Agile PM Process Grid–6.5 Team Space

In John Stenbeck’s book “PMI-ACP and Certified Scrum Professional Exam Prep and Desk Reference”, he creates an “agile project management process grid” which describes 87 processes used in agile project management.   These processes are divided into five process groups (Initiate, Plan, Iterate, Control, and Close), which are analogous to the five process groups in traditional project management, and seven knowledge areas which can be mapped, more or less, onto the ten knowledge areas in traditional project management.

Today I start on a block of four processes that are part of the sixth knowledge area of Communication that are done during the Planning phase of the project.   The first two of these four processes are 6.3 Communication Protocols and 6.4 Information Radiators.   This post covers 6.5 Team Space.

What is a team space?   It is a physical work area with defined boundaries over which the team exercises control.    It has two characteristics:

  • It contains a common area shared by the work team that includes that open meeting areas, visual lines of sight where information radiators (process 6.4) can be seen.
  • It also contains meeting or breakaway rooms where people can meet in private or take important calls during the lunch hour.

I just experienced the importance of the latter of the two characteristics above.   I am set to take a Certified ScrumMaster course from a company called 3Back scheduled all day Monday and Tuesday of next week.   In my new volunteer position at the Chicagoland chapter of the Project Management Institute, I had also been tasked with running the executive council core team meeting that runs on the fourth Monday of every month.    Guess what day that falls on?    Right on the first day of my class!

So I contacted the instructor and told him of the importance of the phone call.   He said it was no problem:   The class runs from 9:00 to 12:00 and then 1:00 to 5:00, and he purposely allows one hour for lunch in a room that is next to some empty rooms for precisely the reason I had:   because of an important work-related call that I had to take.

If he hadn’t been flexible, I would have had to change the meeting date or change the class date, neither of which I wanted to do.   So in preparing the notes for today’s post, I immediately recognized that the second characteristic of a team space applied directly to the situation I had just faced with regards to the Scrum class.

Despite the importance of a team space where the team is co-located (a fancy term for working in the same physical space), there are some situations where a company will have to use virtual team spaces, aided by such technological tools as video-conferencing, Skype, and instant messaging.   The team needs to work with these tools in order to facilitate the idea transfer that a regular team space provides.    No matter what type of team space, regular or virtual, a team engages in, the whole point in either case is to optimize the delivery of business value to the customer!

The main purpose of the team space is to encourage collaboration, especially when using Agile Tooling, which happens to be process 6.6 and is the subject of the next post.


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