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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
      agile
      > 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
      Collocation
      > different. It sounds like I would get non of the benefits of
      collocation
      > combined with non of the benefits of distributed working? What am I
      missing?

      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
      coffee
      > 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
      very
      > agile and exceptionally successful, but are big advocates of remote
      working.

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

      Owen.
    • 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:
        [snip]
        > 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.
        [snip]

        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
        anywhere.

        http://docs.google.com/View?docid=dhncd3jd_343cmcr7mcm

        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."

        Cheers,

        Adrian
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