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Showing posts from July, 2011

The Agile Team Room is a Metaphor!

Can you gain the benefits of applying agile philosophy and practices on teams whose members are distributed across multiple rooms, multiple cities, multiple countries, and even multiple companies? 
Deborah Hartmann Preuss points out in InfoQ that if we go all the way back to the beginning, the optimal XP work space was described as "caves and commons," where team members had access to each other when they wanted, and to private space when they wanted.  Why, all of a sudden, are we telling people they have to constantly collocate?  Could it be that the agile team room concept has taken on a life of its own?  Is the agile team room a fad?

As someone very wise said to me on Tuesday, "the room is a metaphor," not a specification.  We should build our agile work spaces the same way we build our software:  around functional stories, not around "the system shall..." statements.  When someone tells you "everyone must be in one room," ask them the "

Agile Team Roles: De Jure and De Facto Distribution of Responsibility

It's totally uncool on any agile team to use the phrase "that's not in my job description."

Theoretically, the way to measure the effectiveness of an agile project is to look at how effectively the whole team is at working together.  Teams that work well together can often beat other teams composed of selfish individual achievers.  (Take for example the 1992 American "Dream Team" in basketball at the Barcelona Olympics, composed entirely of individual superstars such as Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson.  Oh, wait, no, never mind.)
At any rate, much digital ink has been spilt arguing over topics like:
Do we need Business Analysts in Agile?What's the difference between User Experience Design and Business Analysis?If our Testers can't Automate, how soon can we fire them?Is there anything our Developers can't do?What's the difference between a Project Manager and an Iteration Manager?Is our Director a Pig or a Chicken?and so on. I myself have squ…