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RE: [XP] Team / Swarming Experiment

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  • Glenn Williams
    Interesting Will do Glad to help Glenn Williams Tinylion uk From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 12, 2011
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      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

      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 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.



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