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ThinkMind // International Journal On Advances in Software, volume 7, numbers 3 and 4, 2014 // View article soft_v7_n34_2014_12


Team Assistance in a Software Engineering Team: A Field Study

Authors:
Pierre N. Robillatd
Sébastien Cherry
Francois Chiocchio
Carolyne Hass

Keywords: Team process, team assistance, field study, ad hoc interactions, collocated team

Abstract:
Physically collocated teammates often interact spontaneously while working solo on their assigned tasks. These ad hoc interactions could be perceived as counterproductive when they are seen as interruptions or they could be perceived as productive when they are seen as ad hoc team assistances, which contribute to the team awareness, trust amongst team members, and improved shared mental model. This paper reports on a field study performed in a professional environment. Team activities have been continuously video recorded over a period of two months. More than 400 ad hoc interactions have been analyzed. Ad hoc interactions required up to 30% of the team total time. These ad hoc interactions involve all the team members and as such may contribute to team awareness and improvement of shared mental model. Ad hoc team assistances can be categorized according to two purposes: the application domain or the development environment. This study shed light on the team dynamics of collocated teams and can provide insight into the challenges faced by the distributed software development teams. Suggestions are formulated for the management of team assistance activities.

Pages: 581 to 589

Copyright: Copyright (c) to authors, 2014. Used with permission.

Publication date: December 30, 2014

Published in: journal

ISSN: 1942-2628

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