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The Art of Agile Development

Cover of The Art of Agile Development by James Shore... Published by O'Reilly Media, Inc.
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Informative Workspace


Whole Team

We are tuned in to the status of our project.

Your workspace is the cockpit of your development effort. Just as a pilot surrounds himself with information necessary to fly a plane, arrange your workspace with information necessary to steer your project: create an informative workspace.

An informative workspace broadcasts information into the room. When people take a break, they will sometimes wander over and stare at the information surrounding them. Sometimes, that brief zone-out will result in an aha moment of discovery.

An informative workspace also allows people to sense the state of the project just by walking into the room. It conveys status information without interrupting team members and helps improve stakeholder trust.

Subtle Cues


Simply poking your head into a project room should give you information about the project.

The essence of an informative workspace is information. One simple source of information is the feel of the room. A healthy project is energized. There’s a buzz in the air—not tension, but activity. People converse, work together, and make the occasional joke. It’s not rushed or hurried, but it’s clearly productive. When a pair needs help, other pairs notice, lend their assistance, then return to their tasks. When a pair completes something well, everyone celebrates for a moment.

An unhealthy project is quiet and tense. Team members don’t talk much, if at all. It feels drab and bleak. People live by the clock, punching ...

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