Humor | Quarantine Diaries (excerpt): Videoconferencing with BBC backgrounds

The joy of sets
BBC Archive | Undated

Top of the Pops, Match Of The Day, Fawlty Towers, Absolutely Fabulous, Doctor Who… I guess this is more for your personal calls: change your background to one of these empty sets from classic BBC TV shows.
Over 100 to choose from, different versions of Doctor Who’s Tardis.

Something fun to try at the end of this week, dedicated to Videoconferencing info. Enjoy.

Author = BBC

Empty sets: Science Fiction
https://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/empty_sets_science_fiction/zhj7mfr

Empty sets: Sitcoms
https://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/empty_sets_sitcoms/zj98wty

Empty sets: Entertainment
https://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/empty_sets_ent_and_sport/z626pg8

Empty sets: Children’s Television
https://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/empty_sets_childrens_tv/zjj26v4

Empty sets: EastEnders
https://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/empty_sets_Eastenders/zkbr47h

Sport sets
https://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/empty_sets_sport/zj7hscw

The joy of sets
https://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/empty_sets_collection/zfvy382

Tools | Videoconferencing: Google Meet, alternative to Zoom

As I was tweaking yesterday’s post, I found a new one posted today, covering Google Meet, another free alternative to Zoom. Building a referential on the fly.

How to use Google Meet: Free video conferencing if you don’t love Zoom
c|net | May 07, 2020

(…) Google’s Meet video conferencing service is now free for everyone to use for personal video chats.

(…) Previously available only to organizations using G Suite, Meet is now open to everyone, in a move that puts Google in competition with rival video chat service Zoom.

(…) Meet allows up to 100 participants on a call at once, and includes features such as scheduling, screen sharing and real-time captioning.

(…) Video calls will have a 60-minute cap, but Google said it won’t enforce that cap until after Sept. 30. 

How to use Google Meet, free

Author = Alison DeNisco Rayome

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-use-google-meet-free-video-conferencing-for-those-who-dont-love-zoom/

Tools | Videoconferencing: Messenger Rooms, alternative to Zoom

Facebook’s Messenger Rooms video chat app: How to use this Zoom alternative
c|net | May 05, 2020

(…) Facebook users will soon be able to create a video chat room via Facebook or the Messenger app and invite up to 50 people to join a video call — even if they don’t have a Facebook account. There will be no time limits on calls.

Messenger Rooms arrives as some people are looking for an alternative to Zoom, which has faced a number of security and privacy issues in the past two months. (If you are still using Zoom, you can take steps to lock down your meetings and prevent Zoombombing, and learn other hidden tips and tricks).

How to create a Facebook Messenger Room

Author = Alison DeNisco Rayome (c|net)

https://www.cnet.com/news/facebooks-messenger-rooms-video-chat-app-how-to-use-this-zoom-alternative/

Tools | Videoconferencing: Zoom, Tips & Tricks

A compilation of reference material to make the best use of Zoom

Zoom: Important Notice: Please begin updating all your clients to Zoom 5.0 now. After May 30, 2020, all Zoom clients on older versions will receive a forced upgrade when trying to join meetings as GCM Encryption will be fully enabled across the Zoom platform.

16 Advanced Zoom Tips for Better Video Meetings
Groove | Undated

Zoom Keyboard Shortcuts
1) Quick Invite = Cmd+I (PC: Alt+I) open invite window
2) Record Meeting = Cmd+Shift+R (PC: Alt+R) / pause/resume = Cmd+Shift+P (PC: Alt+P)
3) Share Screen = Cmd+Shift+S (PC: Alt+Shift+S) / pause/resume = Cmd+Shift+T (PC: Alt+T)
4) Mute Audio = Cmd+Shift+A (PC: Alt+A) mute/unmute
5) Turn Off Video = Cmd+Shift+V (PC: Alt+V)
6) Mute Everyone = ⌘Cmd+Ctrl+M (PC: Alt+M) note: only the meeting host can mute everyone on the call at once

Zoom Settings
7) Always Mute Microphone
8) Always Turn Video Off
9) Display Names
10) Auto-copy Invite URL When Starting a Meeting
11) Enable Shortcuts Outside of Zoom
12) Meeting Reminder (Mobile)
13) Disable Waiting Room
14) Touch Up My Appearance

Zoom Integrations
15) Slack
16) Zapier

Author = Alex Turnbull (Groove)

https://www.groovehq.com/blog/zoom-tips-and-tricks

How to use Zoom like a pro: 13 hidden features to try at your next meeting
c|net | April 28, 2020

  1. Change your background
  2. Mute your audio and turn off your camera by default
  3. Mute and unmute with the space bar
  4. React with emoji on screen
  5. Learn handy keyboard shortcuts
  6. Turn on gallery view
  7. Hide nonvideo participants
  8. Share your screen
  9. Turn on the beauty filter
  10. Record the meeting to your computer
  11. Record a meeting to the cloud
  12. Host a group meeting longer than 40 minutes
  13. Host more than 100 people

Author = Alison DeNisco Rayome (c|net)

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-use-zoom-like-a-pro-13-hidden-features-to-try-at-your-next-meeting/

Hot Keys and Keyboard Shortcuts for Zoom
Zoom | Undated

Zoom Help Center Reference / Online Manual

Author = Zoom

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/205683899-Hot-Keys-and-Keyboard-Shortcuts-for-Zoom

The complete Zoom guide: From basic help to advanced tricks
ZDNet | April 17, 2020

Zoom 101 = Good introduction with step by step tips and tricks to use Zoom.

Topics covered:
LET’S GET STARTED: ZOOM BASICS
THE WEB PORTAL
SCHEDULING AND HOSTING A MEETING
THE MEETING IS SET, BUT HOW DO YOU INVITE OTHERS?
ADVANCED TIPS AND TRICKS
WEBINARS
VIRTUAL BACKGROUNDS
WHITEBOARDS
WHAT ABOUT ZOOM GATECRASHERS?
ZOOM PLUGINS AND INTEGRATIONS
ZOOM ROOMS
ADDITIONAL POINTS
ZOOM’S BEST PRACTICES

Note: part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Working from Home: The Future of Business is Remote, mentioned on trulySCRUMptious in April 2020
(Direct Link included below)

Author = Charlie Osborne (ZDNet)

https://www.zdnet.com/article/zoom-101-a-starter-guide-for-beginners-plus-advanced-tips-and-tricks-for-pros/

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

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

8 Tips for How to Use Zoom Like a Pro
wirecutter | Undated

Beautify (or hide) your face
Pretend you’re on the moon or cosplay as George W. Bush
Prevent embarrassment by silencing desktop notifications
There’s more to screen sharing than PowerPoint presentations
Hosts can (and should) mute attendees
Take advantage of Zoom’s powerful scheduling feature
Keep unwanted guests out of meetings
Finally (and this can’t be said enough), please mute yourself

Note: ZOOM NO LONGER A PICK | APRIL 21, 2020

After re-evaluating our videoconferencing software picks, we can no longer give Zoom our full throated recommendation.

While it has the best balance of features, usability, and value among the major videoconferencing providers, the privacy issues remain a worry until they’ve been satisfactorily addressed. That said, if you’re already using Zoom for casual chats with friends and you’re not divulging sensitive personal info or discussing issues of national security, you’re probably fine to keep using it. Just educate yourself when it comes to the best settings to use before you start a meeting and the best practices for keeping meetings secure.

Author = Ben Keough (wirecutter – A New York Times Company)

https://thewirecutter.com/blog/use-zoom-like-a-pro/

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

Humor | Quarantine Diaries (excerpt): Pseudo Scrumban for the win!

Quarantine Diaries (excerpt): Pseudo Scrumban for the win!
Yours Truly | April 2020

Perhaps you wonder how to conciliate the desires of achievement of your significant other and the desires of cyber-nonchalance of a pair of young twenty something male specimens… perhaps not. Either way, I would like to share a modest success story, thanks to the delicate introduction of Agile to my family in these viral times.

Context: stuck at home, good project ideas, very different levels of motivation & support, many arguments, very emotional ambiance… in other words, a normal family.

Idea: Wondering if I could put my skills to the test to channel the emotions to avoid future explosion and get somethings done, all in a positive atmosphere. I even imagined potential proactivity, because I am an optimistic individual.
I came up with a completely twisted adaptation of stuff we all know and use, that I call “Pseudo Scrumban”.

Pseudo Scrumban

This is essentially documentation, as the notion of Sprint is humoristic at best in a confined environment. It is probably closer to a Marathon, if not an Ultra Marathon (this is being written on our sixth week).

Document #1 = Maintenance = Chart with list of daily & weekly chores that must be done around the house. Volunteer basis, first come first serve. When something is done, owner writes initial in the date column.

This is managed as its own independent project. Objective is to just get things done and not think about it. Took about 1 week to implement smoothly. Currently works.

Examples of Chores: load dishwasher, unload dishwasher, make lunch, make dinner, trash, recycle…

Document #2 = List of Projects (Pseudo Backlog) = as it name implies, this is the list of projects that are being considered. Each project must be divided into segments or steps (Pseudo PBIs), each corresponding to a post-it.

Examples of Projects: power wash house, repaint bedroom, repaint corridor, repaint stairway, repaint shed…

Document #3 = Projects Kanban Chart = basic, 3 columns: To Do / Doing / Done. When a Project from #2 is approved and ownership of tasks is clear, the post-its are set in the To Do column.

Ceremony = Daily Stand Up = classic, timeboxed, unemotional. Each takes a turn to talk briefly about (1) What was done yesterday (good time to update the Post-Its accordingly, on the fly), (2) What is planned for today (3) Eventual Issues.

Ceremony = AdHoc Meeting = non timeboxed meeting, where emotions are acceptable, to discuss anything.

Bottomline = This was implemented after two weeks of frustration. It took a week to get the Maintenance part up and rolling and it has flown rather smoothly since.
The Projects part worked better than expected, as there has been very little issues since we have been using this. Even the kids told me “wow, that actually works!”.

The Post-Its:

  • helped break down Projects into small and simple tasks
  • these tasks were easier to dispatch according to skills & availability
  • were perfect to adapt to the required flexibility imposed by random reasons
  • showed that a lot of things were getting done (bonus significant other points)
  • reassured that Projects were participative (bonus kid points)

Mens sana“… This has helped us go through these six weeks of confinement without losing our minds. We even have the satisfaction of having done things.

Build your own toolset easily = Design a few spreadsheets and print them out (letter-size works fine), put them on the fridge door with magnets, get some Post-Its (mini for letter-size printouts), set up a time for the Daily Stand Up time and smoothly bring your team to life and enjoy getting things done in a saner ambiance. There is no magic, it takes dedication, but take your time, be very flexible, good luck and stay safe!

Pseudo Scrumban, a family saver! 🙂

Training | LinkedIn Learning Free Online Courses

Remote Working: Setting Yourself and Your Teams Up for Success
LinkedIn Learning | Undated

Optimize working remotely in this set of online courses—whether you’re new to remote work or not, and whether you’re leading a team or part of a team involving distributed team members. Discover how to be productive and stay connected when working from home or other remote environments.

Learn how to effectively work remotely.
Gain tips for adjusting to changes in your work environment.
Explore virtual communication tools for staying connected.

17 Items, 14h 14m of content

https://www.linkedin.com/learning/paths/remote-working-setting-yourself-and-your-teams-up-for-success

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/

Training | Harvard University Free Online Courses

Harvard University Free Online Courses
Harvard University | Undated

Nothing related to Scrum or Agile, but there are 70 results when searching with keyword FREE. It is a very eclectic selection, including IT, Humanities, Business, Science, Art…

Check them out, if you have the time and the need for a sample of Harvard Education.

Author = Harvard University

https://online-learning.harvard.edu/catalog?keywords=&paid%5B1%5D=1&max_price=&start_date_range%5Bmin%5D%5Bdate%5D=&start_date_range%5Bmax%5D%5Bdate%5D=

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