An Empirical Study of Facilitation of Computer-mediated Distributed Requirements Negotiations

Publisher:
The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Inc (IEEE)
Publication Type:
Conference
Citation:
Damian, D. et al. 2001 'An Empirical Study of Facilitation of Computer-mediated Distributed Requirements Negotiations', 5th IEEE International Symposium on Requirements Engineering, The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Inc (IEEE), Toronto, Canada, pp. 128-135.
Issue Date:
2001
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Group facilitation is an important element of group approaches to Requirements Engineering (RE). The facilitatiori in 'traditional' face-to-face groups is challenged by the increased globalization of the software industry. Thorough empirical investigation of human facilitution in computer-mediated requirements meetings is needed. This paper presents findings about the facilitation of distributed group settings in a controlled environment. Three professional facilitators mediate 15 three-person groups negotiating software requirements. Facilitation in face-to-face meetings is contrasted with four group settings in which the facilitator is physically separated from the group or co-located with key stakeholders. Rich qualitative and behavioral data enables an understanding of differences and similarities in the facilitation of the distributed groups and of aspects that were detrimental or beneficial to their facilitation. The empirical evidence indicates a reduced richness of social behaviors in computer-mediated group settings which (1) made the group facilitation problematic but also (2) enabled certain facilitation support in the medium itself.
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