All of the agile teams I have been a part of have been remote teams. Sadly it is sometimes difficult to remember that these teams are made up of people. Developers may be extremely intelligent and love to work long hours, but they are still people. They need sleep, they need to take breaks, and they have families. So one of the things I have been most interested in is keeping these developers motivated to keep them performing at their highest level. So here are my top 3 tips to help keep your team motivated.
While teams should not be given free rein to do whatever they want, they should feel that they can do what is right for the project without having someone watching their every move. Team members that feel their judgment is respected will produce. As project manager we should be encouraging constant improvement in teams (Kaizen). Once a team is autonomous and empowered to make decisions we must encourage them to learn from any mistakes made. Nobody is perfect but that doesn't mean we can’t continue to strive for better results.
One thing that can kill morale is a lack of communication. Encouraging open communication between all team members regardless of position or experience is critical to success. Effective communication ensures that no expectation gaps arise and that emergency situations are resolved in a timely manner.
Finally what I believe is the most important factor in team motivation is success. It is said that success breeds success. Achieving your team goals is a great feeling. Nobody ever sets out to fail. We all have professional pride and failing is never a good feeling. Also being successful pays a lot better than the alternative. Once a team is successful at one agile project, they will want to continue to stay successful.