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"Why Office Design Matters"

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  • William Wake
    An article by Thomas Davenport: http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item.jhtml?id=4991&t=organizations&iss=y Knowledge workers prefer closed offices, but seem to communicate
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 13, 2005
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      An article by Thomas Davenport:
      http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item.jhtml?id=4991&t=organizations&iss=y
      "Knowledge workers prefer closed offices, but seem to communicate better in
      open ones." (Although, Davenport disagrees with some of that research.)

      --
      Bill Wake William.Wake@... www.xp123.com <http://www.xp123.com>


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Ron Jeffries
      ... I didn t notice a reference to the University of Michigan war room research, which, at a factor of 2x in productivity, was pretty interesting, since the
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 13, 2005
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        On Tuesday, September 13, 2005, at 7:29:54 AM, William Wake wrote:

        > An article by Thomas Davenport:
        > http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item.jhtml?id=4991&t=organizations&iss=y
        > "Knowledge workers prefer closed offices, but seem to communicate better in
        > open ones." (Although, Davenport disagrees with some of that research.)

        I didn't notice a reference to the University of Michigan "war room"
        research, which, at a factor of 2x in productivity, was pretty
        interesting, since the work was done on software development teams.
        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/12/001206144705.htm for
        one reference.

        Ron Jeffries
        www.XProgramming.com
        The work teaches us. -- Richard Gabriel
      • BenAveling
        The perfect number of people in a room is the whole team. No more and no less. I do not expect anyone here to be surprised by this. It s hard to prove because
        Message 3 of 4 , Sep 13, 2005
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          The perfect number of people in a room is the whole team. No more and
          no less.

          I do not expect anyone here to be surprised by this.

          It's hard to prove because you can never do a real project twice, but I
          have been on successful projects that, I am sure, would have failed were
          the whole team not in one room.

          Similarly, I have been on projects that failed, I am sure, because
          people were not sitting together.

          Regards, Ben
        • Ken Boucher
          ... I m not surprised by it, but I confess I no longer know what it means. I know by now that on most of my web-based projects I need a customer and a DBA in
          Message 4 of 4 , Sep 13, 2005
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            --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, BenAveling <bena@x> wrote:
            >
            > The perfect number of people in a room is the whole team. No more
            > and no less.
            >
            > I do not expect anyone here to be surprised by this.

            I'm not surprised by it, but I confess I no longer know what it means.
            I know by now that on most of my web-based projects I need a customer
            and a DBA in the same room as me. The DBA doesn't need to be in the
            room every day, but they need to be there often enough. And I'd
            really like some form of web guy in the room, because if we're doing
            web services we need graphics, html, usability, etc. etc. And we
            probably need the security guy in the room because these web pages
            need to be viewed by these end users and not seen by other end users.

            Unfortunately, my customer should probably be talking to the
            marketing people and the gold owner and so those people need to be in
            the same room as the customer, or, like the DBA (who we only need
            part time), someone needs to be moving around constantly. So maybe we
            don't have the customer as often as we like or maybe someone else
            doesn't get the customer in their room and so that area is at a
            greater risk. Or maybe a whole lot of people have to co-ordinate just
            to find out where they'll be on any given day of the week. Either
            that or we need a really, really big room. Or maybe everyone gets
            their own customer and the customers need to co-ordinate. But it
            would be nice if all the customers sat in the same room so they could
            co-ordinate more.

            It turns out, as I learn more and more about what's needed for a
            sucessful product (instead of a successful project), that the "whole
            team" is getting really big. It wouldn't be bad if all I worked on
            was the first product of a startup company, but this is one area of
            agile where I'm having severe scaling problems. How many people can
            work on a product at one time and still follow the "one room"
            guideline? Since our office is big, I've learned that someone 40-50
            feet away might as well be in another room. If they're 100 feet away,
            chances are I may not even know any more about them than their name,
            even if our two groups support each other.

            5 people in one room know what everyone else is doing right now.
            10 people in one room know what everyone else did yesterday.
            20 people in one room know what everyone else was working on this
            week.
            40 people in one room know what everyone's job is.
            80 people in one room and people start playing 6 Degrees of Kevin
            Bacon.
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