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Re: [XP] Collocation.

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  • Owen Thomas
    Hello Craig. ... Off the top of my head... :) My definition of a Virtually Collocated team is one which relies on ICT to participate in a collaborative
    Message 1 of 151 , Jan 2, 2009
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      Hello Craig.

      --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "Craig Davidson"
      <craigmdavidson@...> wrote:
      > What do you mean by Virtual Collocation?

      Off the top of my head... :)

      My definition of a Virtually Collocated team is one which relies on ICT
      to participate in a collaborative endeavour of arbitrary complexity. It
      would engage multiple ICT media as necessary to maximise the speed and
      relevance of knowledge transfer.

      > Personally, I have been happily working in what I consider to be an
      > fashion, on and off for over 5 years, with a group on the other side
      of the
      > world (me in UK, them in Australia).

      I'm from Wollongong.

      So this team is physically collocated yes? Your situation would not
      accord with my definition of Virtual Collocation.

      > I would describe this as distributed working. How is Virtual
      > different. It sounds like I would get non of the benefits of
      > combined with non of the benefits of distributed working? What am I

      See the above definition. I'd like to know if I'm missing anything.

      > I love that I can choose my work locations with great views and good
      > instead of some corporate block or office park.

      I have a similar opinion about how I want the rest of my life to work
      with my interest in software development.

      > Are you aware of 37signals? They are an organization I would consider
      > agile and exceptionally successful, but are big advocates of remote

      I am now. Thank you very much for the lead. I shall take a look.

    • Adrian Howard
      On 5 Jan 2009, at 09:45, Adam Sroka wrote: [snip] ... [snip] Just to comment on the terms... and with the disclaimer that I ve not been keeping close track of
      Message 151 of 151 , Jan 9, 2009
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        On 5 Jan 2009, at 09:45, Adam Sroka wrote:
        > BTW, "Collaborative Work" is a much *much* more useful term that
        > "Virtual Collocation". Collaborate denotes people doing things
        > together. Collocate denotes placing things together as in
        > side-by-side. Thus "Virtual Collocation" is not useful, except insofar
        > as it makes it sound like you've come up with something new. Which you
        > *still* haven't demonstrated.

        Just to comment on the terms... and with the disclaimer that I've not
        been keeping close track of CSCW terms/research since the nineties, so
        things may be different now :-)

        Collaborative Work is the more general term. Virtual Collocation is,
        as I understand it, the more specific term used in the field when folk
        are talking about technologies and techniques that aim to reproduce
        (to a greater or lesser extent) the sense of "being in the same place"
        - verses others methods of supporting collaborative work.

        The "radical collocation" term is used in the CSCW world to refer to
        environments like XP's prototypical team room - a collocated space
        with everybody working on the same project. As opposed to other co-
        located environments (e.g. a cube farm).

        There was a workshop at CWCW 2008 looking at some of this stuff last
        year if folk are interested. Don't know if the results are written up


        There are some great references in there for the _next_ time this
        discussion starts up :-)

        I'll pick one paragraph from the workshop description:

        "It doesn't take much distance before a team feels the negative
        effects of distribution - the effectiveness of collaboration degrades
        rapidly with physical distance. People located closer in a building
        are more likely to collaborate (Kraut, Egido & Galegher 1990). Even at
        short distances, 3 feet vs. 20 feet, there is an effect (Sensenig &
        Reed 1972). A distance of 100 feet may be no better than several miles
        (Allen 1977). A field study of radically collocated software
        development teams, i.e. where the teammates share a large open-plan
        room, showed significantly higher productivity and satisfaction than
        industry benchmarks and past projects within the firm (Teasley et al.,
        2002). Another field study compared interruptions in paired,
        radically-collocated and traditional, cube-dwelling software
        development teams, and found that in the former interruptions were
        greater in number but shorter in duration and more on-task (Chong and
        Siino 2006). Close proximity improves productivity in all cases."


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