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

Facial Recognition: a T-shirt to hide from cameras

Some shirts hide you from cameras—but will anyone wear them?
Ars Technica | April 10, 2020

It’s theoretically possible to become invisible to cameras. But can it catch on?

Interesting read.

(…)

As use of surveillance systems grows and becomes endemic globally, designers worldwide are rising to meet the challenge in a variety of ways. Some, like sunglasses or infrared-blocking scarves, may be able to go mainstream quickly if mass-produced. Others, including Goldstein’s “cloaks” or similar shirts made by a team of researchers from Northeastern University, IBM, and MIT, are a whole lot less likely to catch on.

The trick to expansion is threefold. First, people have to be interested in wearing adversarial designs. Second, the design actually has to work as intended. And third: the design has to be something you wouldn’t mind being seen wearing while also, ideally, being good-looking enough that others will want to wear it, too.

Author = Kate Cox (Ars Technica)

https://arstechnica.com/features/2020/04/some-shirts-hide-you-from-cameras-but-will-anyone-wear-them/

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/

Mobile Security: Facial Recognition in China

China due to introduce face scans for mobile users
BBC | December 01, 2019

Interesting to check on what is done elsewhere in terms of mobile security & access. China is light years ahead in terms of Facial Recognition.

(…) How widespread is facial recognition in China?
China is often described as a surveillance state – in 2017 it had 170 million CCTV cameras in place across the country with the goal of installing an estimated 400 million new ones by 2020.

The country is also setting up a “social credit” system to keep score of the conduct and public interactions of all its citizens in one database.

The aim is that by 2020, everyone in China will be enrolled in a vast national database that compiles fiscal and government information to give a “ranking” for each citizen.

Facial recognition plays a key role in the surveillance system and it has been lauded as a way of catching fugitives. Last year, media noted that police were able to pick a fugitive out of a crowd of 60,000 at a concert using the technology.

Author = BBC

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-50587098

Tools | Spreadsheet.com: Game changer?

Move over, Excel and Google Sheets. Meet the spreadsheet of the future
Fast Company | November 22, 2019

(…) The best way to describe Spreadsheet.com is as a mashup between a traditional spreadsheet, à la Sheets or Excel, and a more advanced database or project-management service like Trello or Basecamp. You bring in any sort of data you want, including financial records, product launch plans, employee databases, and even full-fledged CRM worksheets. Then, similar to what’s offered by services such as Smartsheet and Airtable—with some new twists we’ll explore more thoroughly in a moment—you gain the ability to manage it in a contemporary and collaboration-friendly environment with lots of added bells and whistles.

Article goes into a few of the features of the product, which is not yet available, so I could not test it. You can sign up to request an early access (see below).

Author = JR Raphael (Fast Company)

https://www.fastcompany.com/90432824/move-over-microsoft-and-google-meet-the-spreadsheet-of-the-future

Website is a Work In Progress as I post this. There is an option to “Request Early Access”:

Click here to Request Early Access

Website: Spreadsheets that come alive as applications
Work better together, wherever you are.

https://www.spreadsheet.com/

Transitioning Teams as a Manager

Transitioning Teams as a Manager
Chase Seibert Blog | September 3, 2019

The manager should try to minimize that uncertainty for the team. Still, it’s natural for people to evaluate whether they still want to be on the team. Why?

Change is Scary
Continuity
Consistent Message
Build Relationships

Conclusion: Remember that this is a natural time for team members to re-evaluate whether they still want to be on this team. Minimizing change and building trust quickly will help, but it may also make sense to allow mentally for some neutral attrition during this period.

Author = Chase Seibert (Dropbox)

https://chase-seibert.github.io/blog/2019/09/03/transistioning-teams-as-a-manager.html