Saturday, January 21, 2012

VOIP Phones can help Agile Teams in a Large Corporation

I recently had a discovery about the value of VOIP phones that I never noticed was there for an Agile team.

Many team members in large companies are required to work in cubicles.  Although, not a fan of the cubicle in the work-place I wanted to share a tidbit that might help some of your teams out.

Use a VOIP Based Phone System which supports DHCP.

VOIP phones can use DHCP to obtain IP addresses and settings automatically wherever they are plugged into the corporate network. This means a user's extension, phone settings and voice mail can move from one place to another without any significant work other than moving computer and phone and plugging into the right connection.

It might be a good idea to color code for "computer vs. VOIP phone" (if needed), but other than that, it's a pretty self-sustaining thing requiring no work from facilities.

What this means is that team members can easily self-organize and move themselves around As-Needed to whatever works best for them without needing to contact the "Desk Police" or Facilities in the organization.  This can save the corporation significant expense.

After all; a team knows better than anyone where their new "test based thinker" should sit or where the "temporary subject matter expert" should sit to be effective with the team.

Of course, respect for size of office or cubicle, not stealing desks from another department and common sense still need apply.  Setting a few "guidelines" makes sense.  I have found that team members will generally make their own rules to ensure this doesn't get out of hand, so no need for managers to get involved.

If you're in an environment where Agile is the "frame of mind", then flexibility MUST be the norm.  A wired phone system requires constant expense and work from the Facilities Department in your organization.  An IP based phone system using DHCP allows teams to easily and quickly self-organize on their own.