How to be Agile when Remote Work is Our Reality

  • Article
  • Agile Transformation

Almost two years into the COVID-19, and it’s now more apparent than ever that remote work is here to stay.

However, it seems as if there are still a number of organizations and individuals that are still struggling to adapt the new remote reality of the workplace. For 15 years, agilists have said co-located teams and face-to-face interactions are the most effective methods for communication and delivery, but now we’re living in a world where that’s no longer possible or wanted.

Many organizations have considered bringing their employees and consultants back on-site, even though the pandemic has not actually ended and, more importantly, employees don’t want to go back on-site. The reason is because a significant number of agile coaches and agile teams have not been as effective during this time. In addition, organizational expectations have not substantively changed. They have challenged their teams to maintain the same levels of productivity, throughput, and quality of delivery on the same schedule, despite the reduced efficiency of communication and collaboration.

Now, it’s possible to meet that challenge. Distributed teams aren’t new; we’ve been solving these problems for years. It’s just a matter of scale and whether your organization is committed to providing teams with the resources necessary to rise to the challenge effectively. It’s tempting to expect your employees to make do with the tools and resources currently available to them, but that’s a short-term benefit that will lead to long-term consequences. Instead, recognize the circumstances of delivery have changed. A small investment now will pay dividends in the future.

Three Ways to Do Agile Remotely

1. Make Communication Easy

2. Encourage Continuous Collaboration

3. Take Advantage of Remote Work


Saajan Pankiar, GovCIO Senior SAFe Consultant, has been working in various roles within Agile and SAFe for over a decade has proven to be leader in governmental Agile transformation. His specialty is in building highly effective teams and instilling collaborative practices across the Enterprise.

Saahil Panikar, Atlas Revolutions and GovCIO Agile Coach Emeritus, is a SAFe Program Consultant Trainer (SPCT), Enterprise Business Agility Strategist, and the Managing Director of Atlas Revolutions. He has been transforming large organizations for over 10 years and is a thought leader in scaling agility.