7 best practices for remote development teams

Application development and agile teams have been working remotely for most of the last year. Developers figured out how to use Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet to run virtual meetings. Some use Slack for asynchronous communications, while others focus on the collaboration capabilities built into agile tools like Jira, Azure DevOps, and Asana. The top remote development teams also enhanced their CI/CD pipelines and other devops automations to reduce toil and address error-prone processes.

Going beyond the basic collaboration practices is essential for remote development teams. According to a recent survey, 65 percent of IT executives said at least a quarter of their workforce would continue to work remotely. And in fact, companies offering more remote working opportunities may be a good change. A second survey on the future of work and software development reports that almost 60% of respondents increased software developer productivity when working remotely.

So if developers working remotely is a new norm, what should agile development teams do to maintain productivity and software quality—or better, turn them up another notch? I focused on collaboration in previous articles on remote practices for agile teams and remote devops and engineering teams, including running meetings and knowledge sharing. In this article, I suggest seven more best practices around the application development process.

Use continuous agile planning to maintain roadmaps and backlogs

The development process should begin by discussing goals, priorities, and requirements with the agile product owner, the development team, and other stakeholders. These discussions lead to story writing, estimating, and developing solutions.

Robust, innovative, and secure software solutions often require more than one sprint of planning. Furthermore, most business stakeholders want visibility into the release plan and roadmap to plan for digital transformation change activities such as marketing for customer-facing applications and training for employee experience applications.

It’s hard to accomplish this level of planning if teams only have backlogs for the upcoming one or two sprints, and organizing quarterly planning meetings is less productive for remote development teams.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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