Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Project Areas and Team Member Proximity

I’ve seen significant increase in information sharing on project teams due simply to having daily scrums (agile status meetings). I’ve wondered how much more would communication (and therefore team performance) improve if I had the team members moved to cubes in the same area. The evidence from Tom Peters, below, is significant. Note how close teammates need to sit for optimal interaction.

“…if you and I are separated by 5 yards or less, the odds of us communicating at least once a week are nearly 100%. At 10 yards of separation, the odds plummet to about 9%; and said odds are almost constant at 3% if we're 30 to 100 yards apart.”

Quote referenced from Tom Peters’ weblog here.


John said...

Imagine how efficient we'd be if we all sat elbow to elbow :)

Anonymous said...

This does not bode well for the internet age of distant workers.

Scott Dunn said...

I agree, which is why it is so helpful use use agile methods which emphasize value individuals, interactions, and customer collaboration. Practices such as the daily stand-up force the team to interact every day, and heavier interaction periodically with demos, planning meetings and planning poker for team estimation, and coerced honest feedback via team reviews. These all break the tendency for isolation when people aren't physically next door. Without these agile tools, I agree. Things don't look so good.