Socio-technical affordances for stigmergic coordination implemented in MIDST, a tool for data-science teams

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Proceedings of the ACM , Volume 3, Issue CSCW, p.Article 117 (2019)

Keywords:

stigmergic coordination; translucency; awareness; data-science teams

Abstract:

We present a conceptual framework for socio-technical affordances for stigmergic coordination, that is, coordination supported by a shared work product. Based on research on free/libre open source software development, we theorize that stigmergic coordination depends on three sets of socio-technical affordances: the visibility and combinability of the work, along with defined genres of work contributions. As a demonstration of the utility of the developed framework, we use it as the basis for the design and implementation of a system, MIDST, that supports these affordances and that we thus expect to support stigmergic coordination. We describe an initial assessment of the impact of the tool on the work of project teams of three to six data-science students that suggests that the tool was useful but also in need of further development. We conclude with plans for future research and an assessment of theory-driven system design.

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