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5919Re: [agile-usability] Re: Today's article on UseIt.com

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  • Ron Jeffries
    Jan 1, 2009
      Hello, Adam. On Wednesday, December 31, 2008, at 11:11:46 PM, you

      > So, why not do it? Because, it is cheaper to hire someone somewhere
      > else. Because, it is cheaper not to provide a space that enables
      > communication. The question is, does the loss of value in being remote
      > equal or exceed the savings in cost? I don't believe so, but I can't
      > prove it.

      I doubt whether money has that much to do with it. Willingness to
      move might actually be more important. However, you could put
      together a simple model in Excel or C++ and see what would have to
      be true for collocation not to matter ... I'd suggest some ideas:

      Generally it isn't really cheaper to hire someone somewhere else. In
      the USA, for example:
      contractors cost substantially more than employees;
      employee benefits have to be the same in all locations;
      salaries don't vary all that much over locations,
      (with some exceptions like NYC)

      Space costs do vary but generally decline with the amount of space
      needed, so why not put everyone in the cheapest location?

      > I've not seen any proof the other way either.


      ScienceDaily (Dec. 13, 2000) — PHILADELPHIA---Teams of workers
      that labored together for several months in specially designed
      "war rooms" were twice as productive as their counterparts working
      in traditional office arrangements, a study by University of
      Michigan researchers has found. Results of the study will be
      presented Dec. 6 at the Association for Computing Machinery 2000
      Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work.

      Note that the productivity factor was TWO.

      Assuming that productivity scales linearly with number of people,
      which it does not, you would have to cut costs in half in order to
      break even on productivity.

      At this point, one's only valid argument is to deny the factor of
      two. Easy enough to do. Just say:

      Despite evidence to the contrary, I really don't believe that
      collocated teams are twice as productive as those that are not

      Ron Jeffries
      New and stirring things are belittled because if they are not belittled,
      the humiliating question arises, "Why then are you not taking part in
      them?" -- H. G. Wells
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