How can we use Agile/Scrum after COVID-19 pandemic to speed up?

Agile is one of the best and very essential work methodologies. The mindset of agile and methodology has a lot to teach us as to how to work effectively when working differently. But here the question of how we use agile to speed up the process after this global pandemic is over. The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down everything in the world. This requires a fast pace work for the companies to stand again on their feet to come in the line of competition again. Agile is very popular for companies and organizations that seek innovations, speed, and focused customer priorities. It is not the tool used by the IT department rather it is used across the whole organization’s functions. This is also the fact that those companies that use agile throughout their companies are the most successful.

Agile has some really useful benefits which would be really helpful after this COVID-19 situation and the reasons behind are –

  • When things are uncertain then agile provides a regular routine pattern to move forward. When you are virtually standing with your team and reviewing the work then it inculcates a sense of positivity about the normalcy of the situation.
  • Agile also permit for quick shifts like when organization need to change the priorities or their approaches towards their goals. Agile is also used to split the work and accomplish targets bits by bits. when the situation like the current pandemic becomes normal and regular they can go back to a normal pace of working.
  • Agile also empowers the teams to make a decision instead of waiting for permission from the managers. This helps the teams to generate quick and speedy decisions. The COVID-19 has created much pressure on the system  so agile provides a chance to react quickly.

The COVID-19 crisis has promoted the trend of remote working. Agile helps team which are remote to interact. When all are working and meeting up on video conferencing then it promotes collaboration as it equalizes the participants. Agile can help organizations to achieve their goals after the COVID-19 by –

  • Establishing the time deadlines to accomplish the key tasks by time boxing the work
  • Inspecting the work for the quality and partnering with a team member for checking outputs. A kind of constant feedback is necessary.
  • Agile enhance the need for reviewing work rather than just completing and moving on to the next task.
  • Agile also facilitates the teams to make the right decisions over and over again.

Agile can help us during this difficult pandemic situation and also to a new normal life after it. The reason is organizations in the world are not anymore dependent on individual works rather now they are based on an agile mindset of promoting teams. The current condition needs a response based on calmness so that the complex problems can be handled and for this agile is proved to be a beneficial partner in the time of difficulty.

Featured Photo by Shopify Partners from Burst

How did project management changed after COVID-19 Pandemic?

For some organizations, this recent pandemic of COVID-19 has posed serious challenges in project management. This is especially serious if the organization is forced to experiment with remote working without any beforehand arrangements. It may also look insurmountable if your company deals with bigger projects, portfolios, or programs that involve hundreds of people. This is not a hurdle if you correctly use the right project management tool and methodology. This on-going pandemic has welcome the reality check. As all the minute issues and problems that were tolerated in our daily work is now magnified. These can help us in identifying the factors and elements which can be done in a better way.

This crisis has allowed us to select ways for efficient project management strategy. If your team is globally spread but still you will face similar issues as you were facing before this COVID-19 for example in office the project managers cannot be the top leaders at all the time. That’s right that now you face more physical barriers but issues are the same and you have to find ways to manage the situation. There are three very important points for remote project management that include clear communication with collaboration, centralization of data, and monitoring in an effective way.

  • Clear communication

As now due to social distancing, there are no regular meetings, no colleagues meet up in offices. This provides us a chance to device new ways for communication like building virtual teams that stay in touch and feel connected. For meeting use video conferencing apps that creates a sense of team collaboration.

  • Centralization of data

One of the barriers that team members face in this situation is the missing of authentic data like teams working on excel sheets or collection of data for synchronization. In this lockdown, situation organizations have no option but to centralize the data and information through the project management tools. The managers must see through these tools the state of real-time work and track the progress of each project. Keeping things in a shared location is also a solution. Similarly keeping the management tool and tracking tool system updated is the responsibility of the organizations.

  • Monitoring

The monitoring of project status is also very important and must be seen closely. In crisis companies and organizations can’t bear extra resources and missed deadlines because of it. Your monitoring and centralization system must be synchronized to get real-time information and can take the necessary steps when needed. Build monitoring dashboards and define the KPIs, set the notifications for warnings of potential risk factors.

Getting these three factors right can help you in sailing your boat for a longer time in storm and also improve the project management system of your organization. This is a good time to think deeply and take the action to get the fruits of your hard work in pandemic situations from the results you will get in the months to come.

Featured Photo by Tomáš Hustoles from Burst

How to keep up the employees or make progress during this pandemic?

It’s a big unknown whether we need to move forward in planning our work or cancel the events which are already planned. It’s just not billing the client or making progress or keeping up the staff busy. There are many things which are involved where we can help each other if you are working in an organization or vice versa. Employees and employer are very sensitive for the ongoing pandemic and being impacted by unknown ghost during these unprecedented times. Thinking and making critical changes or quantifying the risk factors involved for each task or event by itself can help us out.

There are 8 best ways where we can make the progress in a right way –

  • Our first priority is our stake holder or the client who we are doing the work for. Ask and revisit your specification for more details on such pandemic type and take necessary action in sending a written documentation. Stakeholder will love to know all the information which is going on the project and definitely we can sit down and make corrective action in favor to both of us with the ongoing trending news.
  • Scanning your WBS (work breakdown structure) and critical path activities can lead us a long way or this is the right way of approaching to the stake holder for more clarification on planned events. Even we can plan on distributing the future work where people can start working from home and make an efficient progress in billing the client for a positive outcome.
  • Visit the business model or schedule to work on low priority items which can be avoided the massive crowds or a group of people. Scatter the people as much as needed for the best productive results and keep them safe would be the highest priority in the coming days. Work should be planned with social distancing by Project controls team or project management team need to come up with various scheduling options or revisit the WBS (work breakdown structure) to see if they can modify or massage the schedule for the overall project without changing the end date.
  • If you make the changes with your WBS obviously check with your suppliers or vendors or partners or sub-contractors whether they can supply the material or do work in this crisis. Taking notes and coming up with a log from procurement department would be the best way to tackle this kind of situation and can be easily explained to the owners/Stakeholders.
  • Communication is the key point in doing all these or put everything to work. Many employees would like to prefer work from home and communication would rather be very difficult in these type of situations. Try to connect with video calling or phone conference meeting to come up with a plan and make everyone satisfied in your performance.
  • Sharing is always caring in each project and many employees are looking to work in these COVID-19 times for the performance and job security. So try to engage as many people as possible. Employees will love to take that next step in making the changes and accomplishing the tasks for managers. Always come up and give chance for various ideas in the room or in a meeting. Mainly people who are way involved in the projects need to have priority and one idea can change the scenario in planning, execution, quality and close out.
  • Documentation is the key and after one year from now people can only remember the pandemic but not the insights of each particular job. Try to keep each and every single record of the job for any change management or risk management teams to get involved in the coming months. Employees or employer doesn’t know when this pandemic is going to last and need to be having a good control on the job would be better documentation structure.
  • Our best suggestion to all project managers and project teams to track the work before the pandemic started and update the date to the closet date the pandemic started effectively in each region. This will help the stakeholder to analyses the previous performance and compare to take relevant decision.

We would strongly believe these are challenging times for each personnel on the job and taking care of each other by having a cool mindset, flexible communication and help where ever or look after for each other would be the best way to earn your paycheck and keep the employer happy.

Featured Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst