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In the digital age with growing challenges, more and more companies realize the benefits of remote work. Work in the home office recently achieved a significant surge in popularity at the start of the ongoing COVID pandemic. This new norm creates new challenges that must be mastered together as an Agile team.
In this article, we want to introduce you to the challenges and advantages of remote teams and explain the benefits of Jira as an Agile project management tool.
Due to the change in everyday work and the move from the office to the remote work, teams have to overcome completely new challenges. This includes communication of relevant information and planning of meetings. While you just had to call over quickly in the office or discussed the latest project status over a coffee in the kitchen, virtual communication works a little differently. Different time zones or limited availability can be a challenge here. Employees have to show a willingness to approach each other and act independently. Therefore, some important factors should be considered when working remotely, contributing to an efficient way of working with Agile teams.
When working in remote teams, the most significant essential factors are communication, transparency, and personal responsibility.
Effective communication is fundamental to an Agile way of working. Communication should take place regularly and quickly so that all team members are on the same page, no matter where in the world they are. Furthermore, a good communication and information tool is necessary to lose relevant information on decisions.
Transparency is a critical aspect of working in remote teams. All relevant information must be accessible to everyone. It is also influential that the tasks and responsibilities of the individual team members are clearly defined and transparently documented to avoid the loss of relevant information and the development of misunderstandings.
The structured flow of information enables independent work, an essential part of remote teams. When you are in the home office, you must collect tasks and information, as no colleague can stop by in the office and bring you up to date. However, an independent Agile way of working can also be more accessible than the stubborn hierarchical delegation of tasks.
As an Agile project management tool, Jira combines all the essential points when working with remote teams. It doesn’t matter which Agile method you work with for the time being. Both Kanban and Scrum offer advantages in the virtual collaboration of groups. Both models require good communication and transparency around the task at hand, and that’s exactly what Jira offers you.
Jira enables you to be transparent with information centralized in one place. You can find all the necessary information in the respective stories and tickets, and you always have an optimal overview of the status of your projects. This also encourages employees to work independently, as the tasks and responsibilities are clearly distributed.
In addition, Jira facilitates communication between team members despite the distance. Thanks to the various statuses on the Kanban Board, project managers get a perfect overview of the status of ongoing projects. In addition, the comment function can be used to provide updates or to collect important information. You can attach pictures or show the relationship to other tasks. In addition, you will receive a notification by email if something changes in the relevant processes.
Another advantage that Jira remote teams offer is the numerous reporting functions. Reports are particularly important in Agile teams, not only to provide information for management and stakeholders, but to give the team itself an overview of the velocity and timing of their projects. In addition, Jira Reporting offers the possibility to make better decisions based on real-time insights. This enables a deep analysis of the various projects and allows to manage risks and progress efficiently. The following report types could be of particular interest for agile remote teams: Velocity report, team capacity, and sprint reports.
Suppose remote teams want to make their work with Jira even more efficient. In that case, it is also worth looking at third-party apps that complement Jira’s out-of-the-box solutions and offer additional time tracking and reporting functions, for example.
Andreas Springer _Actonic_
Head of Marketing
2 accepted answers