Agile workspace in larger enterprises

 

 

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It is a common headache experienced by many enterprises as they make the shift to more agile approaches. How to modify a cube-oriented work space and turn it into a space better aligned to the needs of agile teams? This is an example of office space which is fairly typical of any large and successful enterprise – and I’m really just sharing it for the purpose of comparing and contrasting.

img_1499I was privileged to spend time at an organization a few weeks ago provided some initial coaching and a 2-day Leading SAFe 4.0 class. I’ll respect their anonymity and not name them. But they deserve a callout as they are a forward-thinking organization. They are doing the right things and doing them at scale. One of those things is to tackle the challenge of an Agile workspace head on. Here is a picture to illustrate what they have done. Note the BVIRs at each end of the desk-pod. Note the raisable desks. Note the glass separators to create usable vertical space. This picture perhaps doesn’t do it justice but the overall sense of space you get is a significant departure from the traditional cube set-up. To me it truly felt like a TEAM space.

 

 

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Here is the same type of setup where a team had taken up residence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first two scenes I shared with you co-exist side by side. Below is a panoramic 180 shot with the newer setup to the left and the more traditional set-up to the right. Its fascinating to stand on the threshold of both of them and look back and forth.

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This shows the kind of scale at which change is being made.

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Here’s another team area using the similar setup depicted earlier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I realize that some of you may be fortunate to work in even snazzier surroundings. But its tough to do that sort of cafe/social/sofa/laboratory/private-yet-public/all-bells-and-whistles set up in large enterprises. You can can’t do a custom implementation for every person. The search for a common ground can sometimes feel like  a race to the bottom. But this (for me) was a really nice upgrade from the more traditional cube setup.

I have witnessed too often the office space upgrade which end up costing a fortune and don’t actually result in any improvement. I got the impression that this was being used effectively and providing a return on the investment. After seeing what had been achieved I felt like I had a glimpse of a possible future for a lot of large enterprises.