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Enabling communication

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  • Jason Yip
    This next bit is almost pure speculation on my part but to paraphrase Stephen Hawking, The best discussions are those that do not have to rely on facts. I m
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 25, 2000
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      This next bit is almost pure speculation on my part but to paraphrase
      Stephen Hawking, "The best discussions are those that do not have to
      rely on facts."

      I'm a bit asocial, if that's a word, but in certain situations I can
      sometimes be mistaken for an extrovert. I was recently sitting
      through a "get-together" for new graduate students (I'm not actually
      new but that's another story) and as usual, I'm getting bored a few
      minutes after all the administrative staff and professors have
      introduced themselves. I took it that I was supposed to be mingling
      and eating food but I started thinking instead...

      Easy communication comes when there is social comfort.
      Social comfort comes from shared experience and trust.
      Media richness is of secondary importance to increasing social
      comfort when it comes to improving communication.

      I think this is why reducing media richness improved the
      effectiveness of the requirements sessions in Dana Herlea's
      experiment. The reduction in communication resolution allowed for
      greater social comfort.

      It's not enough to move everyone in the same room. Hence,
      GolfForGeeks (a shared recreational activity) and ThereMustBeFood.
      I'm not sure if there is some instinctual trust that occurs when
      people share food. I find that it doesn't work that well for me when
      with strangers, but it seems to enhance social comfort among
      colleagues and friends.
    • acockburn@aol.com
      ... 1. Can you point to the Dana Herlea experiment for me, please? 2. Right on. I am currently distinguishing (as current hypothesis) a. Person is inclined to
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 28, 2000
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        Jason Yip:
        > Easy communication comes when there is social comfort.
        > Social comfort comes from shared experience and trust.
        > Media richness is of secondary importance to increasing social
        > comfort when it comes to improving communication.
        >
        > I think this is why reducing media richness improved the
        > effectiveness of the requirements sessions in Dana Herlea's
        > experiment. The reduction in communication resolution allowed for
        > greater social comfort.

        1. Can you point to the Dana Herlea experiment for me, please?
        2. Right on. I am currently distinguishing (as current hypothesis)
        a. Person is inclined to do good work (pride-in-work)
        b. Person is inclined to communicate (your social comfort,
        my "amicability quotient" or citizenship)
        c. Person can communicate (richness of communication channel)

        There is mixing up of sequencing among those three. You name a
        time when a, b, c. Someone else wrote me of an experience of enhancing
        b by setting up a. Etc.



        Alistair Cockburn
        Humans and Technology

        7691 Dell Rd.
        Salt Lake City, UT 84121
        Work Phone: 801.947.9275
        Fax: 775.416.6457
        http://members.aol.com/acockburn
        write to: alistair.cockburn@...
      • Jason Yip
        ... It s referenced in message 7771. Using Different Communication Media in Requirements Negotiation in the May/June 2000 issue of IEEE Software. ... I
        Message 3 of 4 , Sep 29, 2000
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          --- In extremeprogramming@egroups.com, acockburn@a... wrote:
          > Jason Yip:

          > 1. Can you point to the Dana Herlea experiment for me, please?

          It's referenced in message 7771. "Using Different Communication
          Media in Requirements Negotiation" in the May/June 2000 issue of IEEE
          Software.

          > 2. Right on. I am currently distinguishing (as current hypothesis)
          > a. Person is inclined to do good work (pride-in-work)

          I think I just assumed this. In the general sense of just improving
          communication, I would also submit that this isn't an issue. In the
          specific sense of communicating to accomplish a particular task, it
          probably is an issue. I'd be inclined to believe that 'b' leads
          to 'a' but I haven't really thought or looked much into it.

          > b. Person is inclined to communicate (your social comfort,
          > my "amicability quotient" or citizenship)

          Hmmm... I think I'll have to re-read some of your stuff again.

          > c. Person can communicate (richness of communication channel)
          >
          > There is mixing up of sequencing among those three. You name a
          > time when a, b, c. Someone else wrote me of an experience of
          > enhancing b by setting up a. Etc.

          So do you see any difference in importance between a., b., c.?
        • acockburn@aol.com
          ... Well, I started off saying C was THE important thing, but then ran into situations where B wasn t present, so the communications channels available didn t
          Message 4 of 4 , Oct 1, 2000
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            > "Jason Yip"
            > --- In extremeprogramming@egroups.com, acockburn@a... wrote:
            > > a. Person is inclined to do good work (pride-in-work)
            > > b. Person is inclined to communicate (your social comfort,
            > > my "amicability quotient" or citizenship)
            > > c. Person can communicate (richness of communication channel)
            > So do you see any difference in importance between a., b., c.?

            Well, I started off saying C was THE important thing, but then ran into
            situations where B wasn't present, so the communications channels available
            didn't matter (also, someone gave me an example of
            b' The goals of the various people are not aligned,
            in which case the available comm channels also don't matter.

            And missing A, they won't bother.
            So A and B and B' adds up to that when someone notices something, they bother
            to want to communicate to someone. C only says that when they do that, they
            can.

            But people are funny, and sometimes increasing C increases B. There is even
            a noticeable "pull" factor, so when a bunch of people really care, the people
            around them who otherwise might not, start to care, too.

            So A, B and C are wound around each other. But for my purposes, I put them
            in that order.

            I don't think "amicability" quotient is in any of my writings yet, it's in my
            speaking a lot these days, though.

            Alistair Cockburn
            Humans and Technology

            7691 Dell Rd.
            Salt Lake City, UT 84121
            Work Phone: 801.947.9275
            Fax: 775.416.6457
            http://members.aol.com/acockburn
            write to: alistair.cockburn@...
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