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Re: Remote versus collocated teams.

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  • Owen Thomas
    Hi Ron. I believe you ve mentioned this study twice now, or at least, I think it has been mentioned at least twice in this topic. I still can t find the actual
    Message 1 of 146 , Jun 3, 2007
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      Hi Ron.

      I believe you've mentioned this study twice now, or at least, I think it has been mentioned at least twice in this topic. I still can't find the actual study though; one must have to get permission from the University of Michigan to have a look at it.

      As my last message said, there is one page  on the web that makes mention of  'University of Michigan War Room', and just below where this phrase is cited, the author appears to have reserved judging that collocation should be, by its own virtue as the general consensus in the Agile community would have me believe, preferred over remote teaming:

      It seems like there is probably a context where collaborative work environments help and contexts where they hinder. So how can we find those contexts without interference from the Hawthorne Effect?

      This Hawthorne Effect is a phenomena that I didn't think of before... Phew! This answer is looking more elusive every time the question is asked.

      I suppose what I just quoted is an opinion just like yours is. But if Tim Van Tongeren, among myself and other people on this topic choose to express the opinion that the jury is out on the benefits of remote work vis-à-vis collocation, then surely you'd have to too? Surely, remote work would have to be treated a little less negatively by the Agile community at least until there was evidence to show that there existed a sustained causative link between remote work and project outcomes?

      I realise that many people aren't in my position such that they would want hard facts to decide. Many are going to trust the opinions of other people they may think have seasoned opinions, because they haven't got the time or the interest to decide for themselves. However, if John Kern's business, as a case in point, can demonstrate that the use communications tools to facilitate a remote team discussion is possible, then shouldn't the Agile community be a little less hard on remote teaming?

        Owen.

      --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hello, Owen. On Sunday, June 3, 2007, at 7:14:48 AM, you wrote:
      >
      > > I'm so not being facetious when I ask you this question: I really want
      > > to know what makes you say that? Apart from your experience, which I am
      > > not disputing, do you know of any study that contrasts the quality or
      > > development speed of a project between one that only used collocation,
      > > versus one that is free to use geographically remote resources?
      >
      > > Does such a study exist? How do I get access to it if it does?
      >
      > Look for University of Michigan War Room for a related study.
      >
      > But you have heard actual experience from many of us. What would
      > make a study better than real contact with real people who really do
      > this?
      >
      > Ron Jeffries
      > www.XProgramming.com
      > Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back
      > of his head. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs,
      > but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could
      > stop bumping for a moment and think of it. And then he feels that perhaps
      > there isn't. -- A. A. Milne
      >

    • kswaters1
      Here here Ron! Remote teamwork may be possible but it certainly isn t ideal. Close collaboration without co-location is a compromise, sometimes an essential
      Message 146 of 146 , Jul 11, 2007
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        Here here Ron! Remote teamwork may be possible but it certainly
        isn't ideal. Close collaboration without co-location is a
        compromise, sometimes an essential one, but not one you'd advocate
        as part of any methodology.

        I sometimes like to think of this in terms of new business
        startups. How many people would start a business and think, "I
        know, let's base our development teams in multiple locations and
        have the business owners of the product we're building in a
        different place to the developers." For logistical reasons, sales
        and other field-based teams maybe, for product development I think
        not.

        Kelly Waters
        http://www.allaboutagile.com


        --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, Ron Jeffries
        <ronjeffries@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hello, Owen. On Sunday, June 3, 2007, at 11:01:30 PM, you wrote:
        >
        > > I realise that many people aren't in my position such that they
        would
        > > want hard facts to decide. Many are going to trust the opinions
        of other
        > > people they may think have seasoned opinions, because they
        haven't got
        > > the time or the interest to decide for themselves. However, if
        John
        > > Kern's business, as a case in point, can demonstrate that the use
        > > communications tools to facilitate a remote team discussion is
        possible,
        > > then shouldn't the Agile community be a little less hard on
        remote
        > > teaming?
        >
        > Owen, even Jon said that together would be better. Why would we
        want
        > to recommend something that wasn't the best we know?
        >
        > Ron Jeffries
        > www.XProgramming.com
        > The fact that we know more today, and are more capable today,
        > is good news about today, not bad news about yesterday.
        >
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