Productivity in the software organization strongly linked to communication



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Washington [US], July 17 (ANI): A close relationship between communication and productivity was discovered in a new analysis of three years of conversations in a software engineering organization.

Arindam Dutta of Arizona State University, USA, and colleagues presented these results in the open access journal “PLOS ONE”.

It is widely believed that communication within an organization contributes to productivity. However, most research on this relationship has relied on indirect measures of communication, rather than direct observations, which are much more difficult to capture and analyze. As a result, strong evidence for a link between communication and productivity has been lacking.

To help clarify this link, Dutta and his colleagues have developed a rigorous method for capturing and analyzing direct observations of communication within an organization.

Their approach applies speech and network analysis strategies to audio recordings of employee-to-employee conversations, shedding light on when different employees speak to each other as well as the characteristics of speech that might indicate the emotional state of each speaker.

This communication data is then analyzed in relation to the productivity of the employees, measured as a function of the number of lines of computer code written in a given time.

To demonstrate this new method, the researchers used it to analyze the communication and productivity of 79 employees of a software engineering organization who volunteered to have their speech recorded at work for 3 years.

The analysis showed that communication was indeed strongly related to productivity and that by analyzing audio recordings, researchers could predict productivity with an average absolute error of less than 10%.

The researchers noted that some aspects of communication were more strongly related to productivity than others.

Specifically, the characteristics of the communication network (including, for example, who speaks with whom or how often employees interact) appear to be more important than the characteristics of the speech itself.

Although this study suggested a relationship between communication and productivity, it does not specify whether communication causes changes in productivity or whether productivity alters the communication network.

Nonetheless, the new method of analyzing audio recordings could allow for more in-depth and rigorous research into communication within a group or organization. (ANI)



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