Problems and incidents have and always will be a fact of life for people in any organization or team. Some might be small enough for the employees to ignore and adjust to them and continue the work. Some, however, can become tremendous obstacles in delivering the simplest tasks and frustrate team members more and more with every passing day.
In the following article, we will present seven of the most common problems that Agile teams face in the remote setup. Fortunately, we have a remedy! You can prevent and solve all of the challenges with the help of our tool, Whiteboards.io! Read on to learn more!
7 most common Agile problems of online communication and collaboration
Digital technology helps people communicate faster, easier, and better, especially when remote work has taken over the world. But, as you can predict, something that should make our life and work easier brings new challenges and problems to the table. Below, you’ll find a list of seven common problems you can encounter when communicating or collaborating online.
1. Boring, unproductive, and countless meetings
Ping! What was that? Another notification about an upcoming meeting? Surely, it was!
Online conferences, webinars, and events in general have become our new normal. While some may be necessary to keep the ball rolling, others cannibalize your energy and time. And, as you probably already know, online events take up to an entire working day (if not more) from your week, making you think, “when can I actually do the work when I’m constantly in meetings”?
2. Pain of asynchronous work
Along with employers being more open toward remote workers, there comes a new challenge. How to reconcile the work of distributed teams, especially when they work in different time zones? How to collaborate successfully when employee A has already finished their work, and employee B hasn’t even started yet?
Asynchronous work might be a blessing, but when time is tight, it could turn out to be a curse. It lets people work at their own pace without having to depend on specific coworkers at a particular moment. However, when asking a question or needing clarification, a tremendous time lag before receiving an answer is sometimes unavoidable.
3. Jira complexity
When people join your company, they bring different skill sets to the table and have different knowledge levels of tools or apps that your organization uses every day. The most popular tool to manage work and tasks in an Agile team is Jira. And let’s face it, it is a complex tool.
Every newcomer in the team, who hasn’t worked with Jira before, instantly spots how advanced it is and adds it to their list of things to look into. It might be an excellent tool for IT teams where using it is required on a daily basis, but for marketing or customer support teams, it’s where the hard part comes in. Using a tool occasionally doesn’t give you even a slight chance to learn and understand it.
4. Lack of alignment between big goals and daily work
Have you ever wondered why you’re doing what you’re currently doing? Or were you doing it just to look busy? Are you sure you understand why certain goals and objectives were included in the roadmap?
If you hesitated to answer at least one of these questions, it means you must discover the direction of the organization you work for. It also means that you and your teams need to regularly get aligned with big-picture goals and low-level delivery details. There’s no place for secrets or uncertainties when it comes to company or team objectives; it’s only a shortcut leading to failure.
5. Discovery and delivery disjoint
Every project can be broken down into smaller steps to deliver new features in small increments. However, not all Agile team activities can sometimes be done in one place. Working with multiple tools and apps to build a new product is a standard.
When switching between different tools, certain actions can easily get overlooked. While the delivery process might be the team’s goal, they might forget about the discovery phase, which provides tons of invaluable information. Of course, you can create your new solution without hundreds of steps and milestones along the way, but processes make the entire development journey clearer.
6. Painful meeting moderation
So it happened! You have to join another meeting! And you really don’t want to because of how boring and awkward it gets.
What’s worse, the events never have an agenda or structure, people tend to go off-topic way too often, and you are too shy to bring the conversation back on track. So you sit there while scrolling through the memes and not paying much attention to the discussion that doesn’t interest you or add any value to your work.
7. Ten different tools to manage one project
The new project starts, and you use tool A for planning, tool B for discussion, and tool C for task management. Along the way, it turns out you need three more tools for three other aspects of the same project. Sooner or later, you end up with dozens of open tabs, windows, and hundreds of links where your fruits of your labor are stored.
It isn’t efficient in the long run, especially since there’s usually more than one project you need to tackle. When your product grows, so do your backlog, ideas, responsibilities, and, unfortunately, the list of apps you need for your work.
How can Whiteboards help you solve your Agile problems?
Whether your company is a fledgling start-up or an organization with years of experience, you might want to streamline your processes and face the challenges. Sometimes it will be necessary to operate on a couple of apps or tools, but one solution can help you rule them all. If you need help with at least one of the above-mentioned problems, try Whiteboards to facilitate any Agile team activity.
- Quick and effective video calls
Some aspects of work can be discussed in a few minutes, and scheduling a new event in a calendar isn’t necessary. Hop on a quick huddle directly on Whiteboards to discuss current projects or issues. Treat it as an excellent opportunity to see the familiar faces of your teammates.
Invite your entire team to a single board to collaborate on projects together. Run brainstorming sessions, quick check-in meetings, or daily stand-ups. Anything you want to discuss can be done with powerful features, captivating visuals, and a user-friendly interface.
- Working in real-time and asynchronously
Work from anywhere and with anyone on your projects. The Whiteboards.io app supports both real-time collaboration and asynchronous work. You can gather together on virtual boards to run events with the entire team or let some individuals contribute to the projects at their own pace and time. Use comments to notify your coworkers about specific remarks or questions you didn’t have a chance to discuss earlier.
- Simplified work with Jira
Working with Jira might be a struggle for people who don’t use it regularly. However, the deep two-way integration between Whiteboards and Jira makes task management easier. You can upload dozens of issues to one digital board and focus only on tasks available there. Instead of scrolling through the never-ending pile of Jira issues, you can see just the work items relevant to the current sprint or project!
- Visual representation of small and big objectives
As we delve deeper into our work, we tend to forget about the existence of business goals, which we can only reach by doing small steps (or small daily tasks, actually). Sometimes we might come to the conclusion that what we do is not essential, but the reality is entirely different. It’s the small tasks that propel the business forward.
With Whiteboards, you can directly mark the dependencies between goals and everyone’s tasks on your digital board. Draw lines connecting one Jira issue with the other and choose their link type as blockers, duplicates, clones, etc. That way, your management or stakeholders can see how low-level tasks affect high-level objectives, and your team stays up-to-date thanks to one whiteboarding solution.
- Processes made easier
Instead of switching between different apps, you can use Whiteboards as a one-stop shop for all your Agile activities. Embed any file right on the digital board to bring more visual context to your projects. Add images, gifs, videos, other website pages, or designs — whatever you find helpful.
Our application also provides dozens of ready-made templates to support your everyday work. From discovery, through planning, to delivery — you can choose what you’re working on today. With Whiteboards.
- Ready-made templates for productive meetings
If you’re unsure where to start, worry no more! Our rich library offers ready-to-use templates for any Agile ceremony you would like to conduct and more. Choose between team-building, brainstorming, or retrospective templates or create your own custom versions.
- One tool for everything
Did we mention that you can use Whiteboards for pretty much anything? The Whiteboards.io app is the perfect home for your next remote collaboration session with your team to work on projects asynchronously or in real-time. Whenever you need to discuss the progress or plan the next action steps, you can do it by having video calls and taking notes directly on the digital board.
Conduct online workshops and meetings on Whiteboards to ensure an enjoyable experience and boost your teammates’ productivity. Embed videos, diagrams, or any other rich media files to the same board to reduce the need of switching between different platforms, tools, or browser tabs. Saving time is always in fashion!
Ok, that would be it!
We’ve covered the seven most common problems that users face when communicating and collaborating online with other remote workers. The challenges that Agile teams face can interfere with the work to such an extent that they diminish people’s productivity and efficiency.
Curious about what else our app has to offer? Create a free account today and start testing our tool for free!