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Guidelines for open office layouts
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Guidelines for open office layouts


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  • can anyone tell me what are the roles and responsibilities for a taskforce for an open office concept please?
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    • 1. Guidelines for Open Office Layouts
      By Ed Kraay
    • 2. The situation
      84% of companies surveyed claim using some Agile practices*
      Open office formats used to enjoy low cost or free communication – aka “Osmotic Communication”
      With more firms “going Agile” more managers are tasked with making open space team rooms work
      Common questions we get:
      How much space do I really need?
      What configuration will optimize communication for my team?
      How much power do I need? How many whiteboards? What about private space? Do I get tables or use desks….
      *Source 2009 State of Agile Survey Version One
    • 3. Common problems with open space moves
      Moving from cubicles to an open space often results in:
      Cramped conditions
      Not enough power or network
      No space for design sessions
      Cross team noise (bad noise) vs Team noise (good noise)
      No private space for phone calls
      Barriers to flow
      Fixed configurations with no room to adapt
    • 4. Two Key Principles to keep in mind
      Workspace should never be an obstacle to getting work done
      Keep the workspace configurable so you can adapt it to your changing needs
    • 5. Guidelines: Size and Layout
      6 feet by 8 feet per person (enough so they could have had a cubicle)
      Privacy for the team
      High Walls, Doors Optional
      Enough space to create separate team areas
      Humans get stressed without access to natural light
      One wall, preferably two or three walls with abundant natural light
    • 6. Working Areas
      Give teams freedom to adjust their working area to suit them without a work order
      Easy to move tables are good
      Some organizations even attach wheels to their desks!
      Fixed to the wall
      Installed furniture
      Enough room to work together side by side to pair program
      Corner Desks
      Photo by Carlos Villela
    • 7. Wall Space
      Ample wall space for task boards, burndown charts, whiteboards everywhere
      Whiteboard paint works very well
      Some teams use movable walls for this
      Photo by Carlos Villela
    • 8. Technology
      Ample amounts as unobtrusively as possible (in desks, dropped from the ceiling)
      For video conferences, planning meetings
      We see more teams using large screen LCD TV’s for this
      Video conferencing and Smart boards for distributed teams
      High definition web cameras work well
      Large Flat Panel Monitors - two per workstation (>20 inch)
    • 9. Breakout Rooms
      A mix of small quiet areas for private conversations for 2-3 people or phone calls
      Larger collaboration rooms for conference calls or planning meetings
      Some teams use an open space for this
    • 10. Table Configurations
      Long Tables
      U Shapes
      Drawing by Dean Cornish
      Drawing by Erik Doernenburg
    • 11. Photos of the ThoughtWorks Bangalore Office…the principles in action.
      Notice the open space between desks
      Photo by SudhirTiwari
    • 12. Plentiful access to power and ethernet
      Photo by SudhirTiwari
    • 13. Wall space for card walls.
      Photo by SudhirTiwari
    • 14. Cube Area for Marketing and Recruiting Team
      Photo by SudhirTiwari
    • 15. Meeting Rooms Along interior walls, so desks can be along windows
      Photo by Chris Stevenson
    • 16. = Happy team.
      Windows to let in natural light…
      Adjustable chairs
      Photo by Chris Stevenson
    • 17. Enough space so that each person could have had 6’x 8’ to themselves
      Photo by Chris Stevenson
    • 18. Another collaborative workspace design
      Drawing by AnupamKundu
    • 19. These are some team room configurations…What's yours?
    • 20. Summary of the Principles
      Workspace should never be an obstacle to getting work done
      Keep the workspace configurable so you can adapt it to your changing needs
    • 21. Appreciations to:
      Erik Doerenburg, April Johnson, Sarah Taraporewalla, Daniel T. Abel, Dean Cornish, Peter Gillard-Moss, Benjamin Butler-Cole, AnupamKundu, SudhirTiwari, Chris Stevenson, Rajeev Singh and Johnny Leroy for photos and ideas.
    • 22. Resources
      Agile Software Development by Alistair Cockburn
      Peopleware by Demarco and Lister
      Martin Fowler on the Team Room: