The Inside Scoop on leading remote teams pt. 4

Agile practices that enable digital collaboration and encourage accountability

In the second part of “The Inside Scoop”, we left off with the importance of cultivating collective intelligence and feedback systems in your remote teams. It’s important to evaluate how the team to determine if the collective intelligence is at work, and how that’s achieved to the best advantage.

The importance of feedback
The team leader needs to consider which rituals they engage in to receive and give feedback and build feedback culture within the team as well as with stakeholders and customers. One way for a leader to nurture a culture of feedback is by role-modeling the behavior themselves and regularly inviting feedback from team members on their own leadership. It’s important to establish a learning culture in the team and to agree upon a structure of feedback conversations. Teams should report regularly on things they have done well, areas and skills that need improvement and ways in which the team lead and the organization can support them. For large groups consider feedback circles or pairs.

For more ideas on building feedback culture in remote teams, use the following links:

Agile practices
Particularly in a remote environment, an agile team needs to agree on how they are going to work together and how they are going to coordinate tasks to meet objectives. The leader should guide the team to set up the sprints, or phases, of the project. In high-functioning agile teams, the team members will determine and agree upon goals and how to make them visible, how information will be shared, how to track performance and review progress, give and act on feedback and all things communication and communication style. The teams that set collaboration ground rules are the most likely to hold each other accountable to comply with these principles.

In the end, everything comes down to communication and in order to have efficient and effective communication, it is helpful for teams to discuss communication rituals upfront. Communication norms can be established on two levels—tools and behaviors: which tools are we going to use and how can we best engage with one another? Don’t shy away from setting communication rules, it will let team members know what’s expected of them and support productive exchanges. As a leader you can encourage use of social media tools by using them yourself to keep everyone up to date. You can push information via email or make it available to everyone on software such as SharePoint. Use both to make sure that people are held accountable for accessing and sharing relevant information.

Digital collaboration practices and skills
By using collaborative platforms, team leaders foster collaborative networks and builds communities across the organization, with partners, customers, vendors, suppliers, and various stakeholders. The team lead supports the building of partner networks by encouraging the team members to look into their communities and proactively collaborate, share information and ideas to grow their performance. Remote teams work beyond their department, organization, geographic, and industry boundaries in the digital economy. The highest role of the remote leader is to build their own, and their team, capacity to leverage opportunities of cross-ecosystem collaboration.

To learn more about ecosystem collaboration, use the following link: