Adventures in Promiscuous Pairing: Seeking Beginner’s Mind

Adventures in Promiscuous Pairing - Agile 2006
Promiscuous Pairing and Beginner’s Mind - Agile 2005

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Agile development practices are coming into the mainstream with a vengeance. This is evident by the number of books released annually as well as the exponential attendance growth seen at conferences such as Agile 2005 (and expected in 2006).

With this growth come a lot of questions and a lot of experimentation as organizations figure out what works best for them and their projects. My team was no different.

We were constantly experimenting with new techniques and approaches to problems. Some approaches worked, some did not.

This paper discusses the adoption and experimentation of a Agile 2005 XR titled ‘Promiscuous Pairing and Beginner’s Mind’ by Arlo Belshee. It highlights the key success and unexpected problems that our team encountered while trying to implement the practices outlined in the paper, specifically around pair churn & team owned tasks, seeking Beginner’s Mind and utilizing the least qualified person to do tasks. It also validates the unanticipated side affect Belshee identifies in his paper, introducing new team members and getting them up to speed.