Friday, January 22, 2010

No More Pomodoros--Synch Point

Over the summer our team experimented with the Pomodoro technique, using one pomodoro to rule them all, and now over 6 months later we still have something that was at least inspired by the technique. We call it a point synchro, in French, and the literal translation works well to call it a "Synch Point", but unfortunately that just doesn't have the same feel for me. I think that this is just a problem of being part of a team--we develop our own dialect, our own vocabulary, and it just loses the inside-joke-intimacy when we use more general terms. Regardless, we have speakers set up on a machine to play a random .mp3 for 30 seconds at 10am, noon, 3pm, and 5pm--four synch points a day--and the music plays a software-induced crescendo. When the music stops, everyone is supposed to be at the front of the room, standing up fashion. People share what they need to, the Product Owners ask what it's going to take to move the cards to the done column, and people discuss in as much detail as long as necessary... anyone who is not interested moves on, or interested parties collect around a pairing station to work out some details. Most sync points are done in under 5-10 minutes, for 9 people.

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