Sunday, January 02, 2005

Development can be fun if the team is Self Organizing

I have been working over 8 months as a developer in an XP team. From the beginning itself the team had been striving to be self organizing, in terms of the tasks we pick up everyday, to how we execute them. A typical day for me started by giving a small update to the whole team , during a standup meeting, then picking up one of the many tasks lined up for the day. This was amazing because every other day, I was allowed to choose what kind of task I wanted to do.

And you signup for the task, with another person and form a pair. When the pair is finished with a reasonably sized chunk of task , we decide to switch pairs, normally this happens the next day.
This allowed us to work closely with all the people in the team, instead of being stuck with one pair for weeks ! (C'mon what if that one pair never took bath..huh !)

Every pair was free to decide how they wanted to go about executing a task in hand. They were free to make any technical decisions. A lot of us , got to the whiteboard at times to draw diagrams, but we were all developers and no one was a so called funky architect. Of course , at a later stage we did form a common metaphor for the project.

Indeed we have an iteration manager for the team, but he was amazing in managing the client expectations, and abstracting the team from a lot of unnecessary client pressure.

Yes there are many ups and downs in such a teams lifecycle which might blog about later. But there is a brief and interesting article here :

http://www.controlchaos.com/download/Self%20Organization.pdf
which some of you might be interested.



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