Transforming our remote teams from Good to Great!!

Although Remote work (or) Telecommuting (as coined by Jack Nilles, the Father of Remote work) has been in existence as early as 1970s, the emergence of revolutionary changes ranging from wi-fi in early 90s to the proliferation of state-of-the-art mobile devices and ultra-fast internet connections (Remember Moore’s Law?), ubiquity of cloud-based storage, SaaS solutions and drastically optimized costs in the last decade have expanded the landscape of work much beyond the confines of office spaces, creeping into our drawing rooms. Of course, Covid pandemic has certainly created an unprecedented surge in the long-term remote work with millions of people experiencing the flavors of it. 

Numerous Research studies across the globe carried out by McKinsey, Gartner, Buffer etc., in the last few years throw some interesting insights on the increasing footprint of remote working, the challenges that it triggers, and the implications thereof, especially in the wake of the current pandemic. These studies reveal some of the emerging trends in organizations across the globe, such as reduction in stigma towards remote working, inclination towards 100% remote working, setting up remote-friendly policies, stepping up remote security, altering work cultures and practices, promoting coworking spaces, synchronizing communication and collaboration, and finding new ways to boost productivity by adopting digitization and automation technologies, AI etc., to name a few. 

In this session, , let’s explore a few thoughts on how our remote working environments can be swiftly transformed into a more collaborative and productive workspaces, especially in these pandemic times by striving towards optimizing and streamlining the collaboration and communication channels, synergizing best practices, coaching and empowering the teams to solve the problems on their own, and make them self-organized, which is critical in maximizing the productivity of the teams.

 
 

Outline/Structure of the Talk

It’s a 45-min interactive discussion where I’d outlay the following aspects of remote working:

  • First 3 minutes for setting up working agreements of the session
  • A 5-minute ice-breaker session to help audience understand the theme and to set the context
  • A 20-minute walkthrough of the topic with the aid of audio/visual tools such as pptx to gain some insights into the Remote Working, some statistics, challenges and exchanging ideas for mitigating those.
  • An 5-minute activity to engage audience using Mural/Miro/Jamboard (audience to collaborate)
  • A 10-min Q & A session to clarify/discuss on any questions/clarifications that audience may have.

Learning Outcome

By attending the session, the audience will gain the following insights:

  • An insight into the emerging Remote working trends
  • Multiple challenges that mar remote working
  • Ways to identify challenges/bottlenecks of remote work & actionize the goals/mitigation plans
  • Ways to ensure the teams are having a seamless and almost a co-located experience
  • Insights into a few facilitation techniques to expedite collaboration amongst the remote teams

Target Audience

Coaches, Scrum Masters, Org Leaders, Dev Teams

Prerequisites for Attendees

Attendees should be familiar with the following concepts:

  • Understanding of Agile principles 
  • Experienced in practicing any flavour Agile (Scrum/Kanban/XP/Scaled Agile etc.)
  • Be familiar with any virtual collaboration tool (such as Miro, Mural, Jamboard, Trello etc.)
schedule Submitted 1 year ago

  • Tina Vinod
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    Tina Vinod - Embracing Agility with Inclusion and Equity

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    In the wake of the pandemic and the challenges we have seen around us, organisations have realised how inequities can trickle down to many aspects within the sphere on workplaces, teams and practices we follow. It’s time to revisit old practices in more ways than one. 

    Aspects like lack of work-life balance, mental well being, asynchronous communication, extended virtual meetings, prolonged virtual pairing etc. impact us all. 

    To address this ThoughtWorks introduced the 'Inclusive Teams - Social Contract' an exercise for teams to re-look at their old ways, to arrive at an aspirational set of behaviours and social norms for inclusive ways of working at both the team and individual level. 

     

    It focuses on 4 key aspects -

    1. Building a culture of trust and inclusion - Supporting each other, feedback, empathy and cultivation.
    2. Schedules and Meetings - Best practices, setting personal boundaries and context.
    3. Communication practices - Tools, patterns and inclusive practices.
    4. Norms of engagement - Connecting as team, fun that is inclusive, welcoming & respectful.

    The inclusive team social contract helps teams understand and empathise with each other, acknowledge differences and personal context thus increasing team connect, productivity and shared accountability. It’s recommended that teams run this irrespective of whether they are working virtual/F2F/distributed/remote etc. 

  • Angie Doyle
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    Angie Doyle / Talia McCune - Discuss-Define-Do: Playing your way to amazing goals

    90 Mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    Is your team battling to focus on what matters? Are team members pulling in different directions because they are not aligned on what they need to do? Do you want to adopt a goal-setting technique that can help your team achieve focus, results, alignment, and transparency?

    Teams often battle to make the switch from top-down driven goals to a collaborative process. As a result, outcomes land up being too broad, can’t be measured, or are too abstract for the team to know where to start. Let’s take the guesswork out of goals!

    In this session, we will talk about how to help teams focus on what really matters. By asking the right questions and encouraging collaboration, teams can clarify their intended outcome, and identify ways to measure their success. You will have an opportunity to play a board game that helps teams refine their goals by covering three themes:

    • “Discuss” the impact a specific measurement will have on the team, organization, and customers
    • “Define” the best way to track progress towards the goal
    • “Do” or take ownership of the actions needed to achieve the goal

    Join us as we play our way to amazing goals!

  • Jorge Luis Castro Toribio
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    Jorge Luis Castro Toribio - Continuous Fun: Game Driven Development : A game design framework to drive, build and mature software engineering practices

    Jorge Luis Castro Toribio
    Jorge Luis Castro Toribio
    agile coach
    NTT DATA
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    This paper shares our experience to build DevOps and engineering practices at large scale as part of digital transformation looking for improve our flow efficiency, lead time and products quality and how we made designing and implemeting gamification shifts left through. This papers shares you the framework ( step by step) that we did to make game drive development and engage developers to adopt DevOps and technical agility practices

  • Dr. Ashay Saxena
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    Dr. Ashay Saxena / Deanna Spowart - Are agile organisations really inclusive?

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Are agile organisations really inclusive? Surely, given the fundamental principle of “individuals and interactions over processes and tools” and the fact that almost every agile approach embeds collaborative practices, the answer should be yes. And yet, the lived experience of many people contradicts this. Putting these assumptions and hypotheses to the test, the Business Agility Institute undertook an ambitious, year-long, research project and heard from 500 people globally.

    What we found is that there is a lack of understanding about diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). Many people shared their personal experiences about feeling excluded or knew of others who had been. In most cases, DE&I was not part of the agile transformation designs; for either employees or customers.

    In 2021, we have the opportunity to rethink our approach to DE&I in agile organisations and learn from those organizations who, as we discovered in our research, are intentionally designing their new ways of working to be inclusive. As thought leaders and change makers, we want to share ways you can make a difference to people in your team and create an organisation where everyone can belong. Impacting not only your employee experience but your customers' experience and how you serve your community.

    Deanna Spowart and Ashay Saxena, lead researchers on the project, will present the findings of their research “Are agile organisations really inclusive?” In the broader context, Deanna will share practical guidance on being an inclusive team member and Ashay will share what the agile organisations need to do embrace inclusion.

  • Kathy G. Berkidge
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    Kathy G. Berkidge - The Stakeholder Engagement Canvas

    90 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    Stakeholder engagement is critical in agile projects. Agile project managers, business analysts, product owners, Scrum masters as well as agile teams must plan their approach to collaborate well with stakeholders and build productive working relationships.

    While there are many tools and techniques to perform stakeholder analysis, we need to analyse the mindset of our stakeholders – a deeper level of analysis – to understand how they might view various situations, and how we can best respond to them.

    We must also be willing to look within ourselves to understand how our behaviour, words and actions may be perceived to identify how to build rapport while avoiding conflict and misunderstanding. This is where mindfulness is needed.

    This workshop will explore the ‘Stakeholder Engagement Canvas’, a new tool that helps us perform a more thoughtful and insightful level of stakeholder analysis. The canvas allows us to examine the stakeholder’s needs and attitudes in depth to enable us to better plan and monitor the engagement process, along with how we can be more mindful working with them. Kathy will present how to use this canvas to cultivate effective stakeholder engagement.

  • 45 Mins
    Case Study
    Intermediate

    Very often we work on a code-base that has been written by others, and some time ago. This code-base could be for the product code, or Test Automation code. 

    As the product life increases, evolution of the code-base is a natural process. However, there are various catalysts to speed up this evolution process:

    • More features / tests to be added, including increased complexity
    • People writing the code evolve - their learning, skillset
    • Delivery pressure means it is quite possible that correct decisions for implementation may not be taken. In other words, it is possible that short-cuts were taken in the implementation leading to spaghetti code / architecture

    People move on to different roles, new people join the team. Each has different opinions, perspectives and experiences.

    Am sure there are more reasons you can think of.

    Regardless, the challenge for a new person who starts working on such a complex code-base is enormous - as the person needs to start delivering "value".

    In this session, I will share various examples and experiences and as a result of being in such situations, the factors I looked at when enhancing the code-base to decide - should I refactor or rewrite the code-under-consideration to be able to move forward faster, while moving towards the long-term vision.

    Though I will focus on various examples of Test Automation, this session is applicable for any role that writes / maintains code of any nature.

  • Matthew Hodgson
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    Matthew Hodgson / Mia Horrigan - Measuring agility: Data analytics from psychology to grow your teams agility at scale

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    How do you know if you’re really agile? Like predicting the weather, complex human systems need data analytics and statistical models over simple reporting, to understand what creates business agility from human behaviour. This is the world of psychology, statistics, human behaviour models. It’s how medicine predicts if you have factors that predict heart attacks or if children are likely to have developmental delay. It’s time to apply this to agile teams to growing a true agile mindset.

    This talk looks at the psychology of human behaviour and data analytics to provide a playbook for measuring and improve an agile mindset in teams to underpin true business agility. It looks at 10 years of longitudinal data, both from software and non-software agile teams, and large scale agile transformation initiatives, and the model that’s now been produced to help coaches and the enterprise become more agile.

  • Srinivasan Sekar
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    Srinivasan Sekar / Ashay Thorat - Testing Service Mesh configs and k8s manifests

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Leading-edge applications are dynamic and adaptive in capabilities that require people to use increasingly dexterous tools and supporting infrastructure, including microservices.

    Microservices break traditionally structured applications into manageable pieces that can be developed and maintained independently. Microservices are often decoupled, allowing for updates with little to no downtime, as the other components can continue running. Container orchestration, Securing service-to-service communication, and decoupling authentication and authorization from microservices emerge as a new trend and also a challenge for many. 

    Kubernetes being a container orchestrator of choice and Service Mesh comes in handy for secure service-to-service communication, service discovery, resilient service building, canary deployments, etc. It’s required to validate the manifests of k8s and configurations of service mesh much earlier in the development life cycle to provide faster feedback.

  • Tom HENRICKSEN
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    Tom HENRICKSEN - Humans are hard, Code is easy

    Tom HENRICKSEN
    Tom HENRICKSEN
    Speaker
    Code is Easy
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Are you a frustrated developer who feels like they know enough? However, the success you thought you would have is out of reach. You see others who make better strides but why? Is it a skills gap? Come learn how to set yourself apart as a developer and learn the skills of influence and collaboration.

  • Jaspreet Singh
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    Jaspreet Singh - How the Support + Kanban structure works unitedly?

    Jaspreet Singh
    Jaspreet Singh
    Project Manager
    Axelerant
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Demonstration
    Advanced

    Session details

    Nowadays, the Support model is in the most advanced demand, and the Clients prefer to sign the Support and Maintenance contract after site development. In the Support contract, We like to manage the Drupal Security updates, Downtime/Uptime monitoring, Monthly consumption reports, AM support for escalations, etc. 

    In this session, I will explain how the support & Maintenance model works with the Kanban model. How is it beneficial for the clients?

     

    Learning Objectives

    1. What is the Support & Maintenance model?
    2. Support Primary survey
    3. How is the Support model beneficial to the clients?
    4. How does estimation work in Support projects?
    5. How to manage Uptime/Downtime issues under the Support Model?
    6. How to manage Drupal Security updates for Multiple Projects under the Support Model?
    7. How Kanban plays a Vital role to manage Support projects?
    8. How to manage the Support Bandwidth?

    Target Audience

    • Project / Product / Scrum Master / Account Managers
    • Executive Sponsors / Executive Leadership
    • Interested Contributors (developers, designers, etc.)
  • Ashutosh Bhatawadekar
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    Ashutosh Bhatawadekar - The Lion King - How a Disney movie changed my approach towards Servant Leadership

    20 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    During the current lockdown, I happened to watch the 2019 movie "The Lion King" . This movie was an eye opener to me and what I learnt in those 120 minutes truly amazed me. The movie has all the learnings & Trappings of What  Servant Leadership is all about.

    In the proposed talk, I try to bring this learning to all of you. This talk delves into the reason why Servant Leadership is the need of the hour in this crisis time. I draw inferences & inspiration from the movie "The Lion King" to drive home the relevance of Servant Leadership in our work life.

  • Kiran Kashyap
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    Kiran Kashyap / Srihari Guru Prasad Thm - One Day CTO - A Role-Play Focused on Metrics for Product Teams

    45 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    Fancy playing the CTO of a product startup? Join us in this role-play-based workshop where you can learn how you can lead your product team towards excellence by focusing on what you measure.

    What can you expect to experience in this workshop?

    • An executive report presented by the team, which touches all areas of product development including engineering, quality, etc.
    • Group activity to critique the report
    • Presentation of 'good' alternative reports by facilitator based on their experience
    • Design of the new metrics strategy for the startup

    If this interests you, join this workshop and walk away with actionable knowledge about metrics for product teams.

  • Pavithra Ravishankar
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    Pavithra Ravishankar - Agile meets Parenting

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Self Organising Teams Vs Self feeding in toddlers ?

    Isnt it just easy to give a command and top down align the teams ?

    Isnt it easy to just switch on the tv or just force feed a toddler with the menu prepared by you ?

     

    Drawing a parallel on messy toddler - THE POWER OF SELF ORGANIZING!

     

     

     

     

     

  • Kiran Kashyap
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    Kiran Kashyap - Is your code coverage fooling you?

    20 Mins
    Experience Report
    Beginner
    • "My product has a 80% code coverage but there are many defects that escape to production"
    • "Our developers do not push code without writing tests but still our quality is bad."
    • "How can we be sure that we are writing good tests?"

    If you see yourself in the above scenarios and are looking for a way to improve your product's quality, this experience report is for you.

    In this session, I will share how we stumbled upon mutation testing as a way to check the quality of our test cases.  This quick report will start with the problem statement, i.e., how to test our tests.  Then, I will explain our experience with implementing mutation testing and the results it gave us.

  • Ravi Kumar
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    Ravi Kumar / Carol Mathrani - Case study: “One fit is not always the right fit” Building and using Technology (Agnostic) Adoption Framework using the Agile Principles

    45 Mins
    Case Study
    Beginner

    This case study proposes an Agile framework for adoption of new technologies in an existing team. Considering the present scenario, everyday new technologies are being introduced in the market to increase quality, efficiency, and speed. If the organization does not adopt new technologies, it will become obsolete in the market in comparison to its competitors and will soon run out of business. However, the challenge is to upskill the existing team or replace the entire team and to do all of this in very short durations. Replacing a team is not always feasible due to investment, moral ethics as well as due to the existing domain knowledge possessed by them. So how do we help a current team upskill as well as continue to deliver their current commitments, along with implementing their new skills in new requirements.  Failing in the adoption could be a huge impact on investment infrastructure as well as team morale, not to mention sprint failure towards customer delivery. Thus, failing was not an option for us. In this case study, we will come to know how we were not able to use agile practices in the current form. We will learn how we found out a way to hit the balance between learning and day to day work but also to identify the best way forward with high success rate.  As you participate in this case study discussion, you will come to know how we handled the challenges, what worked for us in terms of agility, team moral and at the same time meet business commitments.

    In our situation, we had to adopt block chain technologies to start delivering new solutions as per client expectations in decentralized finance. The current team had knowledge in programming as well as possessed profound domain insight. The main challenge in the adoption was the vastness of the blockchain technology as well as the complex intricacies of creating an application using it. And to compound to the difficulty, we had to create a learning path from scratch for the team. All this was supposed to be achieved without effecting the current deliverables which were already in the pipeline.

    We turned towards Agile methodology and ended up creating a technology adoption framework using Scrum and Kanban principles. You will come to know that it is technology agnostic and can be used for adopting any of the technologies. We started with a minimum version of the framework aimed towards ramping up the team with the new technology. As we started our journey, we kept on enhancing the framework using the experiences accumulated in implementing the previous draft version. We made sure that the team is motivated enough with the help of awards, incentives, learning opportunities and senior management appreciations. During the presentation, you will come to know that we were not only able to ramp up the team as well as we create a deliverable product, all within the stipulated time frame. We further got brownie point by promoting design thinking as well as intrapreneurship principles within our team. We will talk about this entire case study, the framework we developed, the success criteria and the sense of accomplishment which the entire team felt.

  • Sumit Bajaj
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    Sumit Bajaj / Lalit Kataria - An agile perspective on application reliability

    45 Mins
    Case Study
    Intermediate

    Often product teams have greater focus on direct user facing features of the product. Reliability is something which is often deprioritized in the backlog. Once on production, often unexpected issues emerge as the load increases. Reactively, we start fixing those issues to make the application behave elegantly. It is extremely important to handle such scenarios proactively and better prepare for any potential disasters. Herein, comes ‘Chaos Engineering’.

  • Kathy G. Berkidge
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    Kathy G. Berkidge - Welcoming Uncertainty – Responding Mindfully

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Change is the new normal.

    If nothing else, 2020 was a great reminder that change can happen on a micro or macro scale. The agile manifesto even talks about expecting change in the values and principles. So, we all know change happens - we just don’t know when, where, how, who or what will change.

    However, change can be stressful. Things happen that we don’t want. Or things don’t happen that we really want. Often, things change that are beyond our control. It can make us anxious, feel disappointed and undermine our state of well-being. It doesn’t even have to be big, huge, drastic change. Even small, trivial change can be stressful.

    Resisting, ruminating or wishing things were different doesn’t help. We may not realise that these unconscious thoughts are happening, which only holds us back and adds to our stress.

    It is important to understand how we react to change and recognise when we’ve been triggered so we can respond more appropriately. Especially in agile settings where we should expect and welcome change. We must continue to work effectively with our teams and stakeholders without reacting inaptly.

    In this session, you will learn how to use mindfulness to maintain a mindset that truly welcomes change. Mindfulness enables us to accept what’s happening, respond consciously, remain open, adapt and move on. Through practical exercises, you will learn mindfulness techniques and how to apply them to respond to change more effectively. You will learn why mindfulness is an essential skill for managing uncertainty.

  • Hrishikesh Karekar
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    Hrishikesh Karekar - Influence of Coach & Leaders’ Bias on Agile transformation outcomes

    20 Mins
    Experience Report
    Intermediate

    Agile transformations happen in a particular context, with two very critical parameters. One is the orientation of the coach who is guiding the transformation. The second is the leaders - who are key stakeholders and decision-makers in the organization transforming. Programs often observe differing results based on these parameters. This model which is a conceptual one attempts to capture the same and looks at the influence of those parameters and possible outcomes. Based on the coach and leader dispositions, the outcomes could range from conflict, checklist agile, or other antipatterns. This model is a thinking tool that can be leveraged by participants to provide insights into and ponder on the state of their agile transformations and how they can move towards better transformation outcomes.

    The session will orient the participants towards this model with real-world examples from large-scale implementations.

  • Teri Christian
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    Teri Christian - Digtial Operations - How to compete in the Industry 4.0 Jungle

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Regardless of the type of business, it is essential to understand the current economy. We began shifting from a traditional manufacturing economy to a digital economy in 2015, although many organizations do not know what this means to the basics of business operations. In this presentation, people will understand the step-by-step approach to not only survive but thrive in the Industry 4.0 digital jungle.

    The main areas covered are:

    1. Strategic Positioning and Digital Workflow - many organizations, including start-ups, use a manufacturing mindset in developing strategic activities. The strategic activities needed to position companies in a digital era are very different from previous eras. Once a fit strategic set of activities are identified, organizations need to determine how to create a value flow of products and services to customers. The workflow involves creating an internal environment of safety and morale that provides motivation and innovation to deliver quality products to customers using the most efficient workflow.
    2. The Key Six Industry 4.0 Disciplines: We will discuss the disciplines necessary to support the digital operations workflow, why they are essential, and how to build these skills.
    3. The importance and ability to create a diverse, inclusive working environment that leverages employees' skills and represents the customer base. Thirty percent of the organization should represent the customer base to build effective connections and relationships. We will discuss how to create an inclusive operating model to be competitive.
  • Jessica Katz
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    Jessica Katz - Welcome to Whose Agile is it Anyway? Where the stories are made up and the points don't matter

    45 Mins
    Tutorial
    Beginner

    That’s right the points are just like t-shirt sizes, only useful if you’re buying clothes. The #NoEstimates movement would tell us we shouldn’t waste time estimating as it alone adds no value to the process or product. It is true that we utterly suck at estimating thanks to planning fallacy mired in a cognitive bias known as the optimism bias. 

    There are still places where estimating makes sense. In this session, I’ll share my transition of thinking from “always estimate” to “no estimate needed”. We’ll talk about how to recognize when a team needs estimating and when a team can avoid estimating. As well as reviewing the pitfalls and traps of estimating in an Agile world. Attendees can expect to walk away with an understanding of how to coach and mentor teams through this transition if #NoEstimates is actually the right way for their teams.

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