This post is the conclusion to my series on creating Great Agile Workspaces, so if you just landed here, read these posts in order first:
- Physical Spaces
- Distraction and Multitasking
Agile is a powerful methodology for building great software, but it’s just one part of the system in which we and our teams work. Space, communication and distraction have a big impact on the net productivity we can generate.
Space: Focus on building a physical environment that feels good, promotes team work and yet gives enough isolation and separation between individuals and teams – the best environments have diversity, including quiet space for problem solving.
Communication: Embrace high value forms of communication and work on your culture to weed out low value, or negative styles. Be intentional about how and when you communicate.
Distraction: Some distractions are inflicted upon us and some are caused by poor habits. Our capacity to create things once we get in the zone is amazing. The right space, communication culture and a lack of distractions are essential to enabling the zone.
Sadly the depth of field of a workplace is not controllable like the magic of a camera - all people are susceptible to interruption and distraction.
Essential References and Further Reading
Joel’s Field Guide to Developers – Developers and Workspaces
DeMarco and Listers’s seminal Peopleware – Teams and Productivity
Susan Maushart’s Winter of Our Disconnect – Distraction and Multitasking