It has been a rough couple of weeks, especially for teams all over the world who have not worked remotely before.
If you have been working remotely with your team now, you would have probably noticed that there is a huge difference in working remotely vs. being co-located with your team. Team dynamics, communication patterns, and expectations all change.
To ease this transition to remote, it would help to use the right tools to help you and your team.
We know that you are probably already using Zoom, Slack, Google Hangouts and Google apps for most team activities, but we wanted to list here some of the activities you may not have heard of, but which we have loved using in the past!
Here is a list of some excellent tools for remote teams you may not have heard of:
To put it simply, Ideaboardz is an online whiteboarding tool. What we love about this, though, is how seamlessly it works and how easy it is to use. It feels exactly like adding sticky notes to a whiteboard. Great for using during brainstorming, creating story maps, retrospectives, etc.
It is also free to use, so that is a bonus!
If you are looking for something a bit more suited for running effective and fun retrospectives, we love Retrium. It is paid, but we think it is worth it.
More details on how to use Retrium for your remote team are available here.
If your team is in the middle of running estimation exercises for stories, try Planning Poker! It does require some minimal setup time, but we love how easy and seamless it can be to do estimations using this tool.
You can have the stories you want to estimate, set up, and ask your team to take a look at each story before they meet up online for an estimation exercise. Then the estimation exercise can run very smoothly.
Zoom, Google Hangouts, and other video conferencing tools could work well for most teams, but if you want to get a feel of having a virtual office space you share with your co-workers, we highly recommend Sococo. Not only can you design your office to look like your physical office, but you can also chat and have video conferences with your teammates. All you have to do is enter a room, and you join a video chat immediately.
Want some alone time? Head over to your persona office on Sococo. Your teammates can ask to enter your office when they want to chat with you! Sococo does require you to download an app on your laptop but does offer a web version for trial as well.
This is a great app to use to make your stand-ups much more efficient and shorter It is a paid app that collects updates from teammates and creates rich reports out of that so everyone is on the same page.
Another excellent tool for running asynchronous stand-up meetings, Standuply is especially helpful for teams with members in different time zones. They also offer a Slack integration, so your team can enter their updates right into Slack.
Stories on board is an excellent story mapping tool that I would recommend using, even if your team isn’t remote. They also offer a free 14-day trial option.
Great for visualizing timelines, and creating release plans, Team Gantt is a perfect place to start if you are still in the release planning and product road mapping phase of your current release.
We hope you have found this list useful. Please let us know if you have any questions. Have you used any great tools to collaborate better with your remote team? We would love to know!