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Out-of-office Agile – Agile basics in a remote-work world

Blog: Capgemini CTO Blog

In these turbulent times, the dynamics of many organizations’ Agile development teams have been disrupted thanks to work-from home mandates. Keeping the Agile Manifesto and Scrum Pillars and Values in mind, we’ve identified four common issues with remote development teamwork that have emerged during this crisis. We’ll show you how you can take targeted measures to reduce the negative impacts of these issues – and even prevent them altogether.

When working from home over these past few months, many teams have become fragmented with poor visibility of work and overall progress.  We’ve also seen two distinct phenomena emerge with people either losing focus or going in into states of hyper focus. Many have been struggling with focus due to the absence of stimulation from colleagues or disturbances occurring around them in their homes. On the other hand, many have experienced hyper focus because of a lack of healthy disturbances. Both phenomena can have negative effects on your sustainable process flow.

Another negative effect of remote development could be that teams begin to skip the inspect and adapt cycles. Reviews may not happen because the tools don’t work, or people are afraid to use them. Or even worse, they could use this as an excuse not to attend at all. But even when the official “inspect” and “adapt” moments are planned, people could just be going through the motions. When we’re unable to look each other in the eyes, we get limited information and miss signs and cues that may trigger deeper questions – causing possible solutions to problems to remain buried.

Coming together while keeping your distance – aligning fragmented teams

This is obvious – and most teams have certainly taken some action to address the issue of being apart, for example, using live meeting tools. However, there are strategies you can employ with these tools that include:

Plan and control from outside the team – invite everyone, see everything

The main reason managers go into a plan-and-control mode is due to poor visibility of their team and overall progress. Therefore, it’s best to consider the following counter measures:

Stop moving in and out of focus – concentrate and have fun

Preventing loss of focus or going into a state of hyper focus are difficult in a remote situation. You can’t see and feel any tension people may be facing just by being present online. To address these issues, we recommend that you:

Skipping inspect and adapt – just don’t do it!

The worst thing you could do in Agile is skip inspect and adapt activities. This reduces the team’s capability to learn and improve tremendously. So, the only advice we can give here is – just don’t! To guarantee a smooth inspect and adapt session, we recommend that you:

In these uncertain times, there are clearly a lot of pitfalls while working remotely in an Agile environment. Luckily, the Agile Manifesto and its principles as well as the Scrum Pillars and Values can provide us with initial guidance in detecting these pitfalls, while frequently doing inspect and adapt yourselves is also crucial. To learn more about Capgemini’s approach to Agile & DevOps – with actionable strategies geared to towards thriving in times like these – visit us here.

And to find out how we can help you apply these strategies immediately to your business, contact us at and

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