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Jim Herbsleb <[log in to unmask]>
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Sun, 7 Sep 2008 17:41:37 -0400
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Supporting Distributed Team Work

Workshop in conjunction with CSCW 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
San Diego, CA, USA
Submission deadline: September 24

Geographically distributed teams and virtual organizations are
commonplace today. But we know that coordination in such settings is
problematic, especially for tasks that involve closely-coupled work.
Despite extensive research in coordination in distributed teams, the
common wisdom is still that highly interdependent tasks often require
collocation. However, collocation may be impractical in many business
and engineering settings, and in open production systems such as
open-source software and Wikipedia.

Evidence suggests that radical collocation, i.e. an open-plan team room,
can further aid collaboration. We lack a detailed understanding of
fine-grained task dependencies that occur in closely coupled work and
the mechanisms by which radical collocation can moderate those effects.
Consequently, there exist few alternatives to collocation -- or using
technology to recreate a semblance of collocation -- to avoid
coordination breakdowns when tasks are tightly linked.

This workshop seeks to understand the barriers and solutions for
closely-coupled work by fully- and partially-distributed teams and to
chart solutions motivated by studies of collocation and radical collocation.

Thomas Finholt - University of Michigan
James Herbsleb - Carnegie Mellon University
Gary Olson - University of California, Irvine
Judy Olson - University of California, Irvine
Anita Sarma - Carnegie Mellon University
Bhargav Sriprakash - University of Michigan
Gina Venolia - Microsoft Research
Patrick Wagstrom - Carnegie Mellon University

The overall goals of the workshop are to create a vision of distributed
work will be accomplished in the future, to understand the barriers that
currently stand in the way of realizing this vision, and to foster a
community of researchers who are working toward making this vision a

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to

* Empirical studies of fine-grained coordination
* Empirical studies of the effect of team distribution on knowledge work
* Study of coordination across different phases of the development life
* Ways to measure the cascading effects of decisions taken at one phase
on others
* Methods and metrics to measure task coupling
* Tools to support closely-coupled tasks
* Tools to track dependencies in non code artifacts
* Coordination mechanisms for closely-coupled work
* Models of virtual radical collocation
* Models of closely-coupled work
* Mechanisms for coordinating closely-coupled work over long distances
* Team and workspace awareness
* Tools for distributed work inspired by behaviors in collocated and
radically collocated teams
* Re-evaluate the common wisdom regarding the difficulties of radical
virtual collocation
* Share research on close task coupling in particular domains
* Inform and foster research on coordination within virtual organizations
* Provide a link between research on coordination and communication
issues and developers of tools for virtual organizations
* Evaluate and discuss new and upcoming theories regarding virtual

Both research papers (10 page max) and position papers (4 page max) will
be accepted.  Submissions will be reviewed by the organizers who will
solicit outside reviews as appropriate.  To facilitate discussion, all
those attending must submit a paper.

Presenters have the option of having their entire paper or just the
abstract published -- the latter option is available for authors who
wish to avoid issues with submission to future publication.  Each
published position paper will retain the author's copyright.

More information can be found on the workshop website:

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