The five ways to master agile communication at any scale

Central to the success of agile projects is effective communication. Without teams knowing their sprints, visualizing project progress, and updates – agile simply doesn’t work. 

According to a survey by Fierce inc, agile or not, employees and executives cite the number one reason for errors in the workplace is poor communication and collaboration (86%).

In this blog, we will explore five valuable strategies to enhance agile communication practices, foster better collaboration, and ultimately drive improved project results for your teams.

1. Effective leadership

While agile teams should have the autonomy to decide how they work, leaders still need to provide a clear strategic direction. This includes setting the vision and distilling the strategy to teams, making it clear how their work contributes to these goals.

Agile at Scale leaders need to be on the lookout for silos developing and be the people deliberately pushing for daily communication. It might seem frustrating and resistance to this is common, but the value of doing this has been made clear. 

However, these meetings need to be short. Leaders have to keep meetings focused, purpose-driven, and time-boxed or time gets wasted and some people can become frustrated with an hour of their day burned on chit-chat or less productive meetings.

Leaders need to ride the fine line between keeping teams talking, but not more than they need to. Once a day for around 15-20 minutes is usually enough. This provides teams with a constant feedback loop, and clarity around how they’re performing against goals.

Learn more about what makes an effective Agile at Scale leader here.

2. Clarity

At the outset of any agile project, setting clear and concise goals is paramount. However, this doesn’t just mean handing things over to your team and letting them work it out they have to be understood and agreed upon as a collective and broken down into management increments for each team and individual.

For most teams that means breaking the strategy down into epics, stories, and tasks in Jira. For Agile at Scale, this means alignment across your team of teams, which is where tools like Roadmunk and Structure can support.

Once employees and leadership have clarity on what they are meant to be doing (and most importantly why), then you have the foundation not just for agile methodology but just about every form of business effectiveness.

Grammarly’s 2023 State of Business Communication report found that 72% of business leaders believe that effective communication has increased their team’s productivity, and 52% of knowledge workers agree.

Communication starts by ensuring everyone is on the same page. From there, team members can align their efforts and communicate more effectively throughout the project's lifecycle.

If getting your teams aligned and enthusiastic about agile practices is something you want to know more about, read our guide on the best practices to achieve agile alignment.

3. Transparency

Open communication is the backbone of agile teams, but it isn’t easy saying something that the business or the people around you might not want to hear. 

According to research by Slack, 80% of workers want to know more about how decisions are made in their organization and 87% want their future company to be transparent.

A lot of agile projects will use tools like a burn up chart or roadmaps to be able to visualize progress. That helps them see where things are slowing down without having that team stand up and tell everyone that they won’t be able to deliver. 

While that level of built-in transparency is incredibly useful, you can’t simply force transparency upon your teams and claim to have created a culture of openness. Teams need to feel they can talk to product owners without fear, and product owners need to trust that their teams are telling them the truth about their workflows so they can remove blockers. 

Creating an environment where team members feel comfortable sharing their ideas, concerns, and progress updates is crucial. Regular stand-up meetings, sprint reviews, and retrospectives facilitate ongoing dialogue and develop the relationships needed for agile to function.

This, of course, goes both ways and that needs to be acknowledged. Once teams have clarity on overall strategies and why leadership wants what it wants, only then can you start to create a culture of genuinely transparent and honest communication.

4. Technology

Humans process visual information more efficiently than text-based communication. Incorporating visual tools such as software for resource allocation, burndown charts, and roadmaps enhances agile communication by making project status, task assignments, and progress readily accessible to all team members.

However, technology means more than just new tools. While agile emphasizes working software over comprehensive documentation, maintaining essential project documents is crucial for effective communication. Agile teams should keep project backlogs, user stories, and other relevant documents up to date and accessible to all stakeholders.Get the Agile at Scale Playbook

5. Adaptability

When it comes to agile working practices, the worst thing you can do is become stuck in your ways and refuse to change when practices aren’t working.

You need to discover what works best for your organization, whether you are hybrid or remote — and the tools that make sense for your industry. 

Remote teams may need someone to prepare presentations, have plentiful tools for shared working, and have norms established for how meetings go when people are not present. Hybrid offices need rules for when some individuals are present and others aren’t, and which things require everyone to be in the office.

Effective agile communication practices are instrumental in fostering collaboration, boosting productivity, and delivering successful outcomes. By prioritizing effective leadership, clarity, transparency, technology, and adaptability, any company can prevail with Agile at Scale.

Improve communication, at any scale, with Tempo

Wherever you are on your agile journey, Tempo’s modular and flexible solutions offer the complete suite of tools to support agile at any scale. 

Tempo provides a comprehensive suite of tools to support companies in developing their agile workflows. From defining business strategies and sharing roadmaps using Roadmunk, to organizing team tasks efficiently with Structure, and visualizing performance through Custom Charts, Tempo offers a complete solution for any organization seeking to enhance its agile practices.

For more resources like this visit

Get the Agile at Scale Playbook

Subscribe to our blog

Get the inside scoop, previews, news and other fun stuff.

tempo laptop