Thursday, September 2, 2010

Setting up an effective agile team room

It's Week 2 of our agile project and thought it would be neat to share an agile team room that we have put together for our current project. There is always a bit of thought that needs to go into making the workspace "effective". The room needs to support a project of ~20 resources by facilitating a daily stand-up of "walking the board", parallel analysis and design sessions of small groups 3 - 6 people and provide instant visibility into key project artifacts. We have decided not to co-locate the developers into this room and instead looking to bring in 1 - 2 desktops with environment access for pairing, spiking and design collaboration sessions. Still waiting for the desktops right now.

Here's a play by play of the room during Week 0:

We just threw everything up against a large wall and we didn't have much artifacts at that time, just a system context, story map, CRC cards, and a high-level value stream (on the right).

Shortly after, we moved into a dedicated room and we put some effort into thinking about the 5s from lean to help optimize the workspace.

Our full end-to-end Kanban board is operational and running now with an issue escalation board to the far right.
Rapidly growing story map with system metaphor diagrams (state machine, process flow) below it for easy accessibility during analysis and design sessions.

Low-fidelity system context mapping exercise, planning to soft copy this into something more elegant once it stabilizes.

Similar set-up for the CRC card modeling. Again we are sticking to low-fidelity design. Notice the handy bin of cards, stickies and other physical items that are easily accessible during modeling sessions.

Finally, a table with all the current "big upfront requirements documents" provided by the business. Unfortunately, this is a necessary evil as we have yet to transition the business into the agile/lean culture of doing requirements. Notice the difference in "information radiation" between these docs and the rest of our "agile artifacts" around the room.

Overall, looking forward to seeing how this room continues to evolve.


  1. Nice evolution of the room! Looks very familiar to projects and clients I've worked with. I should take your initiative and photo-document it!

    Best to you!

  2. Week 2? You mean month 2...

    Great post

  3. Thanks for sharing.

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