The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is that the whiteboard is by far the most effective method of communication available. Requirements gathering with the customer in insanely fast times, meeting notes all can see and contribute to and the great thing is, they stay there for a few days where we can all see them. If I could programme on a whiteboard I would.
Unsurprisingly, in our first retrospective together, Mike said he felt there were too many meetings. Essentially, this was because of the sprint planning meeting which involved a lot of estimating. We’ve now split the meeting in two – a prioritisation meeting with Mike in the preceeding sprint and then a planning, analysis and estimation meeting when we begin the sprint which we have at our desks so we can ask Mike questions if we need him.
The power of perception
On a very positive note, Mike is delighted with our progress and is feeling things are really getting done. Of course its not like we weren’t doing anything before (in fact, our team is now barely a quarter of the size it was before we moved in with them) its just that now they are deciding what we do on a bi-weekly basis and seeing the results in very little time.
I’m still hardly doing any coding, but that’s OK, its a bad idea to “own” any work as I can’t guarantee I’m able to complete it. When I do have the time I am using it to pair programme. This way I spread knowledge and best practices and can be across as much as possible without being too controlling.