quiet scrum teamsScrum makes an assumption that you have a dedicated team who can focus on something for a sustained period of time. Most highly cognitive products require sustained focus and a consistent team rhythm.

Teams tend to get into a common rhythm in which quiet time andscrum rhythmsnoisy time are synced so that team members don’t bother each other very much. People whose work is disconnected have different rhythms. Noise is a real problem when you’re trying to do something that is highly cogitative.  So protecting the team from out-of-sync noise can be very important.

Questions

How do you protect teams from out-of-sync noise?

One might expect that surrounding an entire team with some noise protection (walls or space) would be sufficient. Does that work?

It shouldn’t be important to protect team members from each other’s noise. Do you agree?

What have you observed? What has worked in the past?

Is there a demographic shift between older and younger?

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One Response to Team Rhythms and Noise

  1. Sonja says:

    I find that noise in itself is less of a problem. Most places I know people aren’t protected from other disturbances enough for them to notice noise as a problem.

    The last place I worked at the team had its own office so by closing the door most noise could be effectively removed. I was still rarely able to concentrate on anything for long: ringing telephones, people talking on the phone, meetings, people walking into the office with questions, colleagues asking questions.

    Once these things were not happening, I was able to concentrate on the task at hand and noise did not seem to matter a lot: I tend to be able to filter out noise that is not directed at me.

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