The War Room

Annexing new office space

A month or so ago one of our VPs moved up to what I call the high class end of the building, where all of the execs are. This left her very nicely sized office open and since we'd recently had to give up one of the conference rooms we'd been occupying for a year, we siezed the day and the office. We got a small projector and "liberated" a long table from our big conference room to make a War Room for the programmers to work together and try to knock out the last of the big problems on our project.

This has been hugely effective. We all have different skills and while we communicate fine normally, having everybody in the same room has taken our game to a whole other level. The other day we took the most dreaded task (adding a vaguely defined new line item into a statement that somebody else wrote) and 2 of the guys worked on the technical aspects of it while I dug into why we needed the line and what it really meant. By the time they had figured out the mechanics of adding the line, I had figured out the logic for what numbers to add up and we got it mostly done in that one day. We had a few smaller details to work out but those are done and so far our Product Owner loves it, and says the customers will love it as well.

I'm not sure we'd want to work like this all the time but having the War Room has certainly been an eye opener for us. We'd thought in the past it might be useful to sit with a projector and work together but hadn't taken the opportunity. Now we know how valuable it is though and will be doing it again I'm sure. Unfortunately they're about to fill the office with a new hire but until then, we're camping out and taking care of business.

Normally our conference rooms have little calendar pages on them to tell you who has reserved the room. Since this one didn't have one, I made this to tell people the room was occupied. I wanted it to be funny though to hopefully defuse any negativity people might have about not being able to use the room. We haven't heard much grumbling so I think it succeeded.