An Investigation Into the Efficacy of Mind Maps in Software Development Among Individuals and Pairs
Bond, Philip L.
MetadataShow full item record
Software development is a cognitively demanding endeavor in which the creation and exchange of knowledge is paramount. Collaborative development, particularly pair programming, has been more advocated and adopted recently by practitioners. However, empirical studies have not categorically established the efficacy of pairs vis-à-vis individuals in software design contexts. In fact, recent findings suggest that pairs seldom outperform best individuals although they tend to do better than average individuals. Group losses arising from lack of coordination and/or communication could be a plausible explanation for this. The extant literature suggests that Mind Maps have the potential to graphically capture concepts and their relationships and hence can promote a shared understanding of the problem being solved. This shared understanding, in turn, can facilitate communication and coordination. This study, anchored in the theoretical foundations of distributed cognition, investigates the impact that Mind Maps have on the performance of pairs vis-à-vis individuals engaged in a design task.