So far I have successfully implemented the Zeroth Rule of Agile:
If you’re not sitting comfortably, rearrange the furniture.
There have been no squeals of dismay from the client. In fact, I don’t think anyone really looked up from their work as I pushed and shoved tables, rearranged power cords, moved filing cabinets and discovered the troves of untouched treasures behind the other filing cabinet which no one knew about.
While doing this, I remembered an incident at the first company which I joined, in which alongside my coding duties I acted as sysadmin. The MD saw me carrying a large monitor along the corridor, and decided that I needed a trolley to move such heavy items. Two trolleys were duly ordered. It helped a lot, I confess, and we were able to shift four monitors at once on the new beasts – but isn’t it strange that the other sysadmins (all male) had managed without them for years?
Whenever our HoD sees me lugging monitors around he suggests that I get the porters to do it. I can’t even be bothered to explain that they’re never around after 2pm and that I want this done now not when they have some spare time. “It’s quicker if I do it” is my stock response.
I have to say, if I have a LOT of kit to move I’ll use the trolley, but not just for one monitor 😉
Changing furniture is good, but what does it have to do with agility? Very little. More to do with comfort. I suspect the core of agility is being able to adapt to change easily.
Just because you’re being proactive and a bit aggresive with your situation doesn’t mean you’re contributing to the agility of your team. Lots of things can be good ideas without being “agile”, IMHO.
If you can’t fit one person and a computer at the desk, you definitely aren’t going to be able to fit two. Hence the rearrangement.
See the white book, “XP Explained”, for more examples of furniture rearrangement contributing to agile code. (Or it might be “XP Applied”, which I also like).
Is the gender of the other sysadmins at all relevant? Just curious.
Yes. My MD had never realised that human beings were vulnerable to back injury from carrying heavy monitors until he saw me, a female, doing it (and it’s not as though I’m some tiny elfin girl, either.)
This isn’t as much about sexism in the workforce as about how diversity can offer new perspectives.