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Team / Swarming Experiment

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  • Lance Walton
    Hi all. Some of you may be aware that for the last few days on Twitter, I ve been asking for help to do with a study I m conducting. The subject of the study
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 12, 2011
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      Hi all.

      Some of you may be aware that for the last few days on Twitter, I've been asking for help to do with a study I'm conducting. The subject of the study is 'swarming'. This isn't a questionnaire. It's a more direct measurement of the effect of swarming.

      I haven't had much of a response, and as these groups has a lot of interest in swarming, I'm hoping to recruit more subjects here. I've cross-posted to extremeprogramming and scrumdevelopment.

      Each run of the experiment takes about 30 minutes and requires between 1 and 4 people to take part.

      Each person can only take part once. In order to draw any reasonable conclusions, I probably need to repeat the experiment a *minimum* of 100 times (25 times for each of the 4 team sizes), hence I need at least 250 people to take part. My preference would be to have more like 100 repetitions for each team size, hence it would be great if at least 1000 people took part.

      Whilst doing it this way may lead to charges of experimental subject self selection, the alternative is somewhat daunting (for me). I've got contacts in universities, and I could ask for their help in soliciting students to help, but this would take a lot of time. So instead, I'm asking for a little bit of your time. If you're willing to give it, thank you. If you aren't, thank you for reading this far.

      I'll happily make all of the data available (anonymised, of course) so that anybody who wants to do their own analysis can do that. I'm looking for something in particular. Somebody else may want to look for something else.



      Why am I doing this?

      Many people in this group have a lot of experience with swarming goodness. I certainly have had over the past 12 years or so. Yet, whenever I start at a new gig, I'll hear the usual inappropriate analogies: '9 women can't have a baby in one month', '10 men can't dig a hole in one tenth of the time it takes 1 man to dig the hole', etc. My experience has frequently been that, umm..., 9 women can have a baby in *less than* a month. Something a bit super-linear (dare I say it... 'synergistic') seems to happen when a team is swarming well. How can I *know* this, given that I won't do the same piece of work with and without swarming? Well that's the problem... It's just a feeling.

      I can talk about *my* experience. I can give them anecdotes. I can point people at this group to show them that I am not raving (or at least that I am not alone), or some sort of 'deeply dangerous pinko-commie subversive tree hugging hippie' (that's in quotes because it *is* actually a quote from one of my previous clients in response to my suggestion to swarm) . I can point them at Ron's 'Kate O'Neal' article (http://xprogramming.com/xpmag/kate-oneal-funding-susans-projects/) as a means of enticing them towards swarming with a financial argument.

      In other words, we have logic, experience and anecdotes. Sometimes these things are enough. But, sometimes people ask whether there have been any studies. Sometimes, they'll dismiss any study you show them anyway.

      But adding another means by which we help people to understand can't be a bad thing, can it? And I think this experiment is a start. If you know of any other studies, please let me know.



      How Can You Help?

      If you want to help, point your browser at http://87.194.207.209 sometime before 22:00 UTC on Sunday, 14 August. I've tested the app on Safari, Firefox and Chrome, all on the Mac.

      On the landing page, there is a brief description of the experiment. There is also a Privacy Statement that you can read.

      Experiment runs start on the hour (on the half hour in some places in the world whose timezone is offset from UTC that way). The reason I ask you to wait is that I need people to accumulate so that my app can form teams.

      If you like the description, and you're OK with the privacy statement and want to carry on, then Sign Up sometime before the next run. Once you've done that, you'll be taken to another page on which you have to press a button to say you want to take part in the next run. This button only appears in the one minute leading up to the next run. If you Sign Up / Login earlier than this, you'll see a countdown to the next run.

      From that point on, the whole thing takes less than 30 minutes.

      Thanks for your help.

      Regards,

      Lance


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Glenn Williams
      Interesting Will do Glad to help Glenn Williams Tinylion uk From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
      Message 2 of 3 , Aug 12, 2011
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        Interesting



        Will do



        Glad to help



        Glenn Williams

        Tinylion uk



        From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
        [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Lance Walton
        Sent: 12 August 2011 21:33
        To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com; scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [XP] Team / Swarming Experiment





        Hi all.

        Some of you may be aware that for the last few days on Twitter, I've been
        asking for help to do with a study I'm conducting. The subject of the study
        is 'swarming'. This isn't a questionnaire. It's a more direct measurement of
        the effect of swarming.

        I haven't had much of a response, and as these groups has a lot of interest
        in swarming, I'm hoping to recruit more subjects here. I've cross-posted to
        extremeprogramming and scrumdevelopment.

        Each run of the experiment takes about 30 minutes and requires between 1 and
        4 people to take part.

        Each person can only take part once. In order to draw any reasonable
        conclusions, I probably need to repeat the experiment a *minimum* of 100
        times (25 times for each of the 4 team sizes), hence I need at least 250
        people to take part. My preference would be to have more like 100
        repetitions for each team size, hence it would be great if at least 1000
        people took part.

        Whilst doing it this way may lead to charges of experimental subject self
        selection, the alternative is somewhat daunting (for me). I've got contacts
        in universities, and I could ask for their help in soliciting students to
        help, but this would take a lot of time. So instead, I'm asking for a little
        bit of your time. If you're willing to give it, thank you. If you aren't,
        thank you for reading this far.

        I'll happily make all of the data available (anonymised, of course) so that
        anybody who wants to do their own analysis can do that. I'm looking for
        something in particular. Somebody else may want to look for something else.

        Why am I doing this?

        Many people in this group have a lot of experience with swarming goodness. I
        certainly have had over the past 12 years or so. Yet, whenever I start at a
        new gig, I'll hear the usual inappropriate analogies: '9 women can't have a
        baby in one month', '10 men can't dig a hole in one tenth of the time it
        takes 1 man to dig the hole', etc. My experience has frequently been that,
        umm..., 9 women can have a baby in *less than* a month. Something a bit
        super-linear (dare I say it... 'synergistic') seems to happen when a team is
        swarming well. How can I *know* this, given that I won't do the same piece
        of work with and without swarming? Well that's the problem... It's just a
        feeling.

        I can talk about *my* experience. I can give them anecdotes. I can point
        people at this group to show them that I am not raving (or at least that I
        am not alone), or some sort of 'deeply dangerous pinko-commie subversive
        tree hugging hippie' (that's in quotes because it *is* actually a quote from
        one of my previous clients in response to my suggestion to swarm) . I can
        point them at Ron's 'Kate O'Neal' article
        (http://xprogramming.com/xpmag/kate-oneal-funding-susans-projects/) as a
        means of enticing them towards swarming with a financial argument.

        In other words, we have logic, experience and anecdotes. Sometimes these
        things are enough. But, sometimes people ask whether there have been any
        studies. Sometimes, they'll dismiss any study you show them anyway.

        But adding another means by which we help people to understand can't be a
        bad thing, can it? And I think this experiment is a start. If you know of
        any other studies, please let me know.

        How Can You Help?

        If you want to help, point your browser at http://87.194.207.209 sometime
        before 22:00 UTC on Sunday, 14 August. I've tested the app on Safari,
        Firefox and Chrome, all on the Mac.

        On the landing page, there is a brief description of the experiment. There
        is also a Privacy Statement that you can read.

        Experiment runs start on the hour (on the half hour in some places in the
        world whose timezone is offset from UTC that way). The reason I ask you to
        wait is that I need people to accumulate so that my app can form teams.

        If you like the description, and you're OK with the privacy statement and
        want to carry on, then Sign Up sometime before the next run. Once you've
        done that, you'll be taken to another page on which you have to press a
        button to say you want to take part in the next run. This button only
        appears in the one minute leading up to the next run. If you Sign Up / Login
        earlier than this, you'll see a countdown to the next run.

        From that point on, the whole thing takes less than 30 minutes.

        Thanks for your help.

        Regards,

        Lance

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • extremeprogrammer
        Thank you all for you help. Regards, Lance
        Message 3 of 3 , Aug 14, 2011
        • 0 Attachment
          Thank you all for you help.

          Regards,

          Lance

          --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, Lance Walton <LanceWalton@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi all.
          >
          > Some of you may be aware that for the last few days on Twitter, I've been asking for help to do with a study I'm conducting. The subject of the study is 'swarming'. This isn't a questionnaire. It's a more direct measurement of the effect of swarming.
          >
          > I haven't had much of a response, and as these groups has a lot of interest in swarming, I'm hoping to recruit more subjects here. I've cross-posted to extremeprogramming and scrumdevelopment.
          >
          > Each run of the experiment takes about 30 minutes and requires between 1 and 4 people to take part.
          >
          > Each person can only take part once. In order to draw any reasonable conclusions, I probably need to repeat the experiment a *minimum* of 100 times (25 times for each of the 4 team sizes), hence I need at least 250 people to take part. My preference would be to have more like 100 repetitions for each team size, hence it would be great if at least 1000 people took part.
          >
          > Whilst doing it this way may lead to charges of experimental subject self selection, the alternative is somewhat daunting (for me). I've got contacts in universities, and I could ask for their help in soliciting students to help, but this would take a lot of time. So instead, I'm asking for a little bit of your time. If you're willing to give it, thank you. If you aren't, thank you for reading this far.
          >
          > I'll happily make all of the data available (anonymised, of course) so that anybody who wants to do their own analysis can do that. I'm looking for something in particular. Somebody else may want to look for something else.
          >
          >
          >
          > Why am I doing this?
          >
          > Many people in this group have a lot of experience with swarming goodness. I certainly have had over the past 12 years or so. Yet, whenever I start at a new gig, I'll hear the usual inappropriate analogies: '9 women can't have a baby in one month', '10 men can't dig a hole in one tenth of the time it takes 1 man to dig the hole', etc. My experience has frequently been that, umm..., 9 women can have a baby in *less than* a month. Something a bit super-linear (dare I say it... 'synergistic') seems to happen when a team is swarming well. How can I *know* this, given that I won't do the same piece of work with and without swarming? Well that's the problem... It's just a feeling.
          >
          > I can talk about *my* experience. I can give them anecdotes. I can point people at this group to show them that I am not raving (or at least that I am not alone), or some sort of 'deeply dangerous pinko-commie subversive tree hugging hippie' (that's in quotes because it *is* actually a quote from one of my previous clients in response to my suggestion to swarm) . I can point them at Ron's 'Kate O'Neal' article (http://xprogramming.com/xpmag/kate-oneal-funding-susans-projects/) as a means of enticing them towards swarming with a financial argument.
          >
          > In other words, we have logic, experience and anecdotes. Sometimes these things are enough. But, sometimes people ask whether there have been any studies. Sometimes, they'll dismiss any study you show them anyway.
          >
          > But adding another means by which we help people to understand can't be a bad thing, can it? And I think this experiment is a start. If you know of any other studies, please let me know.
          >
          >
          >
          > How Can You Help?
          >
          > If you want to help, point your browser at http://87.194.207.209 sometime before 22:00 UTC on Sunday, 14 August. I've tested the app on Safari, Firefox and Chrome, all on the Mac.
          >
          > On the landing page, there is a brief description of the experiment. There is also a Privacy Statement that you can read.
          >
          > Experiment runs start on the hour (on the half hour in some places in the world whose timezone is offset from UTC that way). The reason I ask you to wait is that I need people to accumulate so that my app can form teams.
          >
          > If you like the description, and you're OK with the privacy statement and want to carry on, then Sign Up sometime before the next run. Once you've done that, you'll be taken to another page on which you have to press a button to say you want to take part in the next run. This button only appears in the one minute leading up to the next run. If you Sign Up / Login earlier than this, you'll see a countdown to the next run.
          >
          > From that point on, the whole thing takes less than 30 minutes.
          >
          > Thanks for your help.
          >
          > Regards,
          >
          > Lance
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
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