War room: tips and advantages
November 13, 2019

Project Management

What Is a War Room: Greetings From Agile

By Olga Matuts

Custom software development is in great demand. Businesses no longer want to get some tools; they need powerful software solutions to their daily challenges. So as to meet all the needs and deliver software on time, IT teams have to go beyond the classical approach to programming. That’s why Agile methods are gaining momentum.

Overall, there are seven most popular Agile practices:

  • pair programming
  • test-driven development
  • code refactoring
  • continuous integration
  • common codebase usage
  • same coding standards
  • war-room

So, what is the war-room? Don’t worry, you won’t have to fight the enemies or defeat somebody in the boxing arena.

The war room has many creative synonyms which represent its nature: situation room, control center, command center, operations room, headquarters, etc. The war room is a special area where your team can discuss your project and solve problems together without calls and emails.  

The war room in brief

The war room is not more than a special location; it is the Agile method with the same name which has a number of benefits for companies. 

Top-5 advantages of the War Room

  • It saves time that would be wasted on phone calls or writing emails.
  • It improves team spirit, inspires members for new decisions.
  • It increases the responsibility of team members.
  • It makes all the information available for all involved persons. There are no telephone charades anymore.
  • It allows for a deep comprehensive analysis of the project and its visualization.

In all, you can achieve several goals at once thanks to the war room. 

Open communication

All processes are transparent for all members of the team. Every person knows who is doing this or that task.

Visualization

Information is easier to perceive if you can see it. That’s why there are visualizations of project goals, budget, and deadlines on photos, sticky notes, boards, or even on the walls of the room. Also, there are insights and remainders which every teammate can write.

Engaging stakeholders

Project stakeholders also visit the war room to know about the results and problems of the team in the workplace setting.

Some design tips for your War Room

It is up to you to decide if there should be a big common table or simple planning facilities, bottled water or snacks in your war room. Still, there are some tips that will help you make this area both comfortable and effective.  

A lot of free space and whiteboards. It is more efficient to use pictures, charts, graphs, or presentations to illustrate your words. That is why you need a wall-board, a mobile board, a flipchart, or IdeaPaint. Of course, take care of multicolored markers, sponges, and sticky notes.

Different locations for meetings and war room. Remember that the war room is not the meeting room. You shouldn’t invite clients or organize conferences there. The war room is to solve problems, not to report.

Practical furniture. Your furniture should be comfortable for any situation, no matter, you need to speak, write, or create. It’s much easier when chairs are on wheels, can fold or are lightweight.   

Do you have the war room? What does it look like? Feel free to share in the comments!

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