Divide & Conquer

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Agilist these days don’t recognize the true value of proper design.  It takes a master to understand the subtle details that make your IT department’s self confidence melt away faster than ice in Schwarzenegger’s pants. It’s all about design. Interior design.


Go away meeting rooms – welcome cubicles!

Who needs meetings? Meetings are for people who don’t know better. Smart people think. Brilliant people don’t give a shit. Meetings are waste – put ten people in a room and see your company funds melt away.  A better use of meeting rooms is to make cubicles out of them. Install proper insulation and use them as punishing facilities for obstinate staff members. Nice.

Horses with blinders run fast

In horse racing horses wear blinders to run fast. Engineers work in the same way. Every desk needs proper blinders to avoid distractions and to discourage unnecessary communication. The important communication goes through you. Put your desk at the far end of the room on a podium, slightly raised above the ground floor. Watch those little hamsters spin their wheels!

Avoid clutter

Clutter confuses the mind, my motto is: a neat desk is a nice desk. Draw neat little lines around the mouse and keyboard on the desk to show where they should be placed. Where to put your banana? In the bin of course – it’s a workplace, not a restaurant.

Walls should be nicely painted and covered with art (think cheap, think IKEA). It helps you avoid messy unpolished whiteboards.  If a team by any chance manages to keep a whiteboard hidden – check your emergency exits, that’s the most likely place where they’ll try to hide it.

Nail the desks to the floor to prevent spontaneous teamwork and watch your Agile anarchists cry out in vain.  Instead enjoy the nice lines at your office and the subtle sound of efficiency – little fingers hammering those keyboards.

If all else fails – put the right decision in the right hands

Your architect and interior design department exists for a reason. They know design. Invite them for routine sweeps – compliment on the choice of lines, colors and awkward furniture. Make sure any change in the office space, such as additions of whiteboard is checked by interior design first. Ordering a designed glass whiteboard (which is the only thing they will approve) will always prove to be both costly and useless.

You know you’ve succeeded when you can nod and approve any change, knowing they will be effectively stopped by interior design later on.

2 Comments

  • 1
    Reuben
    2013-05-03 - 17:46 | Permalink

    Dear Evil Coach,

    My office has been implementing Agile methodology, but some people are starting to see the bigger picture and are working well TOGETHER! This is a problem for us since we want to crush everyone’s spirit quickly so we can go back to separate cubicles where everyone wears headphones all day 🙁

    A few people have the right idea and think our 10-minute standup meetings each day are a huge waste of their valuable time, but a lot of people are actually enjoying it and sharing information within the group! I’m worried they’re growing into a cohesive team that can get things done without being micro-managed…

    Should we demolish the meeting rooms right away? Or try a balanced approach where we put up a cubicle wall here and there first to stop this silly teamwork business?

    Please help, I overheard someone the other day say they felt like collaboration has taken the stress out of their job!!!

    • 2
      2013-05-08 - 19:06 | Permalink

      Hi Ruben

      Headphones are too costly, cotton is cheap and in abundance. Get lots of it.

      How nice more people start to understand the huge waste of knowledge sharing. What about killing two birds with one stone? Book up the meeting rooms for strategy work with your allies. After two weeks of trying to find space for a 10 min meeting they are sure to give up.

      Good luck!
      – Evil Coach

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