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A case study of distances in a large co-located software development organisation

Bjarnason, Elizabeth LU ; Bern, Baldvin Gislason and Svedberg, Linda (2018) 11th ACM/IEEE International Workshop on Cooperative and Human Aspects of Software Engineering, CHASE 2018 In Proceedings 2018 ACM/IEEE 11th International Workshop on Cooperative and Human Aspects of Software Engineering, CHASE 2018 Part F137813. p.1-8
Abstract

Communication and collaboration is a major challenge for large-scale software development. Cognitive and psychological distance between individuals and teams affect this collaboration and can cause communications gaps. We propose a novel method for assessing distance between teams, and explore potential explanations for these distances. In an exploratory case study of the quality assurance department at Axis Communications, we used interactive posters to collect data and obtained a 52% response rate from the 175 test engineers. We identified low psychological distance as an indicator of a company culture with open and frequent communication, and of a team with good social networking skills and well-functioning points of contact. We... (More)

Communication and collaboration is a major challenge for large-scale software development. Cognitive and psychological distance between individuals and teams affect this collaboration and can cause communications gaps. We propose a novel method for assessing distance between teams, and explore potential explanations for these distances. In an exploratory case study of the quality assurance department at Axis Communications, we used interactive posters to collect data and obtained a 52% response rate from the 175 test engineers. We identified low psychological distance as an indicator of a company culture with open and frequent communication, and of a team with good social networking skills and well-functioning points of contact. We found that low cognitive distance is an indicator of differences regarding the responsibilities of a team; within the same system and between different types of systems. We also found correlations between psychological and cognitive distance. Large organisations may apply our concept to assess distance between teams, and our finding can be useful in interpreting these distances. Furthermore, our results provide a basis for further research on how the concept of distances can be used to assess collaboration within large organisations.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
collaboration, communication, distance, organisational management, software development
in
Proceedings 2018 ACM/IEEE 11th International Workshop on Cooperative and Human Aspects of Software Engineering, CHASE 2018
volume
Part F137813
pages
8 pages
publisher
IEEE Computer Society
conference name
11th ACM/IEEE International Workshop on Cooperative and Human Aspects of Software Engineering, CHASE 2018
conference location
Gothenburg, Sweden
conference dates
2018-05-27 - 2018-05-27
external identifiers
  • scopus:85051241081
ISBN
9781450357258
DOI
10.1145/3195836.3195846
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
75d31a95-425a-455e-b7b9-0c6547071e30
date added to LUP
2018-09-12 08:23:24
date last changed
2018-09-12 08:23:24
@inproceedings{75d31a95-425a-455e-b7b9-0c6547071e30,
  abstract     = {<p>Communication and collaboration is a major challenge for large-scale software development. Cognitive and psychological distance between individuals and teams affect this collaboration and can cause communications gaps. We propose a novel method for assessing distance between teams, and explore potential explanations for these distances. In an exploratory case study of the quality assurance department at Axis Communications, we used interactive posters to collect data and obtained a 52% response rate from the 175 test engineers. We identified low psychological distance as an indicator of a company culture with open and frequent communication, and of a team with good social networking skills and well-functioning points of contact. We found that low cognitive distance is an indicator of differences regarding the responsibilities of a team; within the same system and between different types of systems. We also found correlations between psychological and cognitive distance. Large organisations may apply our concept to assess distance between teams, and our finding can be useful in interpreting these distances. Furthermore, our results provide a basis for further research on how the concept of distances can be used to assess collaboration within large organisations.</p>},
  author       = {Bjarnason, Elizabeth and Bern, Baldvin Gislason and Svedberg, Linda},
  booktitle    = {Proceedings 2018 ACM/IEEE 11th International Workshop on Cooperative and Human Aspects of Software Engineering, CHASE 2018},
  isbn         = {9781450357258},
  keyword      = {collaboration,communication,distance,organisational management,software development},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Gothenburg, Sweden},
  month        = {05},
  pages        = {1--8},
  publisher    = {IEEE Computer Society},
  title        = {A case study of distances in a large co-located software development organisation},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/3195836.3195846},
  volume       = {Part F137813},
  year         = {2018},
}