Like many countries, Israel abruptly changed to almost 100% WFH (Work From Home). For us this began on March 15th. 

Since then we have collected for you useful practices that teams actually do that help them be proactive and productive.

I find it important to note that nothing here is theoretical or a nice idea. Everything from this list has been tried and tested and found useful by teams.

So, here goes, in no particular order, albeit divided to practices, tools, and useful lists by influential experts

 

Practices

  • Have two daily standups: morning and evening. 
    Frequently these teams have the morning standup for daily planning and the evening standup for socializing
  • Have two zoom rooms open 24/7: The kitchenette and the corridor. HR opened these rooms for the company. And people drop in when they take a break. 
  • Open each meeting with a short check-in. Sometimes a simple “how are you”, sometimes a game, like throwing an invisible ball. 
    I invited people to share on video an object you’d never see in the office, and that brought cheerful smiles.
    Sometimes check-in as a group, and at other times in pairs or threes.
  • Which leads me to:
    Breakout rooms.
    Zoom has a nifty feature for choosing who goes in what room or randomly letting zoom assign people to rooms.
    Some teams use zoom for the whole team, and slack for breakout sessions during the meeting (and then the large room is muted)
  • Liberating Structures. 
    We’ve tried this week 1-2-4-all; What? So What? Now What?; 9 Whys?
    Many structures are “onlineable”. 
    There are numerous resources for highly experienced online LS practitioners. Here’s one example: https://fullcirc.com/2018/09/14/building-an-online-liberating-structures-practice-90-minutes-at-a-time/ 
  • Periodically replace the regular retro with a Happy Hour with alcohol and music and stuff.
    A practical Zoom tip here is that you can share your music player and have the audio streamed to everyone (instead of a speaker playing to the mike which kills the audio quality)
  • Book a No-Meeting-Zone when no one is allowed to interrupt the team
  • Agree on the office hours, when no one is allowed to interrupt family time
  • Team lunch and team coffee break shared on video
  • Teams that typically do not update their online tool (Jira, Rally, …) feel a greater need to keep them updated.
  • Mid-sprint / Weekly planning. That’s like a longer, 60-90 minutes daily, for the new week.

Update, 2020.04.05

  • Work with multiple displays, having a video-call on one display and content-sharing apps (miro, padlet, ...) on the other.
    Teammates that didn't have one at home told me they popped into the office to bring an extra display over.
  • The bottom of the coffee mug became suddenly so visible on video! Place a sticky-note with an insightful or another nice message at the bottom of the cup 

Online tools

Use online tools for planning, retro and ad-hoc meetings. Here the list is endless, and most teams we encounter are still experimenting with what works better for them.

Sharing here’s only a list of tools we’ve seen used or experienced ourselves these two weeks:

Tried and tested lists from additional influential experts

What tips would you add?

What other lists worth sharing have you found?

Looking forward to reading your insights in the comments.

Image: https://pixabay.com/vectors/home-computer-freelance-alone-4950567/ 

 

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