Osmotic Communication

Communication is the lifeblood of any successful Agile team, and osmotic communications make certain that the whole team maintains a useful level of awareness about issues and developments with a minimal amount of overhead and formality. Methodologies such as Crystal Clear and XP rely heavily on osmotic communication. Crystal Clear needs people to be very close to each other so that they overhear useful information and get questions answered quickly (Olson J. S. et. al., 2000), while the “Caves and Commons” room arrangement is recommend in XP.

“Commons” are areas maximized for osmotic communication while “caves” are organized to give people a private place. Research by Ben Rich in Shunk Works (1994) demonstrates how teams have obtained good results in making everyone accountable for reducing the energy cost of detecting and transferring ideas.

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