How to keep part-time members of an agile software development team informed?



  • TL;DR

    I'm looking for a recommended way of updating team members in their days off so that they are more or less informed of the changes in the product, the process or the company.

    Full Story

    Background:

    I'm part of a scrum team within a company that develops software solutions. Our team consists of part-time and full-time employees. I assist the product owner (who is also our CTO and very busy) and the scrum master (who's actually an agile coach that visits two times a week). I write acceptance tests, document stuff and I'm expected to become a business analyst that also covers most of the responsibilities of the scrum master. Our company isn't very large (less than 20 people in the technical department) but some parts of our products DO get complex.

    Since I've joined the company, I'm proactively finding ways for improving our department's performance by proposing changes in our software development processes, tools, meetings, etc.

    The Problem: I'm a master's student and I can't attend work two days of the week. There are also some bachelor's students who are skilled and the company needs them. We have 3 professional developers that actually work elsewhere but participate in the projects after their work hours.

    Every day changes happen and new decisions are made by the CTO and those who are present at the company. But those who are absent, such as my own self on those two days, won't get informed until the next day they show up at the company.

    The company managers and I DO know that using part-time team members isn't efficient and can damage the agility of the team and we've accepted the overhead. But we're looking for ways to make this better as much as possible.

    Our product has a microservice architecture and each BC has its own sub-team and its own project. Therefore tracking the progress has become a pain in the neck (at least for me who has joined just a month ago and isn't aware of all the information, concerns and decisions from the very beginning). Each product has its own board and backlog.

    Also, our daily stand-up meetings don't seem to be effective much.

    What would you suggest? I myself thought of a logging system and asynchronous stand-up meetings and a scheduled batch job that emails all the logs and team member's answer to async daily scrum questions to the team.

    Should we adopt other frameworks/methodologies?



  • One possibility would be using a tool like Slack.

    Create a team news channel. Anyone who hears any relevant news or notes any significant comments/events during the day will add them as a message on the channel.

    People returning to work after having been away can scroll back through the news.



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