Thursday, February 28, 2008

Deadwood is Dead-on Agile (Part Two)

Elizabeth SarnoffProducer/Writer talking about being in the writer's trailer when David Milch is "writing" a scene (meaning he's slumpped over a pillow on the floor looking at a screen, dictating dialogue to an assistant who types the lines for display).

There's no way to know what's going on unless you're in there, because everything here changes 600 times a day. We change the actors that we need on an hourly basis, we change the scenes that we're doing, who is in the scenes, and if you're not in there with him you don't know. You're just helplessly behind.

One principle of Agile is "co-location"--meaning rather than the business sponsor staying in one office building and the developers staying in theirs and possibly the testing team and/or DBA's are in another set of cubicles on another floor, everyone moves her/his desk to a common "war room" or conference room or at least adjoining desks. It's not for everybody. But traditional barriers between silos (e.g., marketing vs. IT) come down, a team begins to form with a common purpose, symbiosis occurrs as you overhear challenges another member of the team is encountering, etc. It's very similar to the quote above--if you're not in the room, it's very difficult to grasp the complexities, the iterations, the need for changes, etc.

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