Posted by thlandgraf
on January 23, 2010 at 8:05 AM PST
How a chair changed our extreme programming.
Everyone is talking about team work - but what exactly does it entail? Strictly speaking, the word denotes classical work division in which every team member is responsible for a clearly defined section of the entire production process.
We at Micromata have a different view on team work: we want every team member to understand and be interested in their colleagues' areas of responsibility, too. Thus acting upon the maxim: "Shared knowledge has got twice the effect."
We strive for maximum transparency during the working process and are supporting this with a simple piece of furniture. What looks like a common chair is a communication device of penetrating power. The 'Agile Chair' has revolutionised the work flow in our project team.
Gone are the days of bulky chairs being pushed around the office to a colleague's PC or bending down over the table in order to be able to see the code on the screen. Instead the flexible chair comes into operation. All our developers need to do is to take a seat right next to their colleague and within seconds they are kept in the loop.
Some people might wonder why one resorts to a plain piece of furniture in times of agile development tools. However, our experience shows that nothing has promoted spontaneity of our team members and thus the team's work flow as much as this small, low-threshold stool the acquisition of which is more cost-effective as well because noone needs to be trained for its appropriate usage.