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My workplace will soon be shifting to the concept of 'activity based working', which moves from the idea of IT teams, BA teams, PM teams, etc to project-based work where people from across all facets of IT and the business involved on a project sit and work together. As a result, you wouldn't be sitting with your normal team colleagues on a day-to-day basis and sharing knowledge in that sort of organic way with the rest of your dev team won't really be happening.

What ways would you recommend to help preserve that team collaboration and knowledge sharing when people will not physically be co-existing alongside their teammates any longer? Not to mention preserving that 'geek spirit' (bad term perhaps) that sees devs encouraging and coaching each other to find better designs and solutions.

I've already thought about online collaboration tools such as Trello or Mingle, plus wikis or software such as Confluence to help collaboration and discussion. But I'd be interested to hear peoples opinions on what else could be done, or their own experiences with this approach to day-to-day work.

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I'm confused--if the people involved with the project are sitting together, how are you no longer sitting with team colleagues? – Matthew Flynn Feb 9 '12 at 4:56
Oh, you are - but they're not the team colleagues you used to have. Before you were on Application X development team. Now you're on project A, B, C etc which are all impacting on application X - so the devs for X still need some way of communicating and collaborating whilst not all being present in one room. – f1dave Feb 9 '12 at 5:12
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Nothing beats getting together face to face. Why can't IT have a pizza lunch and general sharing session one day a week where you and all your old colleagues get together and share ideas and keep in touch?

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Cause we'd all get fat? ;) No, good idea and I think this might happen anyway. But considering that leads on one project might need to talk to leads on another project about impacts to the application, I was thinking something a little more formal/system-based could help out, too. – f1dave Feb 9 '12 at 5:10

If you are going to work as a team from the Project's point of view, that's the best thing you can do and it will have a great impact of the project's success. Now your problem is how to be in touch with your home team. Dont go into tools unless they are essential (for some reason like distributed teams). Instead focus on face-to-face knowledge sharing or cascade sessions. Arrannge team building events. Pair with team members where possible

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