(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.”