Can software engineering teams adapt biological principles?
Ken Thompson, speaking at the 2006 SPICE Conference in Luxembourg (May 5) has facilitated an interactive session with leading practitioners and researchers in the field of Software Process Improvement (SPI) on this challenging question.
Ken is an ex-software engineer and now works to improve the effectiveness of all kinds of teams including software engineering teams.
"Nature's best teams demonstrate neither thinking nor beliefs, they are it is simply stimulus-response engines, yet they can achieve things totally out of proportion to their size and brainpower".But can our software engineering teams, which perhaps represent the pinnacle of intensive knowledge-based teamwork, learn anything from these ‘bioteams’?
Ken first introduced the results of research carried out over the last two years in the area of bioteaming.
This has resulted in a ‘bioteaming manifesto’ with 12 practical rules for making a team more effective through biological principles.
At the conference we then used the manifesto in a unique real-time interactive session using mobile phones and wireless internet to stimulate ideas on how these principles might be adapted for software engineering teams?
As part of the conference we also initiated a research survey to establish the impact of team member beliefs on software team performance.
To download a PDF of Ken's presentation click here
Bioteams Books Reviews
The Book "The Starfish and The Spider" uses the amazing capabilities of starfish to survive and regrow damaged limbs as a powerful metaphor for leaderless organisations.