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war room/collocation

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  • ny_sheimgartner
    Hi Nick, Thanks for passing along the data; it s great to have hard data to back up what s been merely subjective feeling until this point. I experienced
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 25, 2006
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      Hi Nick,

      Thanks for passing along the data; it's great to have hard data to
      back up what's been merely subjective feeling until this point. I
      experienced collocation with my first scrum team.

      At first, collocation was merely mentioned from time to time by the
      team. They were certainly curious, but nobody wanted to make the
      first formal move; however, they saw the immense value of stealing
      my office and just getting things done. After some persuading, I
      finally was able to convince one team to 'just try it' [this would
      make a great Scrum bumper sticker!]... Anyway, after a sprint, the
      team really liked it.

      After three sprints, the team loved it and the department decided to
      invest $$ to convert the space from dozens of cubes to multiple war
      rooms. The business saw the immense gains in productivity that my
      first team had experienced; soon, all 11 teams had dedicated team
      rooms.

      A couple of points about collocation:

      1. It took some convincing - 'just try it' approach
      2. I had to stay keenly aware of what was going on in the team room;
      in fact, I moved my workstation and committed to the experience with
      the team. I wanted to be near the small successes to point them out
      and say, "There! See what just happened? How fast did THAT just
      happen?" Of course, this can get annoying after awhile, so be
      careful
      with this aspect. :)
      3. Storming phase will come much faster. It's really helpful to
      assist
      the team in setting up norms - rules for engagement - to get them
      through this phase while allowing for the discussions to happen. One
      example of a team norm: every afternoon from 2p-4p was quiet time.
      4. Expect fast pace and others in the organization to be interested
      in
      what's going on.
      5. Have a space where team members can go to make private calls,
      etc.
      Every now and then you just need some quiet time.
      6. Decorate - bring in the fish bowl, the couch, the lava lamp. The
      room should reflect the character of the team within.
      7. Keep reminding the team that if something does not work, they can
      change it via group consensus or discussion during retrospective.
      8. Not everyone is going to like it. Some folks would rather have
      their cubes any day. It's important to facilitate a discussion with
      the team to find ways to work with each individual style.

      Hope that helps! Collocation can be a greatly rewarding experience!
      Best of luck!
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