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Topics: Agile, Communications Management, Ethics and Organizational Culture
Building a Project Team Room (aka War Room)

What are the most important things to have in the War Room where project is developed and discussed?
What should be considered for the implementation of such room? Shold it be different for waterfall and Agile projects?
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You should be able to use the same room for Waterfall and Agile projects. Here are some things to include:
1. A whiteboard, large sticky pad, or some other means to write down ideas and diagram processes. This is very useful when brainstorming.
2. Lots of sticky notes pads. You will likely need them when the team is brainstorming ideas. I'll give each participant a pad or two; they'll write their ideas, tasks, etc. on the sticky notes, then put them on the wall or whiteboard. We usually end up rearranging them many times during the course of the discussion as we experiment with different solutions.
3. A sufficient number of writing implements for everyone (pens, pencils, whiteboard markers, etc.).
4. Scotch tape, to affix the sticky notes to the walls if they don't stick on their own.
5. A way to preserve the notes and ideas you attach to the walls. Sometimes I take photos of the work we created, to ensure no information will be lost or accidentally rearranged.
6. A digital recording device. It's hard to participate in a brainstorming session while taking detailed notes, so I sometimes use a digital recorder in the war room; this enables me to focus fully on the discussion, then I can later use the recording to create highly detailed notes.
7. A phone with a speakerphone function, so all the participants can engage in a conference call with people not present in the war room.
8. At least one computer with an internet connection, so participants can conduct research.

These are the things I’d include in every war room. You can always add more items such as video conferencing equipment if you’ll need to work with teams in other locations.
Additionally, consider the war room’s aesthetic design:
1. It should be comfortable and visually appealing, since participants will likely spend many hours over several days in that room. Invest in really comfortable chairs, for example.
2. The room should allow small groups of individuals to break out into separate spaces, if possible.
3. If possible, use the war room only for project management-related functions. When it’s not used as a war room, project teams can use it for other purposes.
1 reply by Diogo Simoes
Oct 18, 2017 11:40 AM
Diogo Simoes

Thanks for the input.
You covered lots of points. Great post and very useful, I am sure not only for me .

1)Physical War Room Facilities Should be design and set up for allow the project team feel comfortable and ownership
2)Establish rules for the war room and make sure they are followed
3) Information should facilitate real-time visual communication and collaboration activities
4)Performance Reports, Key index indicators and major concern areas of the project which require immediate resolution or need to escalate to the top management should be the focus of the analysis.
1 reply by Diogo Simoes
Oct 18, 2017 11:41 AM
Diogo Simoes
I agree.
Tnx for your input

Big enough table for the team
Whiteboards and free wall space for cards/notes/etc.
Video monitor
Phone system
Lots of outlets
Network (wired and wireless)
coffee machine

I would say not specific to the project's chosen approach.
1 reply by Diogo Simoes
Oct 18, 2017 11:42 AM
Diogo Simoes
Good points Craig.

I loved the reminding of coffee machine.

"Kanban Board" is the essential tool to share the status of the project with members.

Additionally, the War Room should be usually set up with the WBS, network diagram, schedule, etc., posted on the walls.
1 reply by Diogo Simoes
Oct 18, 2017 11:43 AM
Diogo Simoes
Yes I agree.
I am considering to have boards to place those.
Tnx for input

Agree with the supplies and needs posted already on this. Another is a poster, of the project goals. It will help keep the team focused on the end result.

I like the idea of having a team brand, something to set the area apart as "The Team's", I also like the idea of having the goals or purpose clearly displayed. Also if you have any War Room Rules, or Best Practices make sure they are visible for easy reference.

In the seventies IBM publish a lot of work on how to create and manage it. You can find it inside the Internet. But on the other side, what you see on a lot of USA movies is the basement. The problem is not create the war room. The problem is to fill up it with the right people and to maintain that people on it the time you need to achieve your objectives. I was involved in the creation of several wars room because organizations believe that it will help to solve some problems. Believe me: it has no sense.
1 reply by Diogo Simoes
Oct 18, 2017 11:45 AM
Diogo Simoes
Hello Sergio,
I was not aware of that!
I'll surf the net looking for info concerning IBM war rooms.

Thank you for the information

Diogo -

1. Creativity toys such as Lego, Play-Doh and so on
2. Have the team develop "ground rules" for behavior in the war room and make sure those rules are prominently posted in case visitors drop by
3. Wet Wipes to handle the messes and spills which inevitably occur


I have only led virtual war rooms. For any war room in my understanding, having a set of ground rules and making people adhere to it is the number one principle to focus on. Rest are the nuts and bolts of it. War rooms are long, easy to get diverted and unfocused. So having a good agenda, game plan, and purpose, ground rules is important and taking good breaks as needed.
2 replies by Diogo Simoes and Frank Calberg
Oct 18, 2017 11:50 AM
Diogo Simoes
Hi Deepa,
My experience is also mostly based on virtual/international teams.
That's the main reason why I created this discussion. I am about to create a physical war room for a project team. All inputs are wellcome.
Tnx for yours.
Oct 20, 2017 4:50 AM
Frank Calberg
I agree. Taking time to learn about what values people have is a good investment. As a result of this work, it becomes clearer for everyone what values people have in common. Regarding technology I have had good experiences using, for example, Skype, Padlet, Twitter chat and Zoom.

To discover values people have, try some of these questions:
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