Odds are you’re reading this article at home instead of at the office. 

Business practices and operations have changed quickly – and in some cases permanently – due to the coronavirus. Although some essential staff is still required to go into work, many are now working from home. 

For software developers used to going to an office every day and communicating with their team in person, having to work from home suddenly can be a bit of a shock. But it doesn’t have to be.

However, the general intention of agile teams has been that they work in the same physical location. This collocation provides higher productivity, more effectiveness, and better decision making. So, what happens when a disruption such as a coronavirus renders this co-location impossible? Can team members work remotely and still be agile?

In a word: yes. 

So what are some main differences for agile software development before and after remote working trends? 

Three ways remote working has changed agile software development

1. Scrum becomes cross-functional autonomous units

Fostering a self-organizing, cross-functional team, Scrum has helped companies collaborate, review, and give feedback on project processes. With fixed roles assigned to the scrum master, entire teams addressed issues and problems.

Post-pandemic, daily standups become another time-consuming meeting that leads to more distraction and less productivity. Remote-first working conditions mean Scrum may no longer be the best fit for companies. New processes will emerge, potentially diminishing the need for teams in the first place. Instead, smaller units build resiliency to impact velocity, effectiveness, and collaboration positively.

2. Around-the-clock QA with networked testers

3. Remote productivity

For many software developers, remote work is nothing new. What has changed is that the whole team now works remotely. And it doesn’t appear that’s going to change. 

Before COVID-19, the general assumption was that agile teams needed to be face-to-face to work effectively. But the success of remote agile teams during the pandemic suggests otherwise, and companies that encourage this trend while adopting practices to ensure employees thrive will be far better for it.

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