Terraforming is the act of making an environment suitable for human habitation. Terraforming has been popularized in science fiction as the act of evolving a planetary ecosystem, but in our context terraforming is the act of evolving your team’s physical workspace to make it more habitable for you to work. Doing so in an important enabler for improving your way of working (WoW).
The Evolve Way of Working (WoW) process goal, the diagram for which is shown in Figure 1, involves several decision points that are pertinent to terraforming. In Disciplined Agile (DA) our philosophy is that teams should choose and evolve their WoW over time as they learn, and an important aspect of doing so is to recognize that you should be able to evolve your physical as well as virtual workspace.
Figure 1. The Evolve Way of Working (WoW) process goal diagram (click to expand).
As you’d expect, you have choices available to you. In Figure 1 there are three decision points relevant to terraforming:
We’ve found that a great strategy for a company is to make physical things such as furniture and whiteboards readily available to teams. Something as simple as a room full of (currently) unused furniture that a team can simply take from, or contribute things they’re no longer using into, goes a long way to providing flexibility. And of course allowing teams to buy what they need, when they need it, is also crucial. Smart organizations realize thatone of the best investments they’ll ever make is to spend a few thousand dollars on furniture and whiteboards to enable a team of people earning five or six figure annual incomes to improve their WoW.
Ideas for this blog was adapted from the book Choose Your WoW! This book is a handbook overviewing hundreds of agnostic techniques and strategies that agile and lean teams may decide to experiment with to see how well they work in the situation that they face.