To Direct or To Collaborate? That is the Architectural Question!

(Warning! A cross-industry analogy follows.)

Fastcompany Magazine featured an interesting article on building architecture in their “Masters of Design” issue (June 2005). The article features architect Joshua Prince-Ramus, partner at Rem Koolhaas’ Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), and his collaborative masterpiece the Seattle Central Library.

While the Seattle Central Library has received critical and user praise, Prince-Ramus is taking an interesting position, deflecting the praise to the “team of architects” that worked collaboratively on the building. The notion of the architect as a chief collaborator appears to be gaining validation in industries outside (Agile) software development. Just as in software, effective communication and strong team-centric collaboration is a key to successful engineering generally.

Prince-Ramus as quoted in the arcticle: “Architecture is not created by individuals. The genius sketch . . . is a myth. Architecture is made by a team of committed people who work together, and in fact, success usually has more to do with dumb determination than with genius.”

Seattle Central Library, 2

Victor Szalvay

Victor Szalvay currently leads product development for CollabNet’s ScrumWorks® product suite. In that capacity, he works closely with customers, stakeholders, and the development teams to deliver high business value each release cycle. With more than 150,000 active users worldwide, ScrumWorks is used by more than half of the Fortune 100 and boasts the largest market share of any Agile management tool.

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