Communication in Context: a Stimulus-Response account of Agile Team Interactions

(Short research paper, 15 min) [ Slides ]

Author(s): Nik Nailah Binti Abdullah (National Institute of Informatics), Helen Sharp (The Open University) and Shinichi Honiden (National Institute of Informatics)
Session: Collaboration
Session chair: Xiaofeng Wang (Lero)
Date: Wednesday, 2 June 2010: Main Conference
Time: 10:30-12:00
Previous research has indicated that work artefacts commonly used by agile teams capture progress information, while functional aspects such as requirements are developed and sustained through the team’s social interactions and communication channels. This paper reports an initial empirical study to investigate the relationship between agile work artefacts and communication during stand-up meetings and pair programming sessions, specifically focusing on gathering and clarifying requirements. Using Bateson’s communication theory, we found that the work artefacts, and other individuals form an external event system which supports Agile teams during the gathering and clarifying of requirements. Using this communication theory together with Clancey’s situated cognition, we predict that if the two do not exist together throughout the interactions, then teams members will form discoordinated actions together.

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