Pragmatic Agile Weblog

Agile software development in real life

Informative workspace – the scrum kiosk

One of the biggest challenges you have in a organization with 6 scrum teams with some people remote and different stakeholders introduced at different levels in the scrum methodology, is sharing some significant information about the status of the development.

Each scrum team tends to create its own working style, a sort of ecosystem that best fit people in the team. The challenge is to encourage that everyone, inside the scrum teams, but also external stakeholders, can share the same big picture.

One way to encourage better mindfulness amongst the entire team is to create an “informative workspace”, something that tunes anyone in to the status of the project.

Better thanĀ  using my words to explain it, I will borrow an excerpt of James Shore & Shane Warden’s book The Art of Agile Development.

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 a aha moment of discovery.

One recent improvement we have done to make our environment more informative is what we called the scrum kiosk.

We installed a monitor on the wall and we slide-show projects facts: deadlines, status reports, process information and reminders, burn down charts and so on.

It’s a live snapshot of the current iteration and release.

We’ve implemented it in few simple steps using the following software:

- DejaClick: Firefox plugin for web browsing recording. It automatically reproduces the main paths done browsing our internal systems and wikka pages

- a Fullscreen Firefox plugin

- a simple Java app to put everything in an infinite loop

You can see some pictures below.

In addition, since we have remote people, we plan to stream the content of the monitor to our internal network, so that everyone can see what’s displayed. Indeed it is not the best solution, but it is something in meanwhile we find a better idea.

Any comments or suggestions is welcome!

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December 2, 2009 - Posted by | Agile, Funambol, SCRUM

3 Comments »

  1. This is very cool. I had talked a few months back with my boss about how cool it would be to do something just like this. We got rather hung up on how awkward it would be in our corporate environment: IT issued machines have screensavers that kick in whether you like it or not etc. etc. ….still, awesome to see someone doing this.

    Love the exposed brick wall too, you guys must have a cool office(!)

    Comment by 9200feet | December 2, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks Jon,
      I’m going to improve it and post here some news asap.
      Yes, our office is really cool, you can see some pictures at the bottom of the following page:
      https://www.forge.funambol.org/participate/team.html

      Comment by edoardoschepis | December 2, 2009 | Reply

    • Do not be stopped by IT, report it as an impediment to your scrum master! :)

      Comment by stefanofornari | December 3, 2009 | Reply


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