.
In some cases, we can become more efficient than
ever before. We have opportunities to improve
ongoing asynchronous communication via Slack
channels and we can reduce group think time with
voting on Mural and Trello in retrospective
ceremonies, Design Thinking workshops and in many
other ways. These tools are not only for remote
working, but will enable co-located teams to
improve.
Facilitation challenges
Facilitating an online workshop with 50+ participants
is much more challenging than facilitating a face to
face workshop with 50+ participants.
How we plan and facilitate online versus face to face
is vastly different. Online requires greater
preparation to provide a seamless experience for
workshop participants.
All the templates, framework and tools need to be
designed and created upfront. Don’t forget, whether
we're working remotely or in the same office, teams
tend to work best when individual members are
given sufficient alone time to think away from the
group.
What are the key considerations for organising
workshops with remote team members?
9
Facilitating an online workshop with 50+ participants
is much more challenging than facilitating a face to
face workshop with 50+ participants.
Don’t forget, whether we're working remotely or in
the same office, teams tend to work best when
individual members are given sufficient alone time to
think away from the group.
Social Contracts
Ensure everyone is aware of the working agreement.
This should be shared before or at the beginning of
the session. This can be done as an Ice Breaker. For
example, ask the attendees "What are or might be
distracting you during the workshop?”
Participants will share different things that can
impact them in their environments, and it will give
them the safety to step away immediately if they are
required to do so.
The rest of the social contract can be shared and
agreed up front and all of these items create that
safety required.
Plan for the unexpected
Things always go wrong in a "live" environment so
plan for the unexpected during workshops.
Ensure that the facilitator has an alternative
communication channel to address any issue that
arises. Have contingency plans in place for the what-
if scenarios. The level of planning will depend on the
duration of your workshop.
10
Synchronisation Points
Similar to what we do in a face to face workshop,
include some time for individuals to ‘buddy’ up with
others to take some discussion points/ideas offline
and then come back to sync with the larger group.
Let the smaller teams self-organise on how they
breakout.
Parking Lot
One of the practices that we see not being used
effectively or at all, is the parking lot. Just like the
face to face meetings, use a visual Parking Lot to
capture all items that can be addressed offline.
Don’t forget to review the Parking Lot items at the
end of your session. Mural and Trello are two tools
that can easily be used for this. (An example of this
is illustrated in the later sections).
One of the practices that we see not being used
successfully or not at all, is the parking lot
What are the key considerations for recognising and
avoiding virtual fatigue?
11
Video Calls Require More Focus than Face
to Face Conversations
Video calls are notoriously more draining on the
body and mind than face to face conversations, even
one on one video calls. We have to work harder to
process non-verbal cues like facial expressions, the
tone and the pitch of the voice and the body
language isn’t as easy to pick up.
Silence is Unnatural in Video Calls
In face to face conversations, looking away and
thinking for 10 or even 30 seconds before
responding is a natural behavior. However, silence
on video calls makes people uncomfortable.
People become anxious about the technology and
start asking questions such as, ”Is the mic working?”
or ”Did we lose connection?". As a facilitator you
feel you need to keep the dialog going in order to
keep the silence to the minimum. The urge to avoid
this silence and other uncomfortable situations can
be physically and mentally draining.
It will take practice to get right, to embrace the
silence, we need to say, give me 30 seconds or a
minute before I respond to you. We need to
acknowledge it and cater to these natural human
behaviours.
Delayed Response is Perceived as Less
Friendly
A recent study by German academics showed that
delays in phone and video conferencing shaped our
view of people negatively. Delayed responses of
even 1.2 Seconds make people perceive the
responder as less friendly or focused. These are
things that we need to be aware of and cater for.3
3. Source: BBC.com
The Feeling of Being Watched Constantly
When we are on camera, we are very aware of being
watched, which creates a social pressure of feeling
like we need to perform. It can be difficult to not be
conscious and cautious about how we behave in
front of the camera. It is very draining on the body
and mind, being watched while you are watching
multiple people. The pressure is on the whole time.
Be mindful and forgiving throughout your sessions.
Virtual “Happy Hour” can have Adverse
Effects.
One of our approaches to team building that is doing
the rounds is the virtual “Happy Hour”. Be careful
the virtual “Happy Hour” can have adverse effects
on engagement and morale.
The feeling of being forced into virtual meetings,
labelled “happy” or otherwise, can also be a
contributing factor for video fatigue. If people see
this as an obligation, that means more time that
they are ‘performing’ on video as opposed to getting
that much needed break.
Workshop Durations
Long workshops can be extremely tiresome and
even more so virtually. Our recommendation is to
break the workshop up into shorter sessions. In
general, anything more than four hours should be
split into multiple shorter sessions, ideally across
multiple days.
Workshops can be designed to include more
interactive collaboration activities that will assist the
participants in breaking down workshops into
shorter time-boxed sessions with breaks in between.
Participants can use the time in between these
workshops to do preparation or research to optimize
the time spent virtually together.
“ In a normal conversation. More than 65 per cent of
social meaning occurs through the non-verbal
channel.”
- Edward T. Hall (1959), a renowned social anthropologist
Ice Breakers are Even More Important
Team members lose the unplanned watercooler or
coffee conversations with colleagues in remote work.
These are actually important parts of the workday
that have a direct impact on performance. How do
we create those virtually?
Use Ice Breakers to:
• Diffuse team anxiety
• Create opportunity to connect at personal level
• Build a rapport to enable trust
• Become familiar with the tools that will be used
• Have fun!
Ice Breakers are even more important now
especially when we have remote team members.
The true purpose of an Ice Breaker can be achieved
when it is kept simple and is properly executed.
Publishing the Agenda
One challenge that we are facing more than ever
before is that a larger portion of our team members
are working from remote locations and some of
them may be in different time zones. We need to
ensure that all team members feel like it is their
meeting in their time zone.
When publishing an agenda, display the timings for
every time zone that the participants are in so that
no one feels like they are ‘off-shore’.
Another tip is to not label a break as Lunch when it is
late afternoon for another location. Inform
attendees what is acceptable, please eat before
hand or feel free to bring your food along.
Have a Co-Facilitator
In most cases, it is far more challenging to manage a
virtual discussion than a face-to-face one. It can be
helpful to assign a co-facilitator to guide the polling,
simultaneous chat sessions and other non-verbal
interactions, allowing the facilitator to focus on the
key conversations.
The co-facilitator can capture real-time feedback
from multiple channels during the workshop and
resolve basic questions on the technology being
used.
What are the key considerations for effectively using
tools and techniques for remote workshops?
12
1
2
3
4
5
Take a photo
Take a photo depending on the agreed
subject and share a story about the
photo. Examples include simple desk
items or shoes of the day.
Favourite Things
Everyone will create a list of their
favourite things based on an agreed
category. The categories can be non-
work related, such as movies, music,
foods, etc. It may also be work-related
categories such as favourite coffee place
or company events.
Two Truths and a Lie
Participants will prepare 3 interesting
facts about themselves, one of which is
a lie. Each member votes on which
statement they think is the lie about the
participant, and once everyone has
voted, that participant will reveal the
correct answer.
Time Machine
Ask participants where they would go if
they had a time machine. Explore their
what ifs or future plans.
Sample questions include:
• If you could live in any era, what
would it be?
• If you could talk to your past self,
what would you say?
• If you could go to the future,
what changes would you expect to
see with yourself?
Would You Rather
Take turns asking participants asking two
questions for what rather and why they
chose it.
Sample questions include:
• Would you rather be the richest
person or the smartest?
• Would you rather the temperature
be hot all the time or cold?
• Would you rather have a cat or a
dog?
ICE BREAKERS
Location 1 Location 2 Agenda
8:00 – 8:30 am 12:00 – 12:30 pm
8:30 – 9:15 am 12:30 – 1:15 pm
9:15 – 11:15 am 1:15 – 3:15 pm
11:15 – 12:15 pm 3:15 – 4:15 pm
12:15 – 1:00 pm 4:15 – 5:00 pm
1:00 – 1:15 pm 5:00 – 5:15 pm
1:15 – 2:00 pm 5:15– 6:00 pm
2:00 – 2:30 pm 6:00 – 6:30 pm
2:30 – 3:00 pm 6:30 – 7:00 pm
Kick off
Define Objectives
Discovery
Break
Program Risks
Break
Showcase
Next Steps
Retrospective
Use of Parking Lot
Here’s a typical ‘Parking Lot’ that we see being used
in face-to-face workshops. Many teams are
struggling to apply the concept of the ‘Parking Lot’
after moving to a virtual set up. What used to be
quite simple to implement and apply in a face-to-
face workshop has now become quite a challenge.
Many teams are either not using the ‘Parking Lot’
mechanism or using ad-hoc ways of ‘taking things
offline’.
Below is an example of one of the most efficient and
logical ways to implement the ‘Parking Lot’ feature
in a virtual workshop. Using a virtual tool like Trello,
create a column called ‘Parking Lot’ and keep adding
relevant items to that column as things come up.
Every workshop participant can add and update
items in this interactive ‘Parking Lot’ asynchronously.
As each of the items are closed, anyone can drag
and drop it into the next column which contains all
the ‘closed’ items.
The advantage of using such a tool as shown below
is that anyone, at any time can update the ‘Parking
Lot’ items from any remote work location.
Getting everyone to collaborate and contribute to
conversations in any workshop requires experienced
and talented facilitators. This is even more pertinent
for virtual workshops. We must look beyond the
limits of the tools and technologies to involve key
voices in the discussions – regardless as their
location.
What used to be quite simple to implement and
apply in a face-to-face workshop has now become
quite a challenge.
13
Online Voting Sessions
One element that works really well in virtual
workshops is group dot voting. In a face-to-face
scenario, dot voting normally works with each
participant being given a certain number of votes to
spread across a number of items. Tools like Mural
provide this function virtually. However, unlike in
face-to-face scenarios, the participants in a virtual
voting session cannot see what other participants
are voting on until the voting session is over. This
way there is no bias or skewed voting that we
frequently see in face-to-face voting sessions.
As remote workshops rely on collaboration tools, it
is important to keep multiple channels of
collaboration open in case of technology failure.
Good facilitators also strategically change the
collaboration channels to keep the participants even
more engaged throughout. A great team will always
find ways to communicate well, regardless of the
tools.
Pre and Post Workshop discussions are as
important
Virtual collaboration tools, such as, Slack and Mural
can encourage the team to meet and start some of
the conversations prior to the workshop. The same
tools can be used to collaborate during the session
and post-workshop. Pre and post workshop
discussions can also help in reducing the workshop
time and video fatigue for the participants.
Below is an example of a Mural wall used for a
Problem-Solving workshop, the agenda for this
workshop was spread over 3 days. While the
workshop on a typical day was only 2 hours on
Webex, this Mural wall was constantly updated by
all team members throughout the 3 days. The
Webex sessions were strategically scheduled to
conduct only targeted activities that needed
involvement of all team members to particulate
together online. Breakout groups were created
ahead of the time so that they can continue working
outside of the scheduled video sessions and sync
back with the wider team regularly. Mural was
always asynchronously updated, providing true
visibility and transparency of progress at any point in
time.
A great team will always find ways to communicate
well, regardless of the tools.
14
Real Life Example:
Use of Virtual Planning Walls
One of the earliest challenges we faced after going
all-remote was to be able to quickly run meetings
that were always using a physical wall to be run
virtually. Below is one such example of a Portfolio
Planning wall for a large transformation program.
This 5-metre-wide wall shows all the work that is
planned to be worked on in the next 6 iterations and
was used during the fortnightly Big Room Planning
sessions. Anyone at any time could go up to the wall
and update the items. Up to 30 team members from
IBM and the client used to gather near this wall for
their fortnightly planning sessions.
In March 2020, the entire team was suddenly forced
away from this crucial wall.
The fortnightly workshops were conducted using
Webex to communicate in real-time, and the
contents of the planning board were continuously
updated prior to, during, and after the workshops.
This virtual board is kept up to date just like the
physical wall used to be by the team members and
this virtual board is now the hub of the planning
sessions and helps the team visualise their work.
One surprising effect of using virtual collaboration
tools was that the planning sessions over Webex are
on average taking about 40 percent less time than
the face-to-face ones. Even with the same levels of
discussions and the same number of participants,
these meetings became more efficient as team
members were able to asynchronously update the
board, and able to zoom in and out of particular
cards as needed.
This team now consciously minimises the time in
workshops by pushing some activities to before and
after the workshop. There is also no longer the need
to take photos of the physical wall to circulate it to
everyone. Effective use of the ‘Parking Lot’ is also a
key contributor here.
Even when some or most of their team members are
co-located in the office, this team will continue to
use these remote Ways of Working techniques for
their workshops.
When one team member is not in the room,
facilitate workshops as if no one is in the room.
Level the playing field for everyone even when some
or most people are in the same room.
15
The team had to immediately find an interactive tool
that would allow for all of the activities that used to
take place with the physical wall. They quickly
created a virtual version of this board using a virtual
collaboration tool - Trello.
The virtual board allowed each team member to not
just see the contents from their remote locations
but they could also update their items
asynchronously.
When one team member is not in the room, facilitate
workshops as if no one is in the room
Key Takeaways
Below are seven key takeaways that will help any organisation wanting to unleash the full potential of their
remote employees:
16
3 The values and principles of the Agile manifesto remain foundational to Agile Ways
of Working remotely. The key to getting the most out of remote working is to
spend more energy on ways to enhance how we work remotely together rather
than working remotely as individuals.
The Agile Manifesto
is still relevant
4
Leaders who focus on building trust, respect and empathy into an agile workforce
culture are helping their employees be the best versions of themselves, both
physically and mentally, especially when team members are working remotely.
Three Key Values:
- Trust
- Respect
- Empathy
6
Tools are critical, but they are not the only answer. Aim to minimise the tools stack
while focusing on remote WoW. The transition to working remotely will take time
and needs to be treated as a process with continuous improvement.
Invest in People,
Process and
Technology
7 Using new Agile Ways of Working remotely can help overcome all of the
challenges, allowing teams with remote team members to still have rich
collaboration and successful workshops together. The key to making a success of
remote working for any organisation, team or individual is finding the optimal
combination of skillset, toolset and mindset.
Workshops are
still possible
5 The highest-performing teams have one thing in common - psychological safety. In
times of crisis, everybody is in the same boat so humanise the experience as much
as possible. Be aware of video fatigue and go easy on yourself and others.
Physical and
Psychological Safety
2
The cost of remote working can be high, and organisations need to invest more in
the safety and security of not just their remote employees, but also in the safety
and security of their systems and software applications that are being accessed
remotely. Additional cost and effort will be needed for implementing newer tools
(equipping remote team members) and processes to keep remote team members
motivated and operating with optimal efficiency.
Don’t expect remote
working to be always
cheaper
1
A single consistent and new Way of Working for all team members across all
geographic locations will increase the effectiveness across the team members.
Having one integrated collaboration platform helps align the team and improve
transparency, productivity, efficiency and trust across the organisations. The
dedicated group of champions need to become the catalyst for transitioning this
WoW consistently across the organisation.
Consistency all
around
Dipesh Pala
Agile Leader
IBM GBS Asia Pacific
dipeshpala@au1.ibm.com
@DipeshPala
Cobus Beetge
Agile Coach
IBM GBS Australia
cbeetge@au1.ibm.com
@cobusbeetge
Over the last decade, Dipesh been instrumental in rolling
out Agile at scale in many organisations across multiple
countries. In addition to being a top-rated speaker at
industry conferences, Dipesh is also a seasoned facilitator
who is able to drive out the best outcomes from any
project-based or strategy workshops. A keen advocate of
simplicity, Dipesh offers simple, practical yet powerful
ways to address the challenges Agile leaders and teams
face today. Dipesh continuously pushes leaders and
organisations beyond the principles and practices to take
a step further into their Agile journey.
Cobus is an experienced Agile coach with 20 years of ICT
experience across multiple industries. Cobus has
mobilised and coached over 35 Agile teams in various
organisations, including three leadership teams across
multiple countries as he continues to thrive on building
long-lasting relationships based on trust and respect.
With his substantial experience in coaching, mentoring
and training, Cobus is able to assist leaders and teams to
continuously improve and embrace agile values,
principles, and practices.
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2020
IBM Corporation New Orchard Road Armonk, NY 10504
IBM, the IBM logo, and ibm.com are trademarks of International Business
Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product
and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A
current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and
trademark information” at www.ibm.com/legal/ copytrade.shtml.
This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be
changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country
in which IBM operates.
THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY
WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES
OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY
WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON- INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are
warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under
which they are provided.
This report is intended for general guidance only. It is not intended to be a
substitute for detailed research or the exercise of professional judgment.
IBM shall not be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any
organization or person who relies on this publication.
The data used in this report may be derived from third-party sources and
IBM does not independently verify, validate or audit such data. The results
from the use of such data are provided on an “as is” basis and IBM makes no
representations or warranties, express or implied.
About the Authors
slideshare.net/DipeshPala
au.linkedin.com/in/dipeshpala
linkedin.com/in/cobus-beetge/

Recommandé

The Obeya Room - Tool and Mirror for Culture Change par
The Obeya Room - Tool and Mirror for Culture ChangeThe Obeya Room - Tool and Mirror for Culture Change
The Obeya Room - Tool and Mirror for Culture Changeagile42
3.3K vues25 diapositives
Supervisor Development Program | Supervisor Development Course | PPT, DVD, PO... par
Supervisor Development Program | Supervisor Development Course | PPT, DVD, PO...Supervisor Development Program | Supervisor Development Course | PPT, DVD, PO...
Supervisor Development Program | Supervisor Development Course | PPT, DVD, PO...Daniel Feerst Dan Feerst, BSW, MSW, LISW-CP
9.3K vues15 diapositives
Team Building Workshop par
Team Building WorkshopTeam Building Workshop
Team Building WorkshopHussein Ali
102 vues21 diapositives
Five Common Challenges With Agile Transformation - Anikh Subhan - Scrum Day L... par
Five Common Challenges With Agile Transformation - Anikh Subhan - Scrum Day L...Five Common Challenges With Agile Transformation - Anikh Subhan - Scrum Day L...
Five Common Challenges With Agile Transformation - Anikh Subhan - Scrum Day L...AND Digital
362 vues26 diapositives
Agile 2012 - leadership agility workshop slides -- final.pptx par
Agile 2012  - leadership agility workshop slides -- final.pptxAgile 2012  - leadership agility workshop slides -- final.pptx
Agile 2012 - leadership agility workshop slides -- final.pptxdrewz lin
1.6K vues18 diapositives
Business agility presentation par
Business agility presentationBusiness agility presentation
Business agility presentationTim Guay
713 vues20 diapositives

Contenu connexe

Tendances

Managing for Happiness par
Managing for HappinessManaging for Happiness
Managing for HappinessJurgen Appelo
2.7K vues146 diapositives
Influence without Authority par
Influence without AuthorityInfluence without Authority
Influence without AuthorityNicole DeFalco
12.4K vues18 diapositives
What is Workplace Coaching and why you should implement it? par
What is Workplace Coaching and why you should implement it?What is Workplace Coaching and why you should implement it?
What is Workplace Coaching and why you should implement it?The Pathway Group
10K vues19 diapositives
Taking the Lead: Five Things Every Supervisor Needs to Know | Supervisory Skills par
Taking the Lead: Five Things Every Supervisor Needs to Know | Supervisory SkillsTaking the Lead: Five Things Every Supervisor Needs to Know | Supervisory Skills
Taking the Lead: Five Things Every Supervisor Needs to Know | Supervisory SkillsHRDQ-U
534 vues33 diapositives
Leadership Development Program Powerpoint Presentation Slides par
Leadership Development Program Powerpoint Presentation SlidesLeadership Development Program Powerpoint Presentation Slides
Leadership Development Program Powerpoint Presentation SlidesSlideTeam
680 vues80 diapositives
Leadership And Organizational Agility par
Leadership  And Organizational Agility  Leadership  And Organizational Agility
Leadership And Organizational Agility Agile ME
2.2K vues86 diapositives

Tendances(20)

Influence without Authority par Nicole DeFalco
Influence without AuthorityInfluence without Authority
Influence without Authority
Nicole DeFalco12.4K vues
What is Workplace Coaching and why you should implement it? par The Pathway Group
What is Workplace Coaching and why you should implement it?What is Workplace Coaching and why you should implement it?
What is Workplace Coaching and why you should implement it?
Taking the Lead: Five Things Every Supervisor Needs to Know | Supervisory Skills par HRDQ-U
Taking the Lead: Five Things Every Supervisor Needs to Know | Supervisory SkillsTaking the Lead: Five Things Every Supervisor Needs to Know | Supervisory Skills
Taking the Lead: Five Things Every Supervisor Needs to Know | Supervisory Skills
HRDQ-U534 vues
Leadership Development Program Powerpoint Presentation Slides par SlideTeam
Leadership Development Program Powerpoint Presentation SlidesLeadership Development Program Powerpoint Presentation Slides
Leadership Development Program Powerpoint Presentation Slides
SlideTeam680 vues
Leadership And Organizational Agility par Agile ME
Leadership  And Organizational Agility  Leadership  And Organizational Agility
Leadership And Organizational Agility
Agile ME2.2K vues
Strategic thinking, critical thinking and problem solving par Mohammad Adil
Strategic thinking, critical thinking and problem solvingStrategic thinking, critical thinking and problem solving
Strategic thinking, critical thinking and problem solving
Mohammad Adil205 vues
Learning and Development Strategy and Execution par Sahil Sharma
Learning and Development Strategy and ExecutionLearning and Development Strategy and Execution
Learning and Development Strategy and Execution
Sahil Sharma17.3K vues
From Individual Contributor to People Manager by 15Five Group PM par Product School
From Individual Contributor to People Manager by 15Five Group PMFrom Individual Contributor to People Manager by 15Five Group PM
From Individual Contributor to People Manager by 15Five Group PM
Product School309 vues
Taking Ownership – How to Create a Culture of Accountability in the Workplace par Xenium HR
Taking Ownership – How to Create a Culture of Accountability in the WorkplaceTaking Ownership – How to Create a Culture of Accountability in the Workplace
Taking Ownership – How to Create a Culture of Accountability in the Workplace
Xenium HR16.4K vues
Team Coaching Presentation 7 6 08 par Kathryn_Kemp
Team Coaching Presentation 7 6 08Team Coaching Presentation 7 6 08
Team Coaching Presentation 7 6 08
Kathryn_Kemp9.5K vues

Similaire à New Agile Ways of Working Remotely

How to Build a Remote Workforce par
How to Build a Remote WorkforceHow to Build a Remote Workforce
How to Build a Remote WorkforceUpwork
466 vues7 diapositives
Your go-to guide for globally distributed teams par
Your go-to guide for globally distributed teamsYour go-to guide for globally distributed teams
Your go-to guide for globally distributed teamsAbishAlathukattil
7 vues13 diapositives
Re imagine the future of remote team par
Re imagine the future of remote teamRe imagine the future of remote team
Re imagine the future of remote teamIndusNetMarketing
133 vues20 diapositives
7 Experts on How to Deliver a Secure, Productive Remote Employee Experience par
7 Experts on How to Deliver a Secure, Productive Remote Employee Experience  7 Experts on How to Deliver a Secure, Productive Remote Employee Experience
7 Experts on How to Deliver a Secure, Productive Remote Employee Experience Mighty Guides, Inc.
221 vues49 diapositives
Advantages of an intranet par
Advantages of an intranet Advantages of an intranet
Advantages of an intranet Interact
858 vues55 diapositives
2022, challenges and opportunities for leaders par
2022, challenges and opportunities for leaders2022, challenges and opportunities for leaders
2022, challenges and opportunities for leadersAna Ber
72 vues5 diapositives

Similaire à New Agile Ways of Working Remotely(20)

How to Build a Remote Workforce par Upwork
How to Build a Remote WorkforceHow to Build a Remote Workforce
How to Build a Remote Workforce
Upwork466 vues
7 Experts on How to Deliver a Secure, Productive Remote Employee Experience par Mighty Guides, Inc.
7 Experts on How to Deliver a Secure, Productive Remote Employee Experience  7 Experts on How to Deliver a Secure, Productive Remote Employee Experience
7 Experts on How to Deliver a Secure, Productive Remote Employee Experience
Advantages of an intranet par Interact
Advantages of an intranet Advantages of an intranet
Advantages of an intranet
Interact 858 vues
2022, challenges and opportunities for leaders par Ana Ber
2022, challenges and opportunities for leaders2022, challenges and opportunities for leaders
2022, challenges and opportunities for leaders
Ana Ber72 vues
COVID-19 Outbreak: How We Can Help You Run your Business-as-Usual and Ensure ... par Katy Slemon
COVID-19 Outbreak: How We Can Help You Run your Business-as-Usual and Ensure ...COVID-19 Outbreak: How We Can Help You Run your Business-as-Usual and Ensure ...
COVID-19 Outbreak: How We Can Help You Run your Business-as-Usual and Ensure ...
Katy Slemon45 vues
PixelCrayons’ Tips and Strategies for a Successful Remote Team Management par Pixel Crayons
PixelCrayons’ Tips and Strategies for a Successful Remote Team ManagementPixelCrayons’ Tips and Strategies for a Successful Remote Team Management
PixelCrayons’ Tips and Strategies for a Successful Remote Team Management
Pixel Crayons21 vues
Learning Assessments par ManviAshu
Learning AssessmentsLearning Assessments
Learning Assessments
ManviAshu74 vues
Employee project par Lufthansa
Employee projectEmployee project
Employee project
Lufthansa476 vues
Enabling The Mobile Workforce par Enola Labs
Enabling The Mobile WorkforceEnabling The Mobile Workforce
Enabling The Mobile Workforce
Enola Labs915 vues
Lavacon 2012: Building Profitability into your Process par Emmelyn Wang
Lavacon 2012: Building Profitability into your ProcessLavacon 2012: Building Profitability into your Process
Lavacon 2012: Building Profitability into your Process
Emmelyn Wang518 vues
Lavacon 2012: Building Profitability into your Process par Emmelyn Wang
Lavacon 2012: Building Profitability into your ProcessLavacon 2012: Building Profitability into your Process
Lavacon 2012: Building Profitability into your Process
Emmelyn Wang710 vues

Plus de Dipesh Pala

New Agile Leaders Checklist - 1.pdf par
New Agile Leaders Checklist - 1.pdfNew Agile Leaders Checklist - 1.pdf
New Agile Leaders Checklist - 1.pdfDipesh Pala
120 vues1 diapositive
Difference between Good Coaches and Great Coaches par
Difference between Good Coaches and Great CoachesDifference between Good Coaches and Great Coaches
Difference between Good Coaches and Great CoachesDipesh Pala
82 vues1 diapositive
How I Learnt to Stop Worrying and Love my Agile Team par
How I Learnt to Stop Worrying and Love my Agile TeamHow I Learnt to Stop Worrying and Love my Agile Team
How I Learnt to Stop Worrying and Love my Agile TeamDipesh Pala
803 vues37 diapositives
7 Things Agile Leaders and Executives Do Differently - Agile Australia 2016 b... par
7 Things Agile Leaders and Executives Do Differently - Agile Australia 2016 b...7 Things Agile Leaders and Executives Do Differently - Agile Australia 2016 b...
7 Things Agile Leaders and Executives Do Differently - Agile Australia 2016 b...Dipesh Pala
1.8K vues30 diapositives
Distributed Agile Workshop @ Agile India - Dipesh Pala par
Distributed Agile Workshop @ Agile India - Dipesh PalaDistributed Agile Workshop @ Agile India - Dipesh Pala
Distributed Agile Workshop @ Agile India - Dipesh PalaDipesh Pala
826 vues51 diapositives
7 Things Agile Executives Do Differently - Dipesh Pala par
7 Things Agile Executives Do Differently - Dipesh Pala7 Things Agile Executives Do Differently - Dipesh Pala
7 Things Agile Executives Do Differently - Dipesh PalaDipesh Pala
1K vues32 diapositives

Plus de Dipesh Pala(9)

New Agile Leaders Checklist - 1.pdf par Dipesh Pala
New Agile Leaders Checklist - 1.pdfNew Agile Leaders Checklist - 1.pdf
New Agile Leaders Checklist - 1.pdf
Dipesh Pala120 vues
Difference between Good Coaches and Great Coaches par Dipesh Pala
Difference between Good Coaches and Great CoachesDifference between Good Coaches and Great Coaches
Difference between Good Coaches and Great Coaches
Dipesh Pala82 vues
How I Learnt to Stop Worrying and Love my Agile Team par Dipesh Pala
How I Learnt to Stop Worrying and Love my Agile TeamHow I Learnt to Stop Worrying and Love my Agile Team
How I Learnt to Stop Worrying and Love my Agile Team
Dipesh Pala803 vues
7 Things Agile Leaders and Executives Do Differently - Agile Australia 2016 b... par Dipesh Pala
7 Things Agile Leaders and Executives Do Differently - Agile Australia 2016 b...7 Things Agile Leaders and Executives Do Differently - Agile Australia 2016 b...
7 Things Agile Leaders and Executives Do Differently - Agile Australia 2016 b...
Dipesh Pala1.8K vues
Distributed Agile Workshop @ Agile India - Dipesh Pala par Dipesh Pala
Distributed Agile Workshop @ Agile India - Dipesh PalaDistributed Agile Workshop @ Agile India - Dipesh Pala
Distributed Agile Workshop @ Agile India - Dipesh Pala
Dipesh Pala826 vues
7 Things Agile Executives Do Differently - Dipesh Pala par Dipesh Pala
7 Things Agile Executives Do Differently - Dipesh Pala7 Things Agile Executives Do Differently - Dipesh Pala
7 Things Agile Executives Do Differently - Dipesh Pala
Dipesh Pala1K vues
10 Easy Ways To Break Up by Dipesh Pala par Dipesh Pala
10 Easy Ways To Break Up by Dipesh Pala10 Easy Ways To Break Up by Dipesh Pala
10 Easy Ways To Break Up by Dipesh Pala
Dipesh Pala1.2K vues
Scrum Masters are from Mars, Product Owners are from Venus by Dipesh Pala par Dipesh Pala
Scrum Masters are from Mars, Product Owners are from Venus by Dipesh PalaScrum Masters are from Mars, Product Owners are from Venus by Dipesh Pala
Scrum Masters are from Mars, Product Owners are from Venus by Dipesh Pala
Dipesh Pala1.6K vues
Easy ways to break up by Dipesh Pala par Dipesh Pala
Easy ways to break up by Dipesh PalaEasy ways to break up by Dipesh Pala
Easy ways to break up by Dipesh Pala
Dipesh Pala1.4K vues

Dernier

Narcissism vs Leadership (1).pdf par
Narcissism vs Leadership (1).pdfNarcissism vs Leadership (1).pdf
Narcissism vs Leadership (1).pdfkullmd
12 vues5 diapositives
Creating Unity Through Systems Thinking - Southern Cross Case Study.pptx par
Creating Unity Through Systems Thinking - Southern Cross Case Study.pptxCreating Unity Through Systems Thinking - Southern Cross Case Study.pptx
Creating Unity Through Systems Thinking - Southern Cross Case Study.pptxy9v9xbdk72
12 vues26 diapositives
Intuitively Moving Institutions Towards Global Regulatory Resilience par
Intuitively Moving Institutions Towards Global Regulatory Resilience Intuitively Moving Institutions Towards Global Regulatory Resilience
Intuitively Moving Institutions Towards Global Regulatory Resilience Ajaz Hussain
134 vues79 diapositives
Effective HR Management par
Effective HR ManagementEffective HR Management
Effective HR ManagementDenis Jakuzza
6 vues29 diapositives
Cracking the Optimism vs Pessimism Code.pptx par
Cracking the Optimism vs Pessimism Code.pptxCracking the Optimism vs Pessimism Code.pptx
Cracking the Optimism vs Pessimism Code.pptxWorkforce Group
36 vues18 diapositives
7 Questions on Leadership with William H. Bender.pdf par
7 Questions on Leadership with William H. Bender.pdf7 Questions on Leadership with William H. Bender.pdf
7 Questions on Leadership with William H. Bender.pdfWilliam (Bill) H. Bender, FCSI
18 vues10 diapositives

New Agile Ways of Working Remotely

  • 1. New Agile Ways of Working Remotely A point of view that goes beyond the tools for those working in remote environments Authors Dipesh Pala and Cobus Beetge Version 1.0 Foreword by Amol Pradhan July 2020
  • 2. Now more than ever, we need to unleash the talent of individuals and teams who are working remotely. This might be the only hope we have to not just survive but thrive and make it psychologically safe for everyone. We all have adapted to working remotely, and it is becoming the new normal. What we see from our experience is that there is a higher focus on the tools and productivity than the emotional and mental state of team members. There are a plethora of tools and techniques available for organisations to use for remote teaming. We want to focus on creating the right environment for the teams to thrive in addition to the tools and processes. Stephen M. R. Covey referred to trust as “an economic driver,” noting that “high trust is a dividend; low trust is a tax". The Futurist Leader would focus on outcomes over micromanagement to boost Morale, Mental health, and Productivity. We believe this point of view will provide an opportunity to reflect on how your team has managed the transition and help you to address shortcomings and bring them back to high performance. With just a few months into an unprecedented situation, developing an agile mindset is unavoidable across geographic variability. Join us to unfold energies virtually together! By Amol Pradhan Amol leads IBM’s Enterprise Agility practice globally, helping organisations deliver business value early and often through Agile, Lean, and DevOps principles and practices. He frequently speaks at industry conferences, and has helped numerous Fortune 500 clients in aerospace, oil & gas, retail, automotive, media & entertainment, information services, and financial industries. Foreword
  • 3. Introduction What are the key considerations for: Organisations who have remote team members? Remote teams to be Agile? Organisations moving to remote way of working? Team members moving to remote way of working? Organising workshops with remote team members? Recognising and avoiding virtual fatigue? Effectively using tools and techniques in remote workshops? Key Takeaways About the Authors Table of Contents 1 2 3 4 8 9 12 16 17 11
  • 4. Introduction In recent times, some organisations have transitioned employees to work from home relatively easily; others have shut down operations in whole or in part. At IBM, we have had the privilege of supporting and enabling many such organisations through the crisis, while planning their journey ahead. Traditionally, the standard operating model for businesses, governments and other organisations was location-based: people would go to work, rather than work coming to them. People would physically transport themselves to a specific site to get something done. The global pandemic has helped change that perception. Work now comes to us, wherever we happen to be. Most of us are well equipped to engage with colleagues, customers, and suppliers virtually. As a result of the pandemic, in May 2020 IBM Institute of Business Value conducted a survey of global executives. A key finding was that by 2022 they expect their remote workers to have increased by 250%. With that in mind, this Point of View (PoV) from the IBM Global Agile Center of Competency brings together the learnings from our experiences and those of our clients, with the aim of expediting other’s ability to work remotely together now and into the future. One fortunate aspect of the era we live in is the sophistication of our new collaboration tools. A broad array of tools and technologies allow us to plan, communicate and operate in a way that past eras never could. Now we have the opportunity to employ these tools fully, and to help us deal with the constraints of working remotely. By using the latest collaboration tools, we not only continue to meet immediate needs, but we in some cases are also becoming more efficient than ever before. Empowering a healthy remote workforce goes beyond just providing collaboration tools and technologies. Equipping employees to change from a successful physical to a virtual collaboration model requires a major cultural shift. Leaders who focus on building trust, respect and empathy into a remote workforce culture are helping their employees be the best versions of themselves, both physically and mentally. This PoV provides clear guidelines, organised around seven key areas that will be useful for any organisation wanting to unleash the full potential of their remote employees collaborating. We outline the key considerations for: • Organisations who have remote team members. • Remote teams to be Agile. • Organisations moving to remote Way of Working. • Team members moving to remote Way of Working. • Organising workshops with remote team members. • Recognising and avoiding virtual fatigue. • Effectively using tools and techniques in remote workshops. These key considerations can make the difference between organisations that thrive and those that don’t when working remotely. 1 Leaders who focus on building trust, respect and empathy into a remote workforce culture are helping their employees be the best versions of themselves, both physically and mentally.
  • 5. Cost Efficiency Outsourcing functions of a business to lower cost economies is a common model used widely across all industries reducing operational costs for many years. With a well thought through plan to best leverage the talent in multiple countries, it can be less expensive to deliver a solution. Access to Talent Employees are discovering the benefits of flexibility provided by remote working. This is now a minimum requirement that organisations need to offer in order to attract and retain the best talent. Secondly, organisations are discovering that remote workers allow them to access a wider range of talent as the need for complex work visas has been eliminated. Extensive Travel Time and Costs Bringing everybody together has always led to extensive travel time and costs. With distributed or remote teams we are able to remove wasted travel time and reduce cost of travel. Expanding for Innovation and Thought Leadership IBM continues to drive growth in emerging markets and continues to grow, nurture and develop software development team members in these markets. With diverse teams in highly dispersed locations, we are able to expand innovation and thought leadership across these geographic locations. Unplanned Travel Restrictions The primary reason for companies to embrace remote team members in 2020 is the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has forced everybody to be remote. What are the key considerations for organisations who have remote team members? 2 Percentage of Employees Working Remotely, Pre-and Post- Pandemic (Projected) according to Gartner Always Sometimes Never Pre-Pandemic 0% 30% Work Remotely 70% 50% 100% 20% 10% Post-Pandemic 52% 29% 19% 48% Work Remotely Flexibility of remote working is now a minimum requirement that organisations need to offer in order to attract and retain the best talent
  • 6. Individuals and interactions Working software Customer collaboration Responding to change 10. Simplicity Simplicity--the art of maximising the amount of work not done--is essential. Legend: With more focus on New Remote WoW Values, Remote Agile teams will be able to follow this principle Remote Agile teams will be able to follow this principle with some or no additional effort With modern tools, Remote Agile teams will be able to follow this principle What are the key considerations for remote teams to be Agile? 3 A common question that many Agile experts and practitioners alike are pondering is whether or not the Agile Values and Principles from the Agile Manifesto are conducive to the new remote Ways of Working (WoW). Which of these principles will be be challenged or require additional effort in remote environments? The Agile Manifesto1 was written in 2001 in an era prior to the release of sophisticated collaboration tools. The Agile Manifesto was written two years before Skype was founded, 9 years before Apple® FaceTime® was introduced and 10 years before Zoom. Technology has drastically changed since the Agile Manifesto was written. Face to face communication is still the preferred and most effective way of communication but technology has removed the physical constraints. This is not a major challenge anymore. Technology has enabled us to be face to face and work together daily, even from remote locations. In the IBM Think Forward Jam 2020, 58% of IBMers stated they only need to spend 20% of their time working face to face. Only 1% of IBMers who participated stated that they need to be with others 100% of their time. Agile Manifesto Values over processes and tools over comprehensive documentation over contract negotiation over following a plan Teams prefer to be co-located to enable high bandwidth communication such as working closely together, allowing direct and visual collaboration. Low bandwidth communications that take the form of emails, documents and information that relay through multiple communication handoffs is less efficient. Leaders need to encourage and enable their teams to strive for the richest communication channel to retain the benefits they had with co-located teams. The key to getting the most out of remote working is to spend more energy on ways to enhance how we work remotely together rather than working remotely as individuals. While new technologies bring some consolation for overcoming the challenges highlighted (in red), the real secret to success is to embrace the Agile New Remote WoW Values of Trust, Respect and Empathy when working remotely. The next section discusses this in detail. 1. Satisfy the Customer Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software. 4. Business + Development Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project. 7. Working Software Working software is the primary measure of progress. 8. Sustainable Pace Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely. 11. Self Organising The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organising teams. 2. Welcome Change Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage. 5. Trust the Team Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need and trust them to get the job done. 3. Deliver Frequently Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale. 6. F2F Communication The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation. 9. Technical Excellence Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility. 12. Reflections At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly. 1. www.agilemanifesto.org
  • 7. Organisational Values A strong culture underpinned by values that include Trust, Respect and Empathy lay the foundation of working remotely successfully. Empowering a healthy remote workforce goes beyond providing collaboration tools and document management software. Equipping employees to work productively outside a traditional office requires a cultural shift. Leaders who focus on building trust, respect, and empathy into an agile workforce culture empower their employees to bring the best versions of themselves - both physically and mentally, whether they are working face-to-face or screen-to-screen. Those who feel they are physically and mentally supported in their remote locations are those who know they are trusted by their leaders, respected by their peers and they are shown empathy by all. There’s so much to be gained from remote Ways of Working, however, it is just as important to recognise what organisations, leaders and teams have lost. Close human contact and everything that are associated with human contact. The non-verbal communication, the body language that really answers questions for us and the ability to really see our team members at work, achieving together both physically and mentally. In remote Ways of Working our view is that every organisation should emphasise more on the human values of trust, respect and empathy to create a collaborative and diverse environment, in which every team member can thrive. What are the key considerations for organisations moving to remote Way of Working? 4 “Trust is becoming the competitive differentiator of our time,” - Ginni Rometty, IBM Executive Chairman Culture COURAGE OPENNESS Enough trust to let self-directed teams find their own solutions Respect for all voices as teams iterate toward greatness. Empathy, first for each other, then for our users. Openness means being inwardly receptive to new and differing ideas, and being outwardly transparent with my team. The courage to take risks and to course correct as we learn The IBM Agile Values - These are the five core elements that drive our interactions. They embody the way we want to be treated, as well as the way we want to treat others. While Courage and Openness are important, Trust, Respect and Empathy need more focus in the remote Ways of Working. Remote Ways of Working Culture TRUST RESPECT EMPATHY IBM Agile Values
  • 8. 5 Leaders should focus on building trust with and within teams in the absence of visibility and monitoring of progress that an office environment can provide. Leaders need to regularly communicate and provide clarity of outcome, followed by trust in their team members to find and deliver the best solutions and outcomes. Trust I pledge to be Family Sensitive. I pledge to support Flexibility for Personal Needs. I pledge to support “Not Camera Ready” times. I pledge to Be Kind. I pledge to Set Boundaries and Prevent Video Fatigue. I pledge to Take Care of Myself. I pledge to Frequently Check In on people. I pledge to Be Connected. It is important for leaders to acknowledge any stress or anxieties that the team members may be experiencing but not able to display or share their struggles when remote. Leaders need to be careful with the language they use and the emotions that they may portray with the lack of non-verbal cues can generate a lot of anxiety and stress. Empathy When working remotely, showing respect for each other’s unique working circumstances and constraints is imperative. Putting more focus on building practices that enable the team to amplify each team members potential contributions is paramount. Respect IBM Work from Home Pledge The value of empathy shined through in the IBM work from home pledge during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was broadly circulated, internally and externally. IBM’s CEO, Arvind Krishna, shared this pledge in an interview on CNN recently and IBM employees signed up from around the globe.
  • 9. Communication, Communication, Communication When not in an office setting, it is more difficult to embed new processes and to communicate key messages. Especially in times of crisis, team members expect even more regular touchpoints with their leaders. There are and should be more Town Hall events, one-on-one coaching sessions with managers and over communication from senior leaders to remain connected and aligned. This can be achieved by having a clear communication plan and one integrated collaboration platform that helps align the teams and improve transparency, productivity, efficiency, and trust across projects and organisations. Communication is key. Be aware that what leaders think they are communicating isn’t always being perceived the way they intend. IBM research shows that 74 percent of industry executives say they are currently helping their employees learn to work in new ways, yet only a third of surveyed employees said the same: a 36-point gap2. Clearly, we need to build feedback loops into all interactions, iterate on it in real-time and as per the previous point, it needs to be consistent. 2. source: IBM Beyond the Great Lockdown publication "In the new normal, how we work with each other is essential. To have, not just sensitivity but real consideration and empathy for each other as we work together but remotely." - IBM CEO Arvind Krishna 6 New Remote WoW Champions In the same way as we have Agile champions, Chapters, and Guilds, we need to have new remote WoW Champions. Organisations need to create a team of champions that are experts in remote Ways of Working. This group becomes the catalyst for transitioning this Way of Working consistently across the organisation. They also become the ‘go-to’ for any questions or guidance that will no doubt be needed by people who are caught off-guard. Consistent Messaging on the New WoW We need to ensure consistent messaging on the new remote WoW to reduce confusion and anxiety. Organisations need to create and communicate a single version of the truth that will guide all team members in the new remote WoW. We believe a lot of our clients are at this point and we as IBM can provide guidance here. Don’t try to replicate the ‘In-office’ experience Some of the new collaboration tools, if used effectively, can replace many of our current meetings. The principles of working remotely are vastly different from the traditional ‘in-office’ work. We should not assume that all face-to-face meetings are all still needed and that they should be converted to virtual meetings. Such approaches can lead to significant fatigue and impact productivity. Communication is key. Be aware that what leaders think they are communicating isn’t always being perceived the way they intend.
  • 10. Don’t Introduce All New Tools at Once. Organisations need to avoid introducing a whole new stack of (virtual collaboration) tools while team members are still coming to terms with working remotely. We recommend leaders introduce the new Ways of Working first and then decide on the tools that are fit for purpose. Just because organisations have access to a lot of great tools, doesn't mean they need to try to use all of them. Organisations should aim to minimise the tools stack while focusing on reducing silos and increasing collaboration. Strategic Rotation still Applies when Working Remotely Teams should be rotating team members strategically while ensuring the core team is loosely coupled with highly integrated end-to-end capabilities in each team, reducing handoffs and dependencies across teams. Organisations need to provide opportunities for team members to learn all the skills necessary to build and run the systems they are responsible for whilst regularly rotating them through different roles. Core members and non-core members for each squad should be identified. Core member rotation is recommended to be capped at 10% of the team and with a 6-month frequency. Non-core member rotation is recommended to be capped at 30% of the team and with a 3-month frequency. Financial Impact of Remote Working The cost of remote working can be high, however it is not all bad news. Organisations need to invest in appropriate software, hardware and home office equipment, but can save on other expenses, like real estate. According to Global Workplace Analytics, real estate savings with full-time telework are US$10,000 on average per employee per year. Some of this savings can be used to offset the additional financial cost of remote working. Remote vs Distributed Work The term “remote” and “distributed” work are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. Distributed refers to teams that are split across multiple physical locations, that may or may not be remote. Remote refers to the distributed team members doing work from home or from anywhere, not a physical office location. Traditionally, most organisations have been adopting a distributed operations model and moving forward it is evident that most organisations have to be remote biased, while adopting and empowering more remote Ways of Working across their business. Regardless of whether teams are co-located, distributed or remote, use the WoW practices and modern collaboration tools that are now available to ensure that we continue living the values that we would see in a face to face environment. 7 Introduce the new Ways of Working first and then decide on the tools that are fit for purpose Co located Distributed Remote Allowed Remote biased All-remote
  • 11. Flexible Workspaces Focus on ergonomics and do not compromise on comfort, We need to separate work and living space, but it doesn’t have to be that way all the time. Your productivity, health and mood will depend on this aspect being right, work from the sofa, if that is comfortable, moving around, is also ok, being comfortable will make you more productive. Do what works for you, don't have anxiety about having a video call from your sofa or a family member in the background It is your house and you need to be comfortable. Go Easy on Yourself There can be days were we are on camera for an entire work day whole day. It can be exhausting so go easy on yourself. Don’t apologize about needing a bathroom or snack break. Extra care needs to be given to when you begin and end your work day. Create a clear separation between work and life. Drop any shame and embarrassment and humanise the experience as much as possible and be proud of the whole you. Physical and Psychological Safety Individuals need to have physical and psychological safety during calls. All team members should feel comfortable enough to disclose at the outset what might be distracting them during a call. They might expect a delivery, their kids may come and ask something, all of which should be perfectly acceptable. Remember that it’s also ok to look away from the video camera. Celebrate Unique Surroundings Your surroundings and background should not be a source of stress and anxiety, but a reason to celebrate or an invitation for others into your home or haven. Celebrate unique surroundings. Be proud when others see your achievements and at the same time, we need to respect the fact that people still need to retain some privacy. If somebody does not what to be on camera or show where they are calling in from, we need to respect that. There is a big drive around the world for people to call for ”not camera ready” mode. Manage and Resolve Dependencies With team members working remotely, the team need to raise dependencies early, clear resolution plans need to be agreed and the resolutions must be tracked. Various collaboration tools can be used for this, including Slack, Trello and Mural to ensure visibility of all dependencies. Getting Remote WoW Right will take time The transition to working remotely will take time and needs to be treated as a process. New remote WoW is a transition that will continuously evolve with newer tools, technology and expertise. What works for one remote individual or team might not work for others. We need to give our people the time to adjust and get used to this Way of Working. Inspection and adaption is a core component of Agile and we need to use the already established practice of retrospectives to continuously improve on the remote WoW. What are the key considerations for team members moving to remote WoW? 8 "81% of respondents consider they are at least as productive, if not more so, working in a virtual setting than in an office.” - IBM Think Forward Jam 2020
  • 12. Geographic Locations Everybody must focus on being more culturally aware and show respect to different personal situations. When working in remote environments, we are crossing both geographical and cultural borders and we need to embrace the diversity and overcome any challenges. As a start, share the country and city of every person with the team and, include the time zone difference. There is a small gesture of empathy and respect in that action. Multiple Time Zones Don’t let your team become sleep deprived or the quality of your workshops and the outcomes produced will suffer. A simple but effective way to ensure you recognise everybody in the workshop is to outline the agenda by time zone. Remember, latitude hurts, but longitude kills. Physical and Psychological Safety Prior to recording video sessions it is essential that you have gained the consent of all participants, for internal and external meetings. Ensure that everybody has the option to leave the meeting if they don't feel comfortable with the session being recorded. There can be multiple reasons for this, including confidential and sensitive information breaches. The recordings can be invaluable for using as a reference later. Recording important scoping sessions can reduce conflicts and ambiguities. It is also important to regularly check if every team member is physically comfortable. Technology and Tools Invest in technology and tools, but don’t skimp on investing in training up all team members to use these tools effectively. When facilitating a workshop don't assume everybody is familiar with all the tools that will be used. Build time into the plan to teach the tools in the workshop and ensure all participants can use them well enough to meet the current need. In some cases, we can become more efficient than ever before. We have opportunities to improve ongoing asynchronous communication via Slack channels and we can reduce group think time with voting on Mural and Trello in retrospective ceremonies, Design Thinking workshops and in many other ways. These tools are not only for remote working, but will enable co-located teams to improve. Facilitation challenges Facilitating an online workshop with 50+ participants is much more challenging than facilitating a face to face workshop with 50+ participants. How we plan and facilitate online versus face to face is vastly different. Online requires greater preparation to provide a seamless experience for workshop participants. All the templates, framework and tools need to be designed and created upfront. Don’t forget, whether we're working remotely or in the same office, teams tend to work best when individual members are given sufficient alone time to think away from the group. What are the key considerations for organising workshops with remote team members? 9 Facilitating an online workshop with 50+ participants is much more challenging than facilitating a face to face workshop with 50+ participants. Don’t forget, whether we're working remotely or in the same office, teams tend to work best when individual members are given sufficient alone time to think away from the group.
  • 13. Social Contracts Ensure everyone is aware of the working agreement. This should be shared before or at the beginning of the session. This can be done as an Ice Breaker. For example, ask the attendees "What are or might be distracting you during the workshop?” Participants will share different things that can impact them in their environments, and it will give them the safety to step away immediately if they are required to do so. The rest of the social contract can be shared and agreed up front and all of these items create that safety required. Plan for the unexpected Things always go wrong in a "live" environment so plan for the unexpected during workshops. Ensure that the facilitator has an alternative communication channel to address any issue that arises. Have contingency plans in place for the what- if scenarios. The level of planning will depend on the duration of your workshop. 10 Synchronisation Points Similar to what we do in a face to face workshop, include some time for individuals to ‘buddy’ up with others to take some discussion points/ideas offline and then come back to sync with the larger group. Let the smaller teams self-organise on how they breakout. Parking Lot One of the practices that we see not being used effectively or at all, is the parking lot. Just like the face to face meetings, use a visual Parking Lot to capture all items that can be addressed offline. Don’t forget to review the Parking Lot items at the end of your session. Mural and Trello are two tools that can easily be used for this. (An example of this is illustrated in the later sections). One of the practices that we see not being used successfully or not at all, is the parking lot
  • 14. What are the key considerations for recognising and avoiding virtual fatigue? 11 Video Calls Require More Focus than Face to Face Conversations Video calls are notoriously more draining on the body and mind than face to face conversations, even one on one video calls. We have to work harder to process non-verbal cues like facial expressions, the tone and the pitch of the voice and the body language isn’t as easy to pick up. Silence is Unnatural in Video Calls In face to face conversations, looking away and thinking for 10 or even 30 seconds before responding is a natural behavior. However, silence on video calls makes people uncomfortable. People become anxious about the technology and start asking questions such as, ”Is the mic working?” or ”Did we lose connection?". As a facilitator you feel you need to keep the dialog going in order to keep the silence to the minimum. The urge to avoid this silence and other uncomfortable situations can be physically and mentally draining. It will take practice to get right, to embrace the silence, we need to say, give me 30 seconds or a minute before I respond to you. We need to acknowledge it and cater to these natural human behaviours. Delayed Response is Perceived as Less Friendly A recent study by German academics showed that delays in phone and video conferencing shaped our view of people negatively. Delayed responses of even 1.2 Seconds make people perceive the responder as less friendly or focused. These are things that we need to be aware of and cater for.3 3. Source: BBC.com The Feeling of Being Watched Constantly When we are on camera, we are very aware of being watched, which creates a social pressure of feeling like we need to perform. It can be difficult to not be conscious and cautious about how we behave in front of the camera. It is very draining on the body and mind, being watched while you are watching multiple people. The pressure is on the whole time. Be mindful and forgiving throughout your sessions. Virtual “Happy Hour” can have Adverse Effects. One of our approaches to team building that is doing the rounds is the virtual “Happy Hour”. Be careful the virtual “Happy Hour” can have adverse effects on engagement and morale. The feeling of being forced into virtual meetings, labelled “happy” or otherwise, can also be a contributing factor for video fatigue. If people see this as an obligation, that means more time that they are ‘performing’ on video as opposed to getting that much needed break. Workshop Durations Long workshops can be extremely tiresome and even more so virtually. Our recommendation is to break the workshop up into shorter sessions. In general, anything more than four hours should be split into multiple shorter sessions, ideally across multiple days. Workshops can be designed to include more interactive collaboration activities that will assist the participants in breaking down workshops into shorter time-boxed sessions with breaks in between. Participants can use the time in between these workshops to do preparation or research to optimize the time spent virtually together. “ In a normal conversation. More than 65 per cent of social meaning occurs through the non-verbal channel.” - Edward T. Hall (1959), a renowned social anthropologist
  • 15. Ice Breakers are Even More Important Team members lose the unplanned watercooler or coffee conversations with colleagues in remote work. These are actually important parts of the workday that have a direct impact on performance. How do we create those virtually? Use Ice Breakers to: • Diffuse team anxiety • Create opportunity to connect at personal level • Build a rapport to enable trust • Become familiar with the tools that will be used • Have fun! Ice Breakers are even more important now especially when we have remote team members. The true purpose of an Ice Breaker can be achieved when it is kept simple and is properly executed. Publishing the Agenda One challenge that we are facing more than ever before is that a larger portion of our team members are working from remote locations and some of them may be in different time zones. We need to ensure that all team members feel like it is their meeting in their time zone. When publishing an agenda, display the timings for every time zone that the participants are in so that no one feels like they are ‘off-shore’. Another tip is to not label a break as Lunch when it is late afternoon for another location. Inform attendees what is acceptable, please eat before hand or feel free to bring your food along. Have a Co-Facilitator In most cases, it is far more challenging to manage a virtual discussion than a face-to-face one. It can be helpful to assign a co-facilitator to guide the polling, simultaneous chat sessions and other non-verbal interactions, allowing the facilitator to focus on the key conversations. The co-facilitator can capture real-time feedback from multiple channels during the workshop and resolve basic questions on the technology being used. What are the key considerations for effectively using tools and techniques for remote workshops? 12 1 2 3 4 5 Take a photo Take a photo depending on the agreed subject and share a story about the photo. Examples include simple desk items or shoes of the day. Favourite Things Everyone will create a list of their favourite things based on an agreed category. The categories can be non- work related, such as movies, music, foods, etc. It may also be work-related categories such as favourite coffee place or company events. Two Truths and a Lie Participants will prepare 3 interesting facts about themselves, one of which is a lie. Each member votes on which statement they think is the lie about the participant, and once everyone has voted, that participant will reveal the correct answer. Time Machine Ask participants where they would go if they had a time machine. Explore their what ifs or future plans. Sample questions include: • If you could live in any era, what would it be? • If you could talk to your past self, what would you say? • If you could go to the future, what changes would you expect to see with yourself? Would You Rather Take turns asking participants asking two questions for what rather and why they chose it. Sample questions include: • Would you rather be the richest person or the smartest? • Would you rather the temperature be hot all the time or cold? • Would you rather have a cat or a dog? ICE BREAKERS Location 1 Location 2 Agenda 8:00 – 8:30 am 12:00 – 12:30 pm 8:30 – 9:15 am 12:30 – 1:15 pm 9:15 – 11:15 am 1:15 – 3:15 pm 11:15 – 12:15 pm 3:15 – 4:15 pm 12:15 – 1:00 pm 4:15 – 5:00 pm 1:00 – 1:15 pm 5:00 – 5:15 pm 1:15 – 2:00 pm 5:15– 6:00 pm 2:00 – 2:30 pm 6:00 – 6:30 pm 2:30 – 3:00 pm 6:30 – 7:00 pm Kick off Define Objectives Discovery Break Program Risks Break Showcase Next Steps Retrospective
  • 16. Use of Parking Lot Here’s a typical ‘Parking Lot’ that we see being used in face-to-face workshops. Many teams are struggling to apply the concept of the ‘Parking Lot’ after moving to a virtual set up. What used to be quite simple to implement and apply in a face-to- face workshop has now become quite a challenge. Many teams are either not using the ‘Parking Lot’ mechanism or using ad-hoc ways of ‘taking things offline’. Below is an example of one of the most efficient and logical ways to implement the ‘Parking Lot’ feature in a virtual workshop. Using a virtual tool like Trello, create a column called ‘Parking Lot’ and keep adding relevant items to that column as things come up. Every workshop participant can add and update items in this interactive ‘Parking Lot’ asynchronously. As each of the items are closed, anyone can drag and drop it into the next column which contains all the ‘closed’ items. The advantage of using such a tool as shown below is that anyone, at any time can update the ‘Parking Lot’ items from any remote work location. Getting everyone to collaborate and contribute to conversations in any workshop requires experienced and talented facilitators. This is even more pertinent for virtual workshops. We must look beyond the limits of the tools and technologies to involve key voices in the discussions – regardless as their location. What used to be quite simple to implement and apply in a face-to-face workshop has now become quite a challenge. 13
  • 17. Online Voting Sessions One element that works really well in virtual workshops is group dot voting. In a face-to-face scenario, dot voting normally works with each participant being given a certain number of votes to spread across a number of items. Tools like Mural provide this function virtually. However, unlike in face-to-face scenarios, the participants in a virtual voting session cannot see what other participants are voting on until the voting session is over. This way there is no bias or skewed voting that we frequently see in face-to-face voting sessions. As remote workshops rely on collaboration tools, it is important to keep multiple channels of collaboration open in case of technology failure. Good facilitators also strategically change the collaboration channels to keep the participants even more engaged throughout. A great team will always find ways to communicate well, regardless of the tools. Pre and Post Workshop discussions are as important Virtual collaboration tools, such as, Slack and Mural can encourage the team to meet and start some of the conversations prior to the workshop. The same tools can be used to collaborate during the session and post-workshop. Pre and post workshop discussions can also help in reducing the workshop time and video fatigue for the participants. Below is an example of a Mural wall used for a Problem-Solving workshop, the agenda for this workshop was spread over 3 days. While the workshop on a typical day was only 2 hours on Webex, this Mural wall was constantly updated by all team members throughout the 3 days. The Webex sessions were strategically scheduled to conduct only targeted activities that needed involvement of all team members to particulate together online. Breakout groups were created ahead of the time so that they can continue working outside of the scheduled video sessions and sync back with the wider team regularly. Mural was always asynchronously updated, providing true visibility and transparency of progress at any point in time. A great team will always find ways to communicate well, regardless of the tools. 14
  • 18. Real Life Example: Use of Virtual Planning Walls One of the earliest challenges we faced after going all-remote was to be able to quickly run meetings that were always using a physical wall to be run virtually. Below is one such example of a Portfolio Planning wall for a large transformation program. This 5-metre-wide wall shows all the work that is planned to be worked on in the next 6 iterations and was used during the fortnightly Big Room Planning sessions. Anyone at any time could go up to the wall and update the items. Up to 30 team members from IBM and the client used to gather near this wall for their fortnightly planning sessions. In March 2020, the entire team was suddenly forced away from this crucial wall. The fortnightly workshops were conducted using Webex to communicate in real-time, and the contents of the planning board were continuously updated prior to, during, and after the workshops. This virtual board is kept up to date just like the physical wall used to be by the team members and this virtual board is now the hub of the planning sessions and helps the team visualise their work. One surprising effect of using virtual collaboration tools was that the planning sessions over Webex are on average taking about 40 percent less time than the face-to-face ones. Even with the same levels of discussions and the same number of participants, these meetings became more efficient as team members were able to asynchronously update the board, and able to zoom in and out of particular cards as needed. This team now consciously minimises the time in workshops by pushing some activities to before and after the workshop. There is also no longer the need to take photos of the physical wall to circulate it to everyone. Effective use of the ‘Parking Lot’ is also a key contributor here. Even when some or most of their team members are co-located in the office, this team will continue to use these remote Ways of Working techniques for their workshops. When one team member is not in the room, facilitate workshops as if no one is in the room. Level the playing field for everyone even when some or most people are in the same room. 15 The team had to immediately find an interactive tool that would allow for all of the activities that used to take place with the physical wall. They quickly created a virtual version of this board using a virtual collaboration tool - Trello. The virtual board allowed each team member to not just see the contents from their remote locations but they could also update their items asynchronously. When one team member is not in the room, facilitate workshops as if no one is in the room
  • 19. Key Takeaways Below are seven key takeaways that will help any organisation wanting to unleash the full potential of their remote employees: 16 3 The values and principles of the Agile manifesto remain foundational to Agile Ways of Working remotely. The key to getting the most out of remote working is to spend more energy on ways to enhance how we work remotely together rather than working remotely as individuals. The Agile Manifesto is still relevant 4 Leaders who focus on building trust, respect and empathy into an agile workforce culture are helping their employees be the best versions of themselves, both physically and mentally, especially when team members are working remotely. Three Key Values: - Trust - Respect - Empathy 6 Tools are critical, but they are not the only answer. Aim to minimise the tools stack while focusing on remote WoW. The transition to working remotely will take time and needs to be treated as a process with continuous improvement. Invest in People, Process and Technology 7 Using new Agile Ways of Working remotely can help overcome all of the challenges, allowing teams with remote team members to still have rich collaboration and successful workshops together. The key to making a success of remote working for any organisation, team or individual is finding the optimal combination of skillset, toolset and mindset. Workshops are still possible 5 The highest-performing teams have one thing in common - psychological safety. In times of crisis, everybody is in the same boat so humanise the experience as much as possible. Be aware of video fatigue and go easy on yourself and others. Physical and Psychological Safety 2 The cost of remote working can be high, and organisations need to invest more in the safety and security of not just their remote employees, but also in the safety and security of their systems and software applications that are being accessed remotely. Additional cost and effort will be needed for implementing newer tools (equipping remote team members) and processes to keep remote team members motivated and operating with optimal efficiency. Don’t expect remote working to be always cheaper 1 A single consistent and new Way of Working for all team members across all geographic locations will increase the effectiveness across the team members. Having one integrated collaboration platform helps align the team and improve transparency, productivity, efficiency and trust across the organisations. The dedicated group of champions need to become the catalyst for transitioning this WoW consistently across the organisation. Consistency all around
  • 20. Dipesh Pala Agile Leader IBM GBS Asia Pacific dipeshpala@au1.ibm.com @DipeshPala Cobus Beetge Agile Coach IBM GBS Australia cbeetge@au1.ibm.com @cobusbeetge Over the last decade, Dipesh been instrumental in rolling out Agile at scale in many organisations across multiple countries. In addition to being a top-rated speaker at industry conferences, Dipesh is also a seasoned facilitator who is able to drive out the best outcomes from any project-based or strategy workshops. A keen advocate of simplicity, Dipesh offers simple, practical yet powerful ways to address the challenges Agile leaders and teams face today. Dipesh continuously pushes leaders and organisations beyond the principles and practices to take a step further into their Agile journey. Cobus is an experienced Agile coach with 20 years of ICT experience across multiple industries. Cobus has mobilised and coached over 35 Agile teams in various organisations, including three leadership teams across multiple countries as he continues to thrive on building long-lasting relationships based on trust and respect. With his substantial experience in coaching, mentoring and training, Cobus is able to assist leaders and teams to continuously improve and embrace agile values, principles, and practices. © Copyright IBM Corporation 2020 IBM Corporation New Orchard Road Armonk, NY 10504 IBM, the IBM logo, and ibm.com are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at www.ibm.com/legal/ copytrade.shtml. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON- INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. This report is intended for general guidance only. It is not intended to be a substitute for detailed research or the exercise of professional judgment. IBM shall not be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any organization or person who relies on this publication. The data used in this report may be derived from third-party sources and IBM does not independently verify, validate or audit such data. The results from the use of such data are provided on an “as is” basis and IBM makes no representations or warranties, express or implied. About the Authors slideshare.net/DipeshPala au.linkedin.com/in/dipeshpala linkedin.com/in/cobus-beetge/