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Re: [scrumdevelopment] Collocation and Team Resistance

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  • Emiliano Heyns
    ... I accept that. Not being colocated is probably worse than even the current situation. ... And therein lies the rub. There s no incentive. It doesn t feel
    Message 1 of 24 , Aug 4, 2007
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      On 8/4/07, George Dinwiddie <lists@...> wrote:

      > Consider that it might not be the fact of collocation, but the manner in
      > which it's being practiced, that may be generating the downsides.

      I accept that. Not being colocated is probably worse than even the
      current situation.

      > Yes, change is slow. And for change to happen, there must be a payoff
      > for the people changing.

      And therein lies the rub. There's no incentive. It doesn't feel like
      heightened efficiency would do it -- what's in that for them? I've had
      talks touching on this issue, and they feel it would detract from the
      lightheartedness of the room.

      > I can empathize. I run into the same conflict, myself. I wonder if
      > perhaps getting things done efficiently, while important to me, isn't
      > really important in the big picture. It's hard for me to back off,
      > though, and I sense you feel the same way.

      Yep, that sounds exactly like the spot I'm in. I've just had my
      contract converted to permanent employment there, and I'm going to
      give it at least another year before I make up my mind. But I do miss
      working with truly driven people.

      > Some random thoughts and observations:
      >
      > You mentioned "the current group (which mean about 2-3 teams depending
      > on how you look at things)." Does this mean the common area has
      > multiple teams mixed together?

      Yes.

      > If so, that in itself may be a part of the problem.

      It is, but there's nothing that can be done about that in the
      foreseeable future. I'm lucky to have access to a team room in the
      morning so we can at least do our standups in peace.

      > As scrummaster, what work are you doing that requires solo
      > concentration?

      I'm not a full-time SM. I am also a developer on the same team (I know
      this is not ideal), and I have responsibilities to former projects,
      even though work on the latter is decreasing.

      > Does that work need to be done in the common area?

      Yes, because I don't have access to the network elsewhere.

      > Have you heard of the "caves and commons" pattern?

      Just recently, in fact. But we've just moved to a new office because
      our institution is growing fast, and more space was needed for the
      students. In the new office we actually have more space than we used
      to, but not more rooms. We were offered the possibility of having the
      current room split in two by a simple wall, but it was more or less
      unanimously voted down, including by our program manager.

      > This is a topic that's dear to my heart, as evidenced by the fact that
      > I'm speaking on it at Agile 2007.

      I'm looking forward to the notes on that! Unfortunately it doesn't
      look like I will be attending.

      > As in all people interactions, there
      > are no easy simple solutions. Us geeks are often behind the curve in
      > learning effective ways of dealing with these non-linear, unpredictable
      > things called "other people." The good news is that this is a topic
      > that's been studied for a long time. Help is around, if you seek it.

      *grin* caught in the act; yes, I'm a geek. I appreciate all help.

      Emile
    • George Dinwiddie
      ... Don t give up on that too quickly. Maybe you just need to generate a ton of different ideas before you find one that fits. ... That, in itself, is
      Message 2 of 24 , Aug 4, 2007
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        Emiliano Heyns wrote:
        >> You mentioned "the current group (which mean about 2-3 teams depending
        >> on how you look at things)." Does this mean the common area has
        >> multiple teams mixed together?
        >
        > Yes.
        >
        >> If so, that in itself may be a part of the problem.
        >
        > It is, but there's nothing that can be done about that in the
        > foreseeable future.

        Don't give up on that too quickly. Maybe you just need to generate a
        ton of different ideas before you find one that fits.

        > and I have responsibilities to former projects,
        > even though work on the latter is decreasing.

        That, in itself, is distracting. And a detriment to becoming an
        integral part of the team.

        >> Does that work need to be done in the common area?
        >
        > Yes, because I don't have access to the network elsewhere.

        Yet. :-)

        >> Have you heard of the "caves and commons" pattern?
        >
        > Just recently, in fact. But we've just moved to a new office because
        > our institution is growing fast, and more space was needed for the
        > students. In the new office we actually have more space than we used
        > to, but not more rooms. We were offered the possibility of having the
        > current room split in two by a simple wall, but it was more or less
        > unanimously voted down, including by our program manager.

        Maybe something portable, like a whiteboard on wheels.

        >> As in all people interactions, there
        >> are no easy simple solutions. Us geeks are often behind the curve in
        >> learning effective ways of dealing with these non-linear, unpredictable
        >> things called "other people." The good news is that this is a topic
        >> that's been studied for a long time. Help is around, if you seek it.
        >
        > *grin* caught in the act; yes, I'm a geek. I appreciate all help.

        I would start with Esther's articles on giving feedback. It's very
        simple stuff, but also subtle and powerful. Certainly I've got a long
        way to go before mastering it, but it's something you can practice in
        your ordinary workday.

        I would also recommend the AYE Conference (ayeconference.com) if you can
        swing it. I've found it worth paying my own way.

        - George

        --
        ----------------------------------------------------------------------
        * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
        Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
        Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
        ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      • Emiliano Heyns
        ... Alas, company policy. ... I ve tried that, but it has in fact aggravated the problem. People now raise their voices more in across-the-room conversation,
        Message 3 of 24 , Aug 7, 2007
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          On 8/4/07, George Dinwiddie <lists@...> wrote:
          >> Does that work need to be done in the common area?
          >
          > Yes, because I don't have access to the network elsewhere.

          Yet. :-)

          Alas, company policy.

          > Just recently, in fact. But we've just moved to a new office because
          > our institution is growing fast, and more space was needed for the
          > students. In the new office we actually have more space than we used
          > to, but not more rooms. We were offered the possibility of having the
          > current room split in two by a simple wall, but it was more or less
          > unanimously voted down, including by our program manager.

          Maybe something portable, like a whiteboard on wheels.

          I've tried that, but it has in fact aggravated the problem. People now raise their voices more in across-the-room conversation, and when the "noisy" group is entirely "behind the screen" they feel less inclined to keep the noise down.

          Anyhow, I didn't pitch my angle to lambaste the current group I work with. I work differently from them. They do their work in bits and pieces; I like to sit down, dive in, and get something finished, which (for me) requires concentration. I cannot really grok how people can work while constantly chatting, but I seem to be alone in this so I am loathe to impose my world view on others.

          To sum it up, the current situation is not ideal, but the options are worse.

          I would start with Esther's articles on giving feedback.  It's very
          simple stuff, but also subtle and powerful.  Certainly I've got a long
          way to go before mastering it, but it's something you can practice in
          your ordinary workday.

          Interesting. Books on that?

          I would also recommend the AYE Conference ( ayeconference.com) if you can
          swing it.

          Being based in Europe, that's going to be hard.

          Emile


        • George Dinwiddie
          ... Nothing, not even company policy, is permanent. ... Only the options you ve considered so far. ... I ve got some links. See
          Message 4 of 24 , Aug 7, 2007
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            On Tue, August 7, 2007 06:18, Emiliano Heyns wrote:
            > On 8/4/07, George Dinwiddie <lists@...> wrote:
            >>
            >> >> Does that work need to be done in the common area?
            >> >
            >> > Yes, because I don't have access to the network elsewhere.
            >>
            >> Yet. :-)
            >
            > Alas, company policy.

            Nothing, not even company policy, is permanent.

            > To sum it up, the current situation is not ideal, but the options are
            > worse.

            Only the options you've considered so far.

            >> I would start with Esther's articles on giving feedback. It's very
            >> simple stuff, but also subtle and powerful. Certainly I've got a long
            >> way to go before mastering it, but it's something you can practice in
            >> your ordinary workday.
            >
            > Interesting. Books on that?

            I've got some links. See http://idiacomputing.com/moin/GivingFeedback

            >> I would also recommend the AYE Conference (ayeconference.com) if you can
            >> swing it.
            >
            > Being based in Europe, that's going to be hard.

            Perhaps, but not impossible. People attend from Europe. You might
            consider the Secrets of Agile Teamwork workshop. Esther & Diana are
            giving that in Stockholm 9/17/07-9/19/07. See
            http://www.estherderby.com/workshops/secrets.htm

            hope that helps,
            George

            --
            ----------------------------------------------------------------------
            * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
            Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
            Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
            ----------------------------------------------------------------------
          • Emiliano Heyns
            ... True. But in this case there s good reason; I work in an education institution, where loads of curious and intelligent young people have access to most
            Message 5 of 24 , Aug 7, 2007
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              On 8/7/07, George Dinwiddie <lists@...> wrote:

              >> > Yes, because I don't have access to the network elsewhere.
              >>
              >> Yet. :-)
              >
              > Alas, company policy.

              Nothing, not even company policy, is permanent.

              True. But in this case there's good reason; I work in an education institution, where loads of curious and intelligent young people have access to most parts of most buildings. Points of physical access to he staff network is guarded quite thoroughly, and rightfully so.

              > To sum it up, the current situation is not ideal, but the options are
              > worse.

              Only the options you've considered so far.

              No, I meant that options which yield us not colocated are worse. While I would prefer a less noisy working environment, sectioning people off can't be an improvement.


                You might
              consider the Secrets of Agile Teamwork workshop.  Esther & Diana are
              giving that in Stockholm 9/17/07-9/19/07.  See
              http://www.estherderby.com/workshops/secrets.htm

              That ought to be doable -- pitchable at the least.

              Thanks,
              Emile

            • George Dinwiddie
              ... I hope that works out for you. Esther and Diana are both delightful people. - George -- ... * George Dinwiddie *
              Message 6 of 24 , Aug 7, 2007
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                On Tue, August 7, 2007 14:35, Emiliano Heyns wrote:
                > You might
                >> consider the Secrets of Agile Teamwork workshop. Esther & Diana are
                >> giving that in Stockholm 9/17/07-9/19/07. See
                >> http://www.estherderby.com/workshops/secrets.htm
                >
                >
                > That ought to be doable -- pitchable at the least.

                I hope that works out for you. Esther and Diana are both delightful people.

                - George

                --
                ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
                Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
                Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
                ----------------------------------------------------------------------
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