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Agile Management and High-Tech Communications

When agile scrum team members work in different places, you need to set up sophisticated, high-tech communication methods to create a sense of connectedness. When determining which types of high-tech communication tools to support, your most important consideration should be to mitigate the loss of face-to-face discussions. Some tools you can use are

  • Video conferencing and webcams: These tools can create a sense of being together.

  • Instant messaging: Although instant messaging doesn’t convey nonverbal communication, it is real time, accessible, and easy to use. Several people can also share a session and share files.

  • Web-based desktop sharing: Especially for the development team, sharing your desktop allows you to highlight issues and updates visually in real time. Seeing the problem is always better than just talking it out over the phone.

  • Collaboration websites: These sites allow you to do everything from sharing simple documentation so that everyone has the latest information to using a virtual white board for brainstorming.

Using a collaboration site allows you to post documents that show the status of the sprint. When managers request status updates, you can simply direct them to the collaboration site. By updating these documents daily, you provide managers with better information than they would have under a traditional project management cycle. Avoid creating separate status reports for management; these reports duplicate information and don’t support production.

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