I was recently talking to a former co-worker on one of my previous Scrum teams about team rooms. A fundamental of team formation and performance is teams being together and bonding through work and fun. While many companies proclaim they’re practicing Agile/Scrum, co-location and team rooms seem to have become more optional than mandatory. While we cannot completely get away from distributed teams, it seems that often even with teams that have members in the same place those teams are not sharing a space. From this practice I’ve seen teams having a harder time forming, norming, and performing (though they don’t seem to have storming problems). What benefits are teams missing when they don’t have a shared space? And even when they do have one, are they then lacking the ability to work with distributed teams?
Agile2014 marks another Agile conference this year. As usual it did not disappoint. This year was extra special because I was able to be a reviewer for the Collaboration, Culture and Teams session track and was also selected to present my session on the UX Runway. It was great to once again catch up with old friends and meet new ones; even some from my home state of Minnesota! Some Women in Agile also got together for an impromptu session in the Open Jam area and though I was not able to make it, I heard great things! After attending many conferences over the past few years I wanted to make a list of some of the things I’ve learned for how to get the most out of your time there.
I spent the beginning of this week at the Scrum Gathering – New Orleans (SGNOLA). As always, it proved to be a great time full of culture, learning, networking, and fun. I like to do recaps after conferences sometimes: first to ensure that I don’t lose what I captured, and second to share my thoughts with those who were unable to attend. The highlight of SGNOLA was my co-presentation with Leslie J. Morse: Can Definition of Ready make Scrum “The Big Easy?”