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Guidelines for open office layouts


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Guidelines for open office layouts

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