Stride Guide: 6 tips for agile teams

From developers to marketing teams, creatives to management, working agile will change how your team accomplishes its goals. The agile methodology emphasizes a fast, iterative process that leans heavily on communication and transparency to minimize roadblocks and keep projects moving forward.

Because we believe in agile so much, Atlassian has crafted its whole suite around the methodology. Jira crushes at sprint planning, Bitbucket for code review, and Trello for moving projects along the Kanban board, and at the center of it all: Stride.

Whether you’re sitting across the room from your teammate or chatting with your work BFF who happens to be in Paris, Stride helps keep agile teams organized and productive.

1. Work at the speed of agile

Agile moves fast. Communicating the good and the bad is essential to the process. The Agile Manifesto suggests face-to-face interaction as the first line of team communication, but if your team is spread out around the world, you need a communication solution that goes above and beyond.

Stride provides fast-moving teams with multiple layers of communication that ensure open and consistent connection — no matter their location.

Team chat: For teams — remote or not — group chat provides a home base for all communication. It’s where you can discuss ideas, set up meetings, and jump on a video conference to meet face-to-face.

We suggest creating distinct rooms for teams and projects so discussions stay focused. In each of those rooms, use Actions and Decisions to isolate important outcomes and make it easy for teammates to catch up on anything they missed.

Video conferencing: When you can’t meet in person, video conferencing is an amazing alternative. Click to join a video meeting from any room or chat and invite anyone to join — Stride account or not.

Stride Meetings are great for impromptu meetings. If a discussion in chat has gone on for over five minutes, we recommend jumping on a Stride Meeting. Not only will you get to a decision or outcome faster, but it will also guarantee that everyone is on the same page and nothing’s been lost in chat translation.

You can also plan meetings in advance and add them to your calendar using the Stride Meeting Chrome Extension.

Other helpful features include screen sharing, remote desktop control, and ability to “raise your hand” to show you have something to say.

2. Combine your agile tools

An important facet to agile is the ability to move fast. That means knowing what is happening across all your tools as soon as possible. By connecting your apps to team chat, you’ll be able to get notifications anytime something changes or there is an issue you need to address.

Stride integrates with many agile tools like Jira, Trello, Bitbucket, Github, Statuspage, and PagerDuty — to name a few. Check out all the current Stride apps in the Atlassian Marketplace.

Want to build your own? See how in our developer documentation.

3. Stand up, wherever you are

Because so many teams are spread out around the world, Stride bridges the gap of distance. With Standup Bot, not only can you keep track of what the team is doing, but you can also build rapport and foster team culture.

Whether you’re a co-located or a distributed team, Standup Bot helps teams stay connected and productive. Here’s how it works:

Set a recurring time for your team stand-up

Invite Standup Bot to your Stride rooms, and configure the time and recurrence of your stand-up. When it’s time for stand-up, Standup Bot will remind everyone to submit their reports.

Stay in the loop on your team’s status

View your stand-up details in the right sidebar of your room and easily send your report. Identify who has sent their reports, who’s got blockers, and whose reports are missing.

See the history of your stand-up reports

Navigate through your past stand-up reports to get a more holistic view of team member’s performance and the project’s progress.

Add Standup Bot to any Stride room or chat from the Atlassian Marketplace.

4. Keep the agile principles intact, even when working remote

Four “ceremonies” are the backbone of every agile team. These include sprint planning, daily stand-up, iterative review, and retrospectives. Here’s how to make each successful in Stride:

  • Sprint planning: Schedule a recurring Stride Meeting through the Stride Meeting Chrome Extension. The leader of your sprint planning can share their screen so everyone on the meeting can easily follow along.
  • Daily stand-up: Standup Bot will remind everyone to submit a report at a set recurring time. Once reports are in, easily see everyone’s reports in your right sidebar when it’s convenient for you.
  • Iteration review: Similar to sprint planning, set up a Stride Meeting so everyone can meet face-to-face. If many people are sharing their work, make sure to give time limits to each presentation so everyone has time. After your review, ask each presenter to create a Decision in your team chat room with a summary of what they shared.
  • Retrospectives: Again, using Stride Meetings is ideal so that everyone can talk and see each other openly. When you’re in free-flowing conversation, make sure to use the “raise your hand” function to signal you have something to say. This way, everyone will have a voice in the discussion.

5. Put bots to work

Robots are cool; they’re capable of so much like performing surgeries or building cars. Well, maybe they’re not so cool in Terminator, but we can all agree that R2D2 is pretty great.

Putting bots to work means less work for you, like Standup Bot for stand-up reports, Alias Bot for mentioning groups of people in rooms, and Obie to connect all your tools to Stride.

Bots also add some levity to your day. Have a laugh with Giphy, give props to a teammate with Karma Bot, and settle where to go to lunch with Polly Bot (polls in your rooms).

6. Keep code review simple

Devs need to be able to share snippets of code at a moment’s notice. Markdown and keyboard shortcuts make it easy.

Add code using markdown `code` or keyboard shortcut command or control + shift + m. Or add a code block with markdown “` (three ticks).

See other ways to format, edit, and personalize your messages.

Atlassian’s Stride keeps teams communicating and the workflow moving. If you’ve got any questions, hit us up on Twitter. We’d be happy to see how we can help your team get more done. Learn more about what you can do with Stride team chat.