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Podcast Ep. 70 (Trainer Talk): Using Scrum with Remote Teams


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Episode Description:

In this episode of Trainer Talk – the supplemental series to the Agile Coaches’ Corner podcast – Professional Scrum Trainer Eric Landes answers the question, “Can Scrum work with remote teams?”


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Transcript [This transcript is auto-generated and not completely accurate in its depiction of the English language or rules of grammar]

Intro [00:02]: Welcome to Agile Coaches’ Corner by AgileThought, the podcast for practitioners and leaders seeking advice to refine the way they work and pave the path to better outcomes.

Eric Landes [00:15]: Welcome to Trainer Talk, a supplemental series of the Agile Coaches’ Corner podcast. In this series, AgileThought’s professional trainers will address questions we frequently hear during our training courses. I’m your host Eric Landis, Professional Scrum Trainer for both the PSD, PSF and PSK.

Eric Landes [00:38]: A question I get during training is, “Can Scrum work when we’re all remote?” Right now being in the midst of the Corona virus pandemic, this is a little different than working face to face than what a lot of you are used to. I’ve actually done remote work on and off for the past eight years, so I am a little familiar with this and with the Scrum Framework, I’m familiar as well being a Scrum trainer. So, let’s tackle that question now. The Agile Manifesto says that the most efficient and effective way of communicating is from face to face communication. And the Scrum guide does not explicitly say that remote teams will not work. So keep those all in mind. When I think face to face from the Agile Manifesto, typically I’m thinking we need to be physically together. But that’s not always the case and as we’re seeing in these times, we do need to take remote work into account. So with new technologies, and I’m thinking things like Zoom, MS Teams, Slack, Skype, all those good video technologies and chat technologies that we can use with from our computers, we really have the capability to get us closer to that physical face to face interaction. So that’s great.

Eric Landes [02:09]: Bottom line. In Scrum we can work remotely, so the answer to that question is sure, Scrum can work when we’re all remote. I would say it’s more complex to work remotely with Scrum than face to face. For instance, you don’t have those instances where you run into a teammate and you can talk about an issue face to face during the day. You have to be much more intentional to make that happen, but you can do it and let’s face it, good Scrum still requires that we are disciplined, whether it’s remote or co-located. So we can keep that in mind and we may need to adjust our intentionality to make sure that we are working well remotely. We need to be disciplined, right? So for instance, we need to check in with our teammates during the day. Let’s we need to make sure we’re attending our different Scrum events and we’re keeping our video on during those events.

Eric Landes [03:14]: So lots of things you need to think about when you’re working remotely to make sure it’s working well. So again, the short answer is Scrum, as long as you’re using all the events, you’re following the framework, you can do this remotely and call it Scrum. Let’s face it, Scrum does advocate self-organizing teams. So if the team is okay with working remotely, Scrum certainly should be okay with that. And of course we need to be following the Scrum Framework to call it Scrum. Let us know what you thought about this supplemental episode of the Agile Coaches’ Corner. If you’re interested in training, visit www.agilethought.com/training or call us at (877) 514-9180 to learn more, and if you have a question you want us to answer on the next Trainer Talk episode, email us at podcast@agilethought.com.

Outro [04:22]: This has been the Agile Coaches’ Corner podcast brought to you by AgileThought. The views, opinions, and information expressed in this podcast are solely those of the hosts and the guests and do not necessarily represent those of AgileThought. Get the show notes and other helpful tips from this episode and other episodes at agilethought.com/podcast.

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