Work environment for Scrum Teams

It's no secret that physical work environment has a lot to do with productivity. So what are the crucial rules to follow when setting up an office for a Scrum team? How do we make sure the developers perform at their optimum? Let's take a look.

The Agile Manifesto instruct us that human interactions are preferred over processes and tools. So when we set up an office for a Scrum team we need to make sure to facilitate those interactions.

The team should work in close proximity so they can talk to each other right from where they sit. If those who work closely together on the same items can't see or hear each other, you're letting their productivity trickle through your fingers.

Besides the practical advantages of having the team sit together, there are also other benefits. A group of people that spends a lot of time at the same place has an easier time bonding and thinking of themselves as a team. Personality differences are easier to overcome and a team spirit is easier to build. The team can celebrate their victories and face their obstacles together.

And where would Scrum teams be without their white-boards and post-it notes hanging on the walls? It's very helpful if all the team members see their burndown charts or Kanban boards right from where they sit.

Now we come to an important point that is sometimes overlooked. For some people it's very important to have an appearance of privacy, even in a densely-populated office. Some developers are highly creative, they're artists, and as such they don't like other people looking over their shoulders. It distracts them and can significantly lower their productivity. Let's give them some privacy by making sure their monitors point away from doors and hallways.

Some of those seemingly insignificant issues can sometimes make a big difference. An experienced Scrum Master will keep them in mind as potential impediments to be removed.

And let's remember that people are most efficient when they enjoy their work! So let's make their work environment is fun, friendly and exciting!