USE THE SCRUM FRAMEWORK TO BECOME A BETTER LEADER
Leadership is a very rich topic, and it’s been discussed lately on the remote work context. There are several leadership styles and company profiles. So, it’s not possible to state that one single model or formula is suitable for every business and team.
Each organization has a distinct history, according to its location, age, and specific culture. All these aspects influence the company’s values and the top management leadership style.
Some common points most managers and directors tend to agree about this subject:
1) Leading teams is always challenging.
2) Appropriate technology is essential to lead remote teams.
3) Collaborators need motivation.
4) Remote leadership has made internal communication a key factor to engage teams.
5) Balancing autonomy and discipline is the way to productivity.
You can notice that today’s needs are quite similar to the ones from presential work. Nevertheless, the way teams communicate changed a lot. So did the top managers’ needs. Remote team leaders now need cloud-based project management tools, to make their companies’ projects happen and manage their teams’ activities.
So, let’s take a look at how remote leaders are using project management and the Scrum framework to obtain the best results from their teams.
OVERCOMING TODAY’S CHALLENGES
Working remotely is a fantastic experience. It’s a growing trend, and it’s an ambition for many people who plan to migrate to this modality. Among its benefits for workers, we can mention the higher quality of life. Furthermore, they mention better use of time, comfort to work from home, flexibility to travel more, and others.
On the other hand, this system also brought obstacles to human resource managers and team leaders. They find it more difficult to make the companies’ rules clear, like at conventional work. Today, they are struggling a little bit to write internal guides and basic compliance. Now, they substitute old training with digital documents.
They are also proceeding with hiring processes 100% online, without the opportunity to meet their employees personally. It’s not something bad, it’s just a reality we are all adapting to, and looking for tools to improve more and more. Definitely, it’s time to design and render all these processes with the technology we have, to refine them constantly.
TECHNOLOGY FOR REMOTE LEADERSHIP
It’s needless to say that technology is essential for remote leadership. The point is WHAT kind of technology is appropriate to manage and lead remote teams assertively. Excess of high-tech channels being used at a time can cause a big confusion, too, did you notice? Have you ever got lost trying to find important data, in the middle of a dozen emails or instant text messages?
Remote teams can’t afford to lose data and time with communication madness. So, instead, you can use an official channel, a smart project management tool based on Scrum, and apply the Agile methodology.
Scrum is a workframe that helps individuals work as teams, like on rugby games, preparing for important competitions, learning from victories and losses, restarting, and seeking constant evolution. Agile is a methodology to help your team work more efficiently and deliver value constantly, adapting fast to changes.
Using the right project management tool is a lot different than simply using a communication app. The appropriate project management tool is oriented to your organization’s results and achievements. It’s made for you, remote leaders, to guide collaborators during tasks execution, offering support and communication features.
MOTIVATING REMOTE TEAMS
From all countries and regions, humans share a common ground. They need motivation. The strategies to motivate teams and company values may vary, but the fact that they need encouragement is undeniable.
It’s almost a consensus among human resource specialists that recognition for every positive result works way better than any kind of punishment or reprimand for bad performance. That applies both to traditional work and remote work. What changes, remotely, is the way and the channels used to demonstrate incentives.
Remote work is not conventional, so employers are thinking of unprecedented ways to pay special attention to their collaborators in a humanized way, even though they are using high-tech platforms. They are seeking forms of creating cozy, informal personalized interfaces that also challenge their teams positively, so they feel like improving and surpassing their own limits. Since they are aware of the world’s major trends, they began to apply gamification as a powerful method to motivate their teams for healthy competitiveness.
Gamification brings joy to the remote work environment, promotes team integration and mutual help, when you ask your top performer workers to share knowledge with teammates. Rewarding is powerful and can be done in several ways – compliments, game points, or virtual clapping.
STRENGTHENING INTERNAL COMMUNICATION
Another big motivational factor for all teams is efficient internal communication. It’s just vital for a positive remote experience since it’s deeply related to commitment. People commit to what they can comprehend. So, simply spreading orders tends to be insufficient to obtain a good remote work response. A few collaborators might perform well autonomously, but teams work better when you encourage them.
Building purpose-driven remote teams involve communicating your company’s values, mission, and vision clearly to all your team, from managers to assistants. Elaborating their goals based on these will help them understand their journey and the value of their contribution.
Besides knowing “where the company is” and “where it needs to be” within a certain time, it’s recommendable that workers have the same perspective about themselves, in the company’s context – “where they are now” and “where they must be in (…) time”. And we’re not talking only about career plans and job positions. From a wider perspective, it’s about how each collaborator and each team must evolve and surpass. Of course, most companies do not have a complete plan for all this, but it’s always time to start.
After making sure your team is aware of your company profile and their role there, it’s time to prioritize an efficient daily communication platform. Of course, you won’t cut off emails and instant messages, but there is a need to organize your workflow on an official collaborative board, where the remote staff can self-organize and be responsive, updating the status of their tasks.
BALANCING AUTONOMY AND DISCIPLINE
Autonomy is one of the main characteristics of remote work. To ensure it will work properly, team coordinators must promote team alignment, according to the top management guidelines. They need to establish communication routines, so that all teammates get time and tools to execute weekly tasks, without the need of charging each other all the time.
The right project management tool offers you a working board like the classical Kanban boards, where every remote worker can self-organize, check what they have to do. You assign and update tasks to them for the week according to their progress. Coordinators can check the projects’ status, save time on messages exchange, keep project info and provide feedback on the same board.
Having access to a tool like this is a privilege, so remote workers must learn they are having an awesome opportunity to enjoy autonomy. Balancing discipline and autonomy is a challenge for both employers and employees, and they should both make an effort on this. Companies must make the rules clear, and workers must clear all doubts so they come together to the best balance.