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 to Lead the Projects From Remote Location?

Flexible Work Arrangements (FWA) are becoming more popular now, and companies are now witnessing the importance of this approach. Whenever the crisis such as Covid-19 and other such pandemic occurs working from one location for all teammates are impossible. Hence in the challenging times like this, remote work is becoming the need of the hour. Resource management has become more vital now. 

With improved technology, increasing transportation cost, and time, the potential virus spread compelling us to work from remote places. So, let us look at how to lead the project effectively from a distant place. The below five things are essential to run a project smoothly.

  • Coordination across time Zones

If you are leading a team with different time zones, it is more challenging to coordinate the entire team. But the fact is occupying the same physical location allows team members to communicate and collaborate spontaneously. But talking with all at the same time requires proper planning and thoughtful project scheduling. 

In the USA alone there are six time zones are there. To interact with all team members at the same time, it requires proper resource management techniques. To achieve this, you need to have the complete details of every team member where they are living and maintain their time zones. Then schedule a meeting where many of the members can quickly attend. Usually, a few members have to work in odd hours.

  • Build Community Mindset

For the success of any project, resource management is necessary. The same way cultivating the community mindset is vital. While working from one site easily allows you to communicate and get along with each other. The occasional team outings, birthday parties, and many things will make this happen. 

To build the same sense from a remote place, you need to create dedicated digital spaces for celebrating special days of employees. Virtually creating team building activities like virtual games or book clubs etc. will help.

  • Face to Face Communication

The remote working means more and more relying on written communication rather than direct ones. It sometimes leads to miss -communication. Hence to overcome this problem, you need to increase direct communications.

It is important to schedule one to one meeting with employees regularly and make sure it is a video-enabled call. When conducting the team meeting, also schedule video conference calls. It will allow teammates to feel more like the regular team meeting that used to happen in a conference room. 

  • Use tech to collaborate.

The collaboration within the team is the best way of resource management. Using technology for communicating is an essential thing. We cannot rely solely on email communication for everything. But many companies use multiple communication tools, and it often overlaps with another way of communication.

You need to determine which type of tools will most suit as per the situation. For urgent things, you need to use video or voice calls, but for less formal and less critical things, you can use the chat. And using email is required for official communication. 

  • Resource Management by Hiring Remote Ready Employees

For the smooth operation of the project, you need to hire more and more employees who are ready to work from remote locations. Because even your normal activities from an office location, this kind of situation does occur occasionally, so be prepared for such conditions are essential. And hiring those kinds of employees is necessary.

Featured Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

How does the project work continue after reopening America?

The project management is becoming critical with the pandemic attack. The Coronavirus is increasing its death rate day by day. As a result, many countries have imposed lock down throughout the country. The deadliest disease caused significant havoc in America. So, the government is compelled to shut down all the public gatherings and other activities. 

As a generation, we have not experienced this situation until now. But this situation has taught many things. Hence, we can see many changes in the coming days. So, let us look at how things will change after reopening in America in the project work space.

  • Remote Work management

The project work will think about continuing on remote work. There are several situations where remote work is not possible. But the actions of some of the employees can be made from home. Many tasks like developing, coding, testing, and many works can be done from remote places. 

Many companies are thinking of making a specific mandatory day of work from home. And it seems the world will move towards more work from home in the future than working in workplaces. 

  • Team Collaboration management

The success or failure of any project mainly depends on how effective its project management. An efficient project manager knows how to collaborate and work as a team. Post pandemic companies will try to increase the collaboration level while working remotely. 

Effective teamwork can able to achieve any of the difficult tasks. The manager must train and motivate the teammates to work as a team for successful collaboration. When the employees start to work as a team rather than giving importance to individual brilliance, the things will change.

Much importance to effective project management

Covid-19 has taught us many lessons. And one of the major ones is to be prepared for any contingency. Effective project management will give importance to risk management. The companies who already taken proper measures are working rather smoothly even in this crisis. 

After the reopening, project work will start to prepare to be ready for any of the future crises. They will begin assessing the problem they might get in the future crises and will work on how to counter them. The plans such as not depending on one source or one location and many more will come into play. It will help to get the inputs if one source fails. 

Investing in the technical infrastructure

You may notice the companies that are equipped well in technical infrastructure are doing well even now. They contain the work remotely without significant problems. Project management will have to think more about providing essential tools for the employees.

Now we are seeing a huge demand for many industrial products that connect the people virtually. The corporates will work towards this by proving each or at least some employees all the infrastructures to communicate from remote places. Procuring laptops, providing a reliable internet source are some examples of this.

Certainly, Covid -19 has changed many things. Now it all depends on companies to work on its project management to overcome these kinds of issues in the future. 

Featured Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst Photo by Mitul Shah from Burst

Is there an option for the project management team to work from home?

The work from home is the common word we hear these days. The outbreak of Covid-19 has caused all these situations. When the situation went out of hands, all the states have started to lock their countries. It prevented free moments of people from countries to countries and to worsen the situation many places you are not allowed to leave your home. 

Now the work from the home situation becomes inevitable. And the project also teams not an exception from this. Some of the companies are observing this is the best way to approach. Because in the long run, it might prove easy to do cost management. 

  • Project Cost management

The important thing in any of the activities is money. And the same applies to project teams as well. Everybody knows the pain of work from home, but it is the only option left for running the project. But do you do work from home makes it easier for cost management? 

Yes, the companies must invest in providing the necessary infrastructure to project teams to work from home. It initially, without a doubt, not cost-friendly. But it will become more economical in the long run as it saves them money that needed to provide the transportation allowance, maintaining the workplace and other workplace-related costs. 

  • Work from home is not new!

For many companies, work from home is not a new phenomenon. Some small project managers are allowing their team to work from home since it is easy from the perspective of cost management. And many other big players also fixed certain days of compulsory work from home for its employees. 

Even we have many project managers; they handle their team remotely in the usual days. It mainly saves the time needed to commute between the places, especially in the cities where a traffic jam is ordinary. They can spend those time on other things to run the project effectively. 

Let us look into the benefits and drawbacks of work from home options.

The key benefits of work from home options are as follows.

  • Saves time and money

providing the option of working from home not only helps a project manager to do the cost management effectively, but it also helps employees. Most importantly, they can save the time which will go lost in transporting between office and home, and the money required for commuting also will be saved.

  • Work Flexibility

If you work from home except attending the meeting and other stuff, you can able to work at your convenience. This flexibility will not be available in most of the projects. And with the saving of commuting time, it becomes more advantageous. 

Now let us look at the main drawbacks of work from home. 

  • Difficult to monitor the progress. This monitoring problem becomes more if you have a large team.
  • Technical problems – The problem such as power failure network failure in one or other areas will happen if you continue to do WFH regularly. If it occurs during a crucial time, then it becomes a headache for project management
  • Interruptions from family.

To sum up, work from home helps for effective cost management, but it also has some drawbacks. However, after witnessing the Covid-19 situation, all project leads are compelled to work from home, and many are planning to work at least some days remotely in a month.

Featured Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst