Attempting to Achieve the Ideal Agile Workspace

This morning several ruby on rails consultants from Integrum were in the office getting things done.  Being the old man after a night of partying and watching the epic Watchmen I didn’t drag in until about 10:30am.  I started to check in on my news reader and stumbled across Mike Cohn‘s blog post on The Ideal Agile Workspace.  I looked up and around as I was reading it and thought. WOW! We can check nearly everyone of these items off.  Additionally, I thought Mike left out an item or two.  I started to respond in his comments and then remembered that it would be better to capture our workspace on video to share with others.  I am hoping other agile shops will do the same.  We are always eager to see how others are doing things so we can continue to improve.  So here is a view into our world on a Saturday Morning.

Integrum Agile Workspace from Integrum Technologies on Vimeo.


  1. Derek–
    Awesome video. I loved being able to see your workspace. Of course, since this was shot on a Saturday and there were so many people in the office, I’m tempted to add a remark about “Sustainable Pace.” 🙂

    I loved your two additions to my list. Integrum looks like a great place to work.

  2. MiniB throws a subliminal middle finger at you at the end. Or maybe not so subliminal. 🙂

  3. I like how mini-B gave you the finger while taking a drink from his coffee! LOL

    Good stuff! You guys definitely have the best development ideas…

  4. Great video–thanks for sharing. I like the natural light and all the whiteboards. Must be a sweet place to work!


  5. Thanks, Derek. I watched it twice. You have a great workspace. Here are my nitpicks:

    As others have already mentioned, the number of people there on a Saturday is a little shocking.

    You’re “constrained for space” for a burndown chart? It’s hard to see how. The rest of the video shows a pretty nice warehouse-sized workspace. You can hang a pirate flag, but not a burndown chart?

    Defect burndown: That’s great, once you’re in that situation, but how did you accumulate so many defects in the first place?

    I’m really impressed by the size of the open workspace. However, I would think you’d only need enough space per project or sub-project for 5 or 6 pairs, maximum, to avoid distraction. I’d try to make one workspace per project or sub-project, with no more than 10-12 people each. However, I’m not sure how you could divide your space without cutting out some of the natural light, which is also important. If anything, it looks like you could do with more windows.

    Also, the amount of whiteboard space is great, but I think people in the center of the room are too far away from them. I like to have a big whiteboard right behind me when pairing. Maybe rolling whiteboards between project teams? (Just a thought; I’ve never tried it.)

    Overall, it looks like a great place to work.

  6. awh,

    Agree on large number of people working on a Saturday. I think in last three years there has been someone working on a weekend maybe 5 times total. This was a rare case where some other team had bailed on development a week before release. We were doing the company a solid by stepping in and finishing up for a team so they could make their release. Not something we would normally do.

    We accumulated the defects because that project had poor acceptance criteria and struggled with done is done. The project is nearly 2 years old and is now finally under our full set of practices. The defects there were the last left to be defect free… WOOT!

    On the size of the space… We are also a co-working facility so much of the space is set a side for that purpose. We generally put 1 pair on each project, but sometimes have 2 pairs per project. We would have loved more windows. We had the pairs more spread out, but they wanted to be closer to each other even willing to trade off some noise distraction. Damn self-organizers! Co-workers are in center so don’t need the whiteboards.

    Loved the feedback.

  7. […] nesta discussão, Derek Neighbors postou um vídeo de que examina a composição do workspace no Integrum. No vídeo Derek recomenda várias coisas adicionais sobre um workspace […]

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