During the previous Sprint we experimented a practice we called Primetime. Primetime means that immediately after the daily Scrum work was continued in the team room and by pairing for couple of hours. Of course in embedded system development pairing means pair development, not just pair programming.
Yes, yes, we all know that this should be a full day practice. But ... there is lots of other emergent responsibilities, for example maintenance and things like that. At the moment Primetime is the best we can achieve in our environment.
Tom DeMarco highlights the importance of uninterrupted work in his book. The cost of reimmersion time to flow (state of mind when developer "gets her design") is extremely high, and our experiment manifested this.
In our retrospective we easily identified five observations:
- People got enthusiast about the design when pairing, and continued way beyond the agreed Primetime
- Two people pairing blocks other people from interrupting
- Emails, phone calls etc. got postponed
- Learning was accelerated because of osmotic communication, and active collaboration
- Defects got detected as in review process, thus improving the quality
Within this experiment the team easily achieved Sprint goals, which were set based on earlier velocity. It is too early to make a conclusion, but we decided to keep this practice.