war rooms, when the whole design team are in the one location is great, big wall space, post-it everywhere, the energy, atmosphere is inspiring. what's a good method (tools?) to recreate the same vibe when the design team is spread across oceans?
We have used a mix of software tools and video-conferencing to do this with our geographically-distributed team (though not across oceans, just continents, for us):
We have found that document repositories (shared drives, SharePoint, etc) do not work well; they are where documents go to die and be forgotten. The reason the wiki works for us while SharePoint doesn't is that "edit" link right there in the page, plus a model of informality. Anybody can add a comment, and people do, in a format where it's easy for everybody to see what's been changing.
This is a really good question. I think War Rooms are a huge benefit to any project especially when people outside of UX are also using it (business line managers, developers, IT, marketing, etc).
I've rarely seen it implemented well in a physical shared room, so it's likely going to be a challenge online.
One option that comes to mind is 37Signals Campfire tool...which is really just a group discussion room where people are sharing a constant stream of questions and critiques along with all sorts of visuals. We use something similar, but sans pictures, so, not nearly as useful.