Leaders must set their mobile teams up for success using the right tools to manage and deliver agile projects remotely.

COVID-19 has forced many workers from all industries to work remotely from their homes. With no warning, most companies had to adapt to this sudden change and has forced them to quickly re-think the way their agile teams work remotely.

With no shortage of digital tools designed for project management in the market today, it is important for companies to use the right tools to be effective and efficient.

Microsoft Office 365 has a series of digital applications for teams to manage agile projects and have been proven to maximise value for many teams, these include Microsoft Teams, Planner and OneNote. The main benefit of using Microsoft digital applications in project management is its seamless ability to host remote projects while integrating the function of each application together to support agile processes.

With Microsoft, companies can continue their agile journey into the remote workforce, by supporting one of the most popular agile methods, Scrum – an approach to managing projects in short sprints to achieve the end result.

Here are some points on how Microsoft Office 365 applications can serve your remote teams in running agile projects using scrum processes.

Using Microsoft Teams to host daily scrums

Agile principals say the most efficient and effective method of communication is face-to-face meetings. To bring this into the remote working environment, Microsoft Teams has the video conferencing features to support virtual face-to-face meetings.

What is Microsoft Teams? It is a unified communication application that was developed to improve workplace productivity and collaboration. It is essentially a digital hub that brings people together through video call, chat messaging and file sharing.

Microsoft Teams video conferencing tool gives remote teams the ability to sync up everyone’s progress against the iterated sprint all through a virtual face-to-face meeting. Running a quick 15-20min daily meeting is easier than ever and with no limitations to how or where remote teams can meet, team members will be able to continue to address the three questions during their daily scrum,

  1. What has been accomplished since the last meeting?
  2. What are team members working on until the next meeting?
  3. Is anything getting in the way or keeping team members from doing their jobs?

Microsoft Teams can also be used in conjunction with OneNote, Planner and other Microsoft and third-party applications, to keep remote work central, at every step of the scrum process.

Using OneNote for scrum meeting notes

It is essential to document the daily scrum meetings, but this does not need to be a formal process. Daily scrums are designed to be quick and sometimes writing down some notes to aid our own memory can be beneficial to team members, and using OneNote can help facilitate note-taking, especially for those working in the remote environment.

What is OneNote? It is a digital notebook divided into sections and pages to stay organised, users can also share, gather notes, information, drawings, screen clippings and audio commentaries.

With its ability to be integrated into Microsoft Teams, OneNote allows your remote team members to add notes during scrum meetings, enabling collaborative notetaking and eliminating the need to compare notes.

OneNote is a flexible and informal note-taking application that can be used to support agile projects.

Using Microsoft Planner as scrum boards

Traditionally, using scum boards in an office setting allowed agile teams to physically visualise the project and work that needed to be completed. Instead, scrum boards can be created digitally using Microsoft Planner.

What is Microsoft Planner? It is a digital planning tool that allows teams to create, assign and organise work visually, helping companies better facilitate teamwork and visualise progress and coordination all in real-time.

Planner allows remote teams to define tasks and assign them to buckets – Backlog, Sprints, To Do, In Progress and Completed. Tasks can be assigned to remote team members, in addition to adding attachments, comments, setting priorities and due dates. Planner is easy to use, supporting drag and drop functionality for teams to easily move tasks around into different buckets as they progress.

Planner also provides remote team members with immediate access to relevant information relating to the current state of the project. Individual team members can keep track of tasks that are yet to be started, late tasks, tasks in progress and completed tasks.

Microsoft Planner can be accessed on any browser and on any device. Its mobile features allow remote workers to update cards on the go, allowing for true agile collaboration amongst your remote teams.

Conclusion

Microsoft Office 365 provides useful tools for agile teams working remotely. Using digital tools such as Microsoft Teams, OneNote and Planner will empower your remote agile teams with the confidence in delivery every time and, can transform how your company operates remotely in an agile way.

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Want to know how your company can take advantage of Microsoft 365 to run agile projects remotely, speak with our Project Delivery team today!

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