Agile Methodologies in times of pandemic

April 7th, 2020

In times like these it's very important to keep collaboration and communication in a virtual way, and continue operating with the least possible impact in company's processes. In one of our clients, Cloud Solutions, we are working on implementing agile methodologies: making sure that teamwork increases, and that teams have the right tools to self-organize and add value to the process through collaboration and coordination.

A few weeks ago we started this ways of working transformation and the incorporation of these methodologies that keep improving continuosly. Starting with a workshop in which we determined the vision of this transformation in order to have a clear direction, and continuing with definitions of which frameworks to use, which practices and other matters within the agile framework.

Given the dynamic nature of the company and in order to be able to respond to a very inconstant environment, we decided to use Kanban as framework for most part of the process. With this methodology, you can visualize your backlog, work in progress and work completed in a clear way, so that the team understands where they are standing. Using a workflow adapted to the needs of the company, we are able to understand where the bottlenecks are and where the team has improvement opportunities.

The tool we are using is Zoho Sprints, where we can create a panel that can be used for iteration based methodologies (such as Scrum) as well as for a model in which there is a continuos flow of work (Kanban). On the other hand, the panel can be visualized grouping cards according to different criteria (by client, by priority, by assignee). In this way we can view the current situation according to what we need.

Regarding interactions between team members, it is very important to use a tool with audio and video ideally, or chat. Moreover, through tools like Zoho Sprints you can register the information related to a requirement / user story or task for future reference.

The tool is helping us implement a work philosophy that is centered on people and their interactions but it also goes beyond that. Through daily meetings (taken from Scrum, the daily standups) the team has a daily synch-up that takes 15', in which everyone can share progress, identify impediments and ask for help to teammates. This way everyone has visibility of what everyone else is working on and how all the parts collaborate to achieve a common goal.

Through this path we'll continue improving the ways of working, with continuos improvment meetings (retrospectives), adopting estimation methods (if necessary) and many other practices from the umbrella of agile methodologies and with the support of the right tools.