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September 22, 2012

Space Theories

I once created an agile space that my teams could choose to use. They had decent cubes they could also use. (Decent cubes -- an oxymoron?) Anyway, when the space was created it got used lots. Over time, it got used less. Late one night I pondered why and came up these thoughts. I'm posting it just for fun. Consider your space in light of these thoughts.

The Distance Theory


The likelihood of a team voluntarily using an agile space...

  • is indirectly proportional to their proximity to each other.
Teammates are unlikely to use the shared space if their cubes are only three steps apart.
  • is directly proportional to the sum of the distances between the cubes of the team members.
The more scattered the members are, the more likely they are to meet in a common location. Therefore, the likelihood of a team using the space may be proportional to the team size. This rule holds as long as that aforementioned sum of the distances is greater than the sum of the distances from the cubes to the agile space.
  • is directly proportional to their proximity to it relative to their proximity to each other.
No one will use an agile space that is much further away than whichever cube is most central.

The Equipment Theory


The likelihood of an individual voluntarily using an agile space...

  • is directly proportional to the computer speed and display size of the team computers relative to that of the computers in their cubes.
Equip the agile space with the most powerful PCs and beautiful monitors, and keep it that way.

The People Theory


The likelihood of a team voluntarily using an agile space...

  • is directly proportional to likelihood that the team-lead (or some core, key individual(s)) can usually be found the lab.
Social aspects and the exchange of info/ideas matter.
  • is directly proportional to the cohesiveness of their tasks.
Programmers working on disjoint tasks are less likely to use a shared space.
  • is indirectly proportional to the number of teams using that space.
I can easily listen in or tune out discussions between my team members. Discussions between members of other teams are not easily tuned out. (Cognitive dissonance.)

The Environment Theory


The likelihood of an individual voluntarily using an agile space...

  • is directly proportional to the positiveness of daylight.
Daylight is a positive and negative factor.
  • Daylight good.
  • Glare bad.
  • Looking at distant objects good. Reduces eye strain.
  • Heat bad.
  • Working shades are good.
  • Dysfunctional shades are bad.

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