I'm a huge fan of Jimmy Janlén's book, "96 Visualization Examples." It's become one of my secret weapons, and I can't stop recommending it to everyone I know. And JP, the creator of the ScrumLife (🇫🇷) community, knows this. So obviously, he pinged me the moment his last video went live, in which he interviewed Jimmy Janlén.

In this video, he delves into the intricacies of remote collaboration, and it struck a chord with me. As someone who frequently champions virtual dashboards like Miro, his words truly resonated. So here are my main takeaways from this video about how to supercharge your remote collaboration game!

  1. Navigating Visual Management in Remote and Hybrid Teams:
    Physical boards have their perks. The creativity, the overview—they're hard to beat. But let's face it, remote and hybrid teams are becoming the norm, and we need visual management solutions that can keep up. That's where virtual dashboards come to the rescue. Picture this: a shared digital space where your team can collaborate, plan, and visualize work together. It's like magic—alignment, and transparency at your fingertips! I've been a fervent advocate for Miro for precisely this reason.
  2. Breakout Rooms: Unleash the Power of Engaging Discussions
    Jimmy has a game-changing suggestion for those dreaded remote conversations: breakout rooms. Instead of juggling a gazillion people in a virtual space, talking over each other, you divide your team into smaller groups. Breakout rooms create a focused environment where ideas flow freely. This is where the magic happens—brainstorming, problem-solving, and collaboration. Guilty as charged, I've not used this remotely enough.
  3. Show Your Remote Mojo: Engage Actively!
    In the remote realm, non-verbal cues often vanish into thin air. Where in person, the smallest eyelash bat or mouth twitch can be seen; if you don't make more prominent movements, your counterpart could think you are frozen on the screen. Jimmy stresses the importance of active engagement in virtual meetings: nodding, thumbs-up, vocal agreement—it's all about letting your team know you're fully present. By actively participating, you're avoiding awkward silences and ensuring crystal-clear communication. When recording my podcast, I move a lot to show the guest that I am actively listening and that the connection is fine. They should be in their head, thinking about the story they tell, not worrying about the recording itself; that's my part.
  4. The Perfect Blend: Digital Tools and Visualization
    Jimmy warns about the call of digital project management tools. Those are so handy for tracking tasks. But beware, as he puts it, "the way these tools visualize work is going to shape the conversation we have about the work and limits our way of collaborating or setting rules or removing rules." So let's not get too cozy in their embrace. Jimmy encourages us to use many creative spaces to describe the bigger picture, the roadmaps, the dependencies, etc., and only rely on those "fixed tools" for day-to-day work—if we have to.
  5. Finding the Remote-In-Person Balance
    Finally, Jimmy recommends returning to the office, not for mind-numbing productivity gains, but for the sake of relationships and social connections. We're talking about those random chats, coffee breaks, and water cooler moments. Remote collaboration may rock for specific tasks but don't underestimate the power of in-person interactions. They build networks, fuel innovation, and keep that human touch alive. As a 100% remote worker living 8 hours away from the nearest Company office, I have a love/hate relationship with this advice. But I can't disagree that keeping the social balance intact is a struggle.

Lots of small insights. Thanks to the ScrumLife team for sharing this interview with Jimmy with us!