At our most recent retrospective everyone in our newly formed team commented on how effective and productive the promiscuous pairing we were doing was, especially in neatly formatted pomodoro sessions. There was, however, and to our surprise, one comment from a project manager about there being ‘too much pairing’.
After a little probing it turns out there were concerns from business people not familiar with pair programming about pairing being unproductive and an expensive waste of developer resource.
I don’t post this intending to pimp pairing, but rather to remind ourselves that sometimes our methods, techy or not, can seem strange to the business and that we should, in an agile team anyway, be worried about what they think. Applying this to other things we do: Does our testing seem lacklustre? Are they confused about specification workshops?
In this case it is simply a matter of educating them, but worth doing so in order to maintain the trust and openness that makes our team effective.
Saying that, it could have just been the pomodoro timers annoying them.