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Due to the covid-19 pandemic, our IT developers and IT managers work from home. Furthermore, and in different time zones and different locations. Therefore, daily Scrum meetings are Not really practical for us. Also, before covid-19 pandemic, a lot of IT developers worked also in the office. My IT tech lead sat right Next to me. I could also just walk over to the IT Operations team technician, and help him if he needed help deploying one of my application to Production environment.

Nowadays, majority of us work remotely from home. Therefore, it's a lot of lengthy emails, Skype, Zoom, Lync Online Web Conference calls which is obviously Not as interactive and Not as engaging.

However, could someone please tell me if we can "cherry pick" in order to choose certain Agile practices, and ignore other Agile practices? would that work?

If yes, could someone elaborately describe how my office team could go about doing this?

Or Is it always All Or Nothing with Agile practices?

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Or Is it always All Or Nothing with Agile practices?

Agile is a set of values and principles, a mindset of how to develop software. You can create your own version of Agile methods, it's not just Scrum, Kanban, XP, etc. But if you go with one of these, it's best to use them as prescribed.

I see you tagged your question with Scrum. If you give up on things from the things prescribed in the Scrum guide, you can't call what you are doing Scrum anymore. There isn't an asterisk in the Scrum Guide that says "unless remote work" or "unless pandemic".

if we can "cherry pick" in order to choose certain Agile practices, and ignore other Agile practices? would that work?

Yes, that would work, but you must be really mindful about what you give up and what you gain. For example, giving up on dailys because they are not interactive enough, might make people happy that they skip on something less efficiently done remotely, but might bite your a$$ at the end of the sprint when you miss to reach your goal and find out it could have been avoided if people mentioned issues they are having during the daily meetings.

The things that Agile methods prescribe are there for a reason, so try to find ways to improve your existing practices inspite of the current situation, or if you give up on things, pay attention to the consequences that may have.

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    "But if you go with one of these, it's best to use them as prescribed." - why is that? Picking one and bending its rules is the same as saying "I created my own process based on X". Which is probably the only way of creating an effective process - tailoring it to your specific situation. – Stanislav Bashkyrtsev Jul 23 at 5:56
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    @StanislavBashkyrtsev: Picking one and bending it's rules, e.g. Scrum, might seem like tailoring it to a specific situation, but might also mean ending up with ScrumBut, i.e. a bad implementation or worse version of Scrum. Agile methods were discovered, not invented. People figured out what works and used it (think Deming's PDCA for ex). By removing stuff, you remove things that were observed to work well for that particular method. If you want to combine, remove things, or bend things, that's up to you. I'm not saying to be a purist, just be mindful of what you loose vs gain when doing so – Bogdan Jul 23 at 7:51
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    I can't agree.. You can discover facts. Methodologies are not facts. None of them were really studied with rigorous statistical methods (they're too complicated for that), they all are intertwined with marketing, politics, trends, subjective opinions, inertia. I think Scrum is a good example of a completely broken method that survives solely due to marketing and inertia. Project Management seems like an area where nothing is known for sure and you always need to cherry-pick from known approaches and adapt them to your cases. But as with most things in PM - this all is just an opinion ;) – Stanislav Bashkyrtsev Jul 23 at 10:28
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Agile doesn't prescribe any practices - it's all about you choosing how you work because it suits your situation. Particular methodologies though can be prescriptive - Scrum is a good example. If you feel like Scrum doesn't suit you anymore (are you sure it suited you before?) - change the process. You don't have to follow any specific methodology - being agile is much more important.

Also note that there have always been teams that worked remotely all the time. They can be as agile as any team that works in the office.

The biggest challenge of the remote work is not the effective process - it's effective communication. People who don't see each other emotions assume the worst and with time they start conflicting. So you may want to think more about how you talk to each other - using video chats, keeping the meetings as short as before, setting the rules on when you can IM each other (some people if they get an IM - they feel they must respond - even if it's 11PM), maybe even letting go the most toxic team members for the sake of others.

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Scrum and agile practices can be followed with team members in different locations/time zones

our IT developers and IT managers work from home. Furthermore, and in different time zones and different locations. Therefore, daily Scrum meetings are Not really practical for us.

It is not clear to me why daily Scrum meetings are not practical. I have managed several projects (when there was no covid-19 pandemic) with team members in different locations/time zones and held daily Scrum meetings. You have to choose a time that is workable for all team members. But it is especially important when they are in different locations/time zones to pull the team together at least for this one call to build some cohesion in the team.

it's a lot of lengthy emails

This is a clear sign that the team communication and coordination is failing. In addition, you can try using a chat tool, such as Slack, which also has facility for group chat. This will reduce the need for lengthy emails/video calls.

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