Discovery in extraordinary times
The Scottish Digital Academy recently hosted an online event to understand what people working in Scottish public services are experiencing in these extraordinary times, with the sudden need for lots of us to work from home.
This event was part of our Agile Discovery helping us to understand the needs of our users. This will help us to establish and then prioritise what immediate support the Academy can helpfully offer.
It was great to see so many people take part and the group were very generous and open with their comments. It was also very interesting to see the consistency of experience with a number of common themes coming through such as:
● How do we work well in collaboration while physically distant from one another?
● What tools can we use that are user friendly and secure and what procedures or etiquette ensure their best use?
● How can we create and build new teams or maintain existing teams remotely?
● What does management of staff and projects look like in lockdown?
● How do we create a safe working environments and ensure the wellbeing of ourselves, our staff and our teams?
— Dean Rhodes (@deanorhodes) April 3, 2020
Losing face-to-face communication is without question an obstacle to running a distributed team and can be a major blocker to establishing a new one. As coaches, we are seeing that teams who were Agile before seem to be better equipped and more resilient under these conditions. It’s going to require a different approach to compensate for the loss of nearness and will need more effort from everyone in the team, plus the ability to communicate the vision and intent appropriately at all levels.
We should not forget that the current environment will change. We are in extraordinary times and a new normality hasn’t yet emerged. Our discovery continues as we speak to different organisations, investigate the tools and research best practice for remote learning. We know that training will need to be delivered differently in the short term and we may also need to deliver differently in the medium to long term.