For many organizations and individuals out there, the last few weeks have been a whirlwind. We hope you and your family are able to stay safe and have been able to transition smoothly into remote work with the tools you have at your disposal. For the product and engineering teams in BlueJeans, it has also been a very challenging, and rewarding few weeks. We are proud to be able to help our customers maintain their organizational goals of collaboration and productivity during these unprecedented times. We have been hard at work scaling up to ensure availability of our service for all our users while also adjusting to this new work from home reality.

If you are also a product owner or developer who has to think about how best to work from home and sync with your extended team over video conferencing, you must be wondering what you can do differently to be productive and accomplish your tasks.

Product Managers or Product owners have to adapt to changing circumstances and innovate existing processes to keep their products breathing. It is now more important than ever to be flexible to the changing needs of the situation and be open to changes in product roadmaps, release plans, product priorities, go-to-market plans, and so on. Unless the tasks are carefully re-planned and re-scoped, there can be consequences on seamless execution. Therefore, it is now more critical than ever that meetings for your products are more productive and action oriented.

Based on our experience running an Agile process through 2-week scrum meetings, here are some tips on how to carry out a remote sprint using BlueJeans Meetings.

Before the Standup - Ensure that all the meetings in your calendar are revisited and updated. You may want to add an updated agenda to reflect new priorities, or at least outline the new process in the invite so participants are aware before they join the meeting. Send the meeting invite according to the standup schedule but ensure you are time-boxing the agenda to stay on track. You may want to appoint a meeting moderator and have them use BlueJeans Smart Meetings Highlights so they can take notes and share with the team.

During the standup - For our daily or weekly standups at BlueJeans, we usually see that the Meeting Moderator starts the meeting a few minutes before the standup to ensure that the Scrum board or Jira board is updated and the agenda is displayed for everyone joining the meeting. For a large meeting, we typically have participants join on mute (which the meeting moderator can enable).

During standup, BlueJeans Smart Meeting highlights are a great way to take notes, allocate discussion items and assign people with tasks by @ mentioning them. if any dependencies or risks gets identified or called out, then the moderator can take label the highlights as Action Item or Decision or New Topic and update with appropriate comments.

Follow up - After the standup ends, ensure all the stakeholders receive the meeting highlights. The moderator can simply add the users they need to send the recording to as soon as the meeting ends, or they can do so at a later time from the BlueJeans recordings hub. What's great about highlights is that anyone can easily revisit the meeting discussions and also update the comments as they go through the action items. They can choose to rewatch 40 second clips of an important section of the meeting and avoid having to watch the whole recording.

Along with standups, we are also conducting different types of scrums using BlueJeans Meetings:

Online Backlog Refinement

In an online-backlog refinement session, we would recheck all the planned sprint items and mark out the stories that could be a risk, thus affecting the release plan. Here is an example on how you can plan your backlog refinement session:

Step 1: Ensure 30 mins before the meeting, the backlog list is up-to-date and all items for discussions are ear-marked

Step 2: When the meeting starts, as a moderator you start recording and taking Meeting Highlights

Step 3: Share your Screen to show your Jira board with Annotations and identify your asks

Product-UX Sync

During most discussions with UX teams for product design, you may often find yourself drawing on a whiteboard before you were working remotely. There are options to do this over video as well. Simply go to BlueJeans Meetings applications and start the whiteboard. You participants will be able to follow along as you draw, and you can share the recording afterwards. You can also take a screenshot to share the image of the final whiteboard with your meeting.

Cross-Functional Sync

Cross-functional team sync ups are usually multi-location in general and that may pose some issues that are particular to having a geographically global team. To ensure everyone is clearly heard and understood, Smart Meetings provide transcriptions that you can utilize to keep up with the meeting.

Finally, it’s now more important than ever to take things in stride. Even if you can’t accomplish everything, having a flexible process will allow you and your team to do your best under the circumstances. Keep things light, have fun during your meetings and you will see that productivity will follow.

We hope some of these tips are helpful to you for your next scrum meeting. If you have any questions regarding any of the features, visit our Smart Meetings page or reach out to us. For best practices and tips and tricks on how to work from home, check out our remote work video conferencing guide!