In the wake of the current pandemic, Atomic Object has moved to working remotely. As a Delivery Lead, it’s my job to ensure that projects are being managed and work is being completed at an ongoing pace. I have to make sure that my teams are free of blockers and have work lined up and that clients are aligned on product goals and understand our development cadence.
Below are a few tools I use to deliver projects while working with remote teams and clients.
Slack is a communication and messaging tool that not only allows you to easily manage direct and group messages with your team, but also supports video calls, screen sharing, and integrations with applications like Dropbox, Google Suite, and Zoom.
Slack has web, desktop, and mobile apps, which means I can get messages whenever I’m needed by my teams. It has been a great tool for keeping in touch with my teams and clients.
Zoom is a great video conferencing tool. While Slack allows you to do basic video calling and screen sharing, Zoom has additional features like scheduling future meetings, creating phone dial-in numbers, and recording meetings for clients who are unable to join.
I use Zoom throughout the day as a replacement for our daily standups and face-to-face meetings and as a way to feel connected to my teams.
Pivotal Tracker is a story management tool for product teams. We’ve been recommending it to clients for years since it integrates well with our Agile practices.
Pivotal lets everyone on a project team (including clients) easily see what work is in the queue, in progress, and completed. It allows me to easily track my team’s progress toward our bi-weekly development goals and identify blockers as we work remotely.
Miro is an online “whiteboarding” tool. Our teams frequently use a physical whiteboard and sticky notes to solve problems and develop ideas in a visual and collaborative way. Miro is a great way to recreate this with remote teams. In addition to providing shapes and templates for workflow diagramming, Miro gives each team member a way to add their own digital Post-its.
I’ve used Miro to facilitate team exercises ranging from bi-weekly retrospectives to kickoff exercises, and I’ve seen my designers use it for quickly ideating and handing off personas and journey mapping.
Google provides a number of tools to support remote work, including Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drive. These tools allow you to create, share, and simultaneously edit text, spreadsheet documents, and presentations. I’ve found these tools useful when trying to create and share content with my distributed teams.
None of these tools was new to me; we were using all of them before the coronavirus. But I’ve found them invaluable for delivering a quality product to my clients and making sure my teams are running smoothly while in a remote environment.