Remote | Revisiting Agile Teams after an abrupt shift to Remote

Revisiting Agile Teams after an abrupt shift to Remote
McKinsey Insights | April 2020

Agile teams traditionally excel when their members are co-located. Here’s how to ensure they’re effective now that COVID-19 has forced them to work remotely.

Sustaining the people and culture of a remote agile team
– Revisit the norms and ground rules for interaction
– Cultivate bonding and morale
– Adapt coaching and development

Recalibrating remote agile processes
– Remote agile ceremonies come with unique challenges

Chart w/Scrum Ceremonies : Objectives, challenges for remote teams, solutions

– Establish a single source of truth
– Adjust to asynchronous collaboration
– Keep teams engaged during long ceremonies
– Adapting leadership approach
– Various approaches can help teams engage customers and external stakeholders

Chart w/Challenges ; Engaging purposefully, providing transparency, effective collaboration

Note: Article recommended by Bob Schatz, one my Scrum instructors.

Authors = Santiago Comella-Dorda, Lavkesh Garg, Suman Thareja, & Belkis Vasquez-McCall (McKinsey Insights, McKinsey & Company)

https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/revisiting-agile-teams-after-an-abrupt-shift-to-remote

Remote | ZDNet Special Feature: Working from Home: The Future of Business is Remote

ZDNet Special Feature: Working from Home: The Future of Business is Remote
ZDNet | Undated

(…) From Fortune 500 enterprises to very small businesses, every organization has been thrust into the future faster than prognosticators dared dream. What factors will determine failure or success in this brave new world of work?

A variety of topics related to “Working from home: the new normal”. Each topic has its article with interesting ideas and perspectives, tools & tips. List of topics:

  • Work from home 101: Essential tools for telecommuting
  • What does the new normal look like post COVID-19? 15 CXOs answer
  • Everything you need to reopen your business
  • How remote working forced us to look beyond the traditional PC
  • Survey: Most US employees are uncomfortable returning to the workplace as restrictions ease
  • How the young workforce is responding to COVID-19 pandemic
  • Your Zoom meetings will be safe and secure if you do these 10 things
  • ZDNet Recommends: The best products for every office
  • Remote-working checklist: 10 top challenges you’ll face
  • Survey: CFOs looking to make remote work, telecommuting more permanent
  • Windows 10 alert: Zoom client can leak your network login credentials
  • I’ve been working from home for 13 years and I’m beginning to hate it
  • 9 remote work best practices from Verizon’s HR chief
  • Working from home on a laptop? Check out these external monitors
  • How one team switched 4,000 staff to remote working in just a week
  • Could COVID-19 change the look of the office as we know it?
  • With everyone working from home, VPN security is now paramount
  • Best video conferencing software for business
  • Coronavirus updates: How COVID-19 is accelerating the future of work
  • 64 expert tips for staying healthy, happy, and productive
  • Build a super-functional home office for $1,000
  • Slow Wi-Fi? 8 ways to speed up your home office network
  • Managing telecommuters? Here are 8 management tips
  • Hardware dilemma: Desktop or laptop with docking station?
  • Working from home? Switch off Amazon’s Alexa (say lawyers)
  • Your home Wi-Fi network is going to be exposed by telecommuting
  • Build a budget home office for under $300
  • Working from home: Cybersecurity tips for remote workers

Author = ZDNet

https://www.zdnet.com/topic/working-from-home-the-future-of-business-is-remote/

Remote | Remote Work VS Distributed Work

The crucial difference between remote work and distributed work
Work In Progress Dropbox Blog | April 03, 2020

Remote work is a discipline for the individual worker, but distributed work is a discipline for the entire organization.

Distributed work needs different tools
Distributed work needs a new social contract
Distributed work needs a more agile org chart
Distributed work needs a smart workspace

Author = Anthony Wing Kosner

https://blog.dropbox.com/topics/work-culture/the-crucial-difference-between-remote-work-and-distributed-work

Inside the Story of How H-E-B Planned for the Pandemic

Inside the Story of How H-E-B Planned for the Pandemic
Texas Monthly | March 26, 2020

(…) The grocer started communicating with Chinese counterparts in January and was running tabletop simulations a few weeks later. (But nothing prepared it for the rush on toilet paper.)

A fantastic read on how a company – H-E-B, based in San Antonio, TX – proactively prepared for the COVID-19 crisis, learning from past experience and focusing on best possible practices at all levels.

Before the Outbreak
Preparing Employees
Command Central
Trying to Keep Up
The Great Unknowns
Lessons Learned

Authors = Dan Solomon & Paula Forbes (Texas Monthly)

https://www.texasmonthly.com/food/heb-prepared-coronavirus-pandemic/

How to Manage Modern Software Projects: Waterfall vs. Agile

Always interesting to read a pro/con analysis between Waterfall & Agile methodologies.

Waterfall Pros

It is easy to understand and manage as stages are clearly defined.
Meticulous record keeping and documentation.
Client knows what to expect. Client will have an idea of the size, cost and timeline for the project. The client will have a definite idea of what their product will do in the end.
In the case of employee turnover, waterfall’s strong documentation allows for minimal project impact

Waterfall Cons
It often becomes rigid and resistant to change.
It relies heavily on initial requirements. However if these requirements are faulty in any manner, the project is doomed.
The whole product is only tested at the end. If errors are discovered late in the process, their existence may have affected the rest of the project.
The plan does not take into account a client’s evolving needs throughout the project cycle.

Agile Pros
It allows for changes to be made after the initial planning stage. It follows client’s requirements changes.
It is easier to add features that will keep the product up to date with the latest developments in the industry.
At the end of each sprint, project priorities are evaluated. This allows clients to add their feedback, so that they ultimately get the product they desire.
The testing at the end of each sprint ensures that the errors are caught in each cycle.

Agile Cons
This dynamic methodology is not suitable for processes that require a complex decision making of formal planning such as construction, manufacturing, military, health care system among others.
As the initial project does not have a definitive plan, the final product can be grossly different that what was initially intended.

Author = Liz Parody (Moove-it, via Medium)

https://medium.com/@lizparody/waterfall-vs-agile-methodology-in-software-development-1e19ef168cf6

Differences between TDD, ATDD and BDD

They are not the same. Article covers:

TDD = Test-driven development = a technique of using automated unit tests to drive the design of software and force decoupling of dependencies.

ATDD = Acceptance Test Driven Development,
aka STDD = Storytest Driven Development = a technique used to bring customers into the test design process before coding has begun. It is a collaborative practice where users, testers, and developers define automated acceptance criteria.

BDD = Behavior-Driven Development = combines the general techniques and principles of TDD with ideas from domain-driven design. BDD is a design activity where you build pieces of functionality incrementally guided by the expected behavior.

Article also discusses Differences.

Author = Gabo Esquivel

https://gaboesquivel.com/blog/2014/differences-between-tdd-atdd-and-bdd/

Test Automation Tips and Best Practices

Article covers: Top Tips for Test Automation

Manual vs Automated – Testing vs Checking
Automate Regression Tests
Design Tests Before Automating Them
Remove Uncertainty from Automated Tests
Review Automated Tests for Validity
Don’t Automate Unstable Functionality
Don’t Expect Magic From Test Automation
Don’t Rely Solely on Automation – Beware of Passing Tests
Aim for Fast Feedback
Understand the Context
Don’t Automate Every Test
Use Test Techniques in Test Automation
Don’t Automate Chaos

Author = Amir Ghahrai (Testing Excellence)

https://www.testingexcellence.com/test-automation-tips-best-practices/