Pairing with SPIKE

During our team’s reflection meeting today, we spent some time musing on our pair rotation strategy. We have a few knowledge silos in the room, and there’s a general consensus that pairing is a good way to move knowledge from one head to another. During the coming month, we are going to try to be very clever about how we pair.

Some principles to follow:

1) Change up the pairs daily. No two developers will work together on successive days.

2) When faced with a multi-day task or refactoring, the developer who joins the pair today will be the one who carries on tomorrow with a different partner. No developer will work on the same task for three days straight.

3) If a particular skill or knowledge domain is critical to the task, don’t pair two “experts” together if a “novice” is available.

4) If your partner does or says something that you don’t understand, stop and demand an explanation immediately.

Of course, no plan is complete without a spiffy acronym, so we have dubbed this one Strategic Pairing for Information and Knowledge Exchange.

After next month’s reflection, I’ll report on how well this experiment worked for levelling out the knowledge inequalities on the team.

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