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Proceedings Fifth IEEE International Symposium on Requirements Engineering (2001)
Toronto, Canada
Aug. 27, 2001 to Aug. 31, 2001
ISBN: 0-7695-1125-2
pp: 0128
Daniela E.H. Damian , University of Calgary, Canada
Mildred L.G. Shaw , University of Calgary, Canada
Armin Eberlein , University of Calgary, Canada
Brian R. Gaines , University of Calgary, Canada
Brian Woodward , The Corporate Corner Inc.,
Abstract: Group facilitation is an important element of group approaches to Requirements Engineering (RE). The facilitation in 'traditional' face-to-face groups is challenged by the increased globalization of the software industry. Thorough empirical investigation of human facilitation 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.

B. R. Gaines, D. E. Damian, A. Eberlein, B. Woodward and M. L. Shaw, "An Empirical Study of Facilitation of Computer-Mediated Distributed Requirements Negotiations," Proceedings Fifth IEEE International Symposium on Requirements Engineering(RE), Toronto, Canada, 2001, pp. 0128.
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