Have you ever played the “Telephone Game”? The way it works is simple. Line everyone up, and say a phrase to the first person. That person (and each person in turn) repeats that phrase from memory to the next person in line. When the last person gets the phrase, he/she compares it to the original phrase. Almost every time, what comes out the other end is fairly mangled.

Take the same group of people, and have them form a circle. Stand in the middle of the circle, and say the same phrase. Now have each of the people repeat the phrase back. You will find a much higher degree of accuracy in the repeated phrases.

Direct interaction between team members results in better software and a higher shared understanding of the project vision, goals, and requirements. Teams that are fortunate enough to be co-located enjoy a high degree of interaction since one can’t help but overhear the conversations of coworkers sitting in the same room.

As teams become more disperse, this interaction diminishes. Whether it’s because the team members are isolated in cubes or separated across geographies, the lack of steady interaction creates silos and reduces the overall effectiveness of the team. Instead of operating as a single unit, there is a lot of wasteful handoffs, duplicated effort, and lack of a unified direction.

Enter TeamPulse’s Activity Stream. Brand new for the 2012-R4 release, the Activity Stream combines pertinent automatic messaging (like comments on TeamPulse items, what’s new, what’s changed, even notifications of updates to TeamPulse) with the ability for team members to hold discussions on projects items (such as stories and tasks), ask questions, and, well, communicate. The Activity Stream supports broadcast commenting, directed comments to one or more users, as well as rich commenting on existing stream items. Comments on items in TeamPulse (such as stories and bugs) that are stored with the items themselves are also broadcast to the Activity Stream.

The Activity Stream brings a steady flow of focused information about your projects right to your desktop. This is even better than having discussions in the team room, since all of the discussion are captured in TeamPulse. Additionally, the amount and types of updates that you receive are highly configurable (including the ability to flag certain types of updates), so you can decide what you want to have in your personal stream.

Try the TeamPulse Activity Stream for yourself >>

About the Author

Phil Japikse

is an international speaker, a Microsoft MVP, ASPInsider, INETA Community Champion, MCSD, CSM/ CSP, and a passionate member of the developer community. Phil has been working with .Net since the first betas, developing software for over 20 years, and heavily involved in the agile community since 2005. Phil also hosts the Hallway Conversations podcast (www.hallwayconversations.com) and serves as the Lead Director for the Cincinnati .Net User’s Group (http://www.cinnug.org). You can follow Phil on twitter via www.twitter.com/skimedic, or read his personal blog at www.skimedic.com/blog.



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