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Qualitative Data Analysis: Osmotic Communication Assessment Answer


When people work together in a close environment, both temporally and physically there exists a chance of having an osmotic communication. This refers to the indirect transfer of information by noticing things taking place in the environment or by overhearing the conversations taking place between people in the nearby surrounding. The present writing is a qualitative data analysis of the effectiveness and ineffectiveness of osmotic communication.

In agile software development, Alistair Cockbrun states that different models can be used for communication when people feel that they must apply the strategies for working together. One such method is osmotic communication. Osmotic communication is a person-to-person meand of communication that is enhanced by a shared modeliing system. The Ambysoft 2008 Agile Principles and Practices survey explored the effectiveness of osmotic communication strategies in a software development team and between the team members and the stakeholders. The several factors that contribute to effective communication and the advantages of it are physical proximity, temporal proximity, amicability. Osmotic communication has the goal to share information and the information sharing is typically a two-way method (Panza, 2013). The success of osmotic communication depends on the right means of applying osmotic communication. Finally, there is a need of having a positive view of communication. When the people are closer to one another, there are greater chances of having osmotic communication. When two or more people are working away from one another communication in the indirect manner, that is osmotic communication, cannot take place in an effective manner. The willingness to hear the thoughts of others and getting to speak without malice is the advantage of osmotic communication. The greater the amicability a greater amount and quality of information will be communicated and less will be concealed by an osmotic communication process. Osmotic communication builds the relation between team members and gives a sense of belonging. It can be interpreted that osmotic communication enhances amicability (Cline, 2015).

Figure: Implication of osmotic communication

The above data shows the increase in effectiveness of osmotic communication with different kinds of conversation and flow of information. These include face to face communication, video conversation, digital conversation and audio recording. The most effectiveness is found in face to face communication.

Communication Strategy

Within Team

With Stakeholders

Face to face (F2F)



F2F at Whiteboard



Overview diagrams



Online chat



Overview documentation



Teleconference calls









Detailed Documentation




Table: Effectiveness of osmotic communication strategies on agile development teams

Graph: Modes of osmotic communication

The above graph shows the modes of osmotic communication. The patter from A to B shows the means of osmotic communication. It compares the effectiveness of different modes of osmotic communication and the richness of communication channel used. The two arcs Ato B and C to D consists of audiotape to videotape conversation and email to face-to-face conversation. The arc intersect at the means of communication by videotape and email conversation. These relative value of these options are of course dependent on the situational.

It is not easy to stimulate an effective osmotic communication without the support of people working together in the same room. However, adjacent rooms having a few number of people in each of the rooms has many benefits for the people for carrying out the information. The use of microphones, web cameras, chat sessions stimulates such kind of communication. With teams using modern technologies, they can get a close communication for useful purposes. Yet, there is a lot more time left for taking up osmotic communication other than physical activity between he members of the team (Meyer, 2014).

Osmotic communication has its set of hazards. The most common and significant ones are noise and flow of questions to the most senior expert in the team. People have the chance of self-regulation in such cases and they undertake less idle chats. Attempt to safeguard the senior expert in a team in a private office may not be advantageous in many cases. The person needs to be the central point of the team. The senior expert is always in high demand and when the person is missing from the team, the chances of development are taken away. Having the senior expert in the same room is a special use of osmotic communication. It is often found that the best success property is not suitable in some situations. Osmotic communication is clearly no exception (Broadbent, 2013).

The cost associated with the osmotic communication is low. However, is very effective in Agile project communication. The high feedback rate is very high useful for Agile project communication. This usually happens in the war room. The agile project team is self-disciplined and self-organised. Therefore, such kind of osmotic communication is very much useful and beneficial in such conditions. For example, a team member, Mary, is writing a certain e-mail notification module and is having a discussion with a peer to integrate the solution with Microsoft Outlook software. They are working in an Agile project in a collocated facility. Thomas, another team member, sitting in the same war room and having previously worked on the same module overhears the conversation. He may come up and provide guidance to Mary for resolving the problem. A lot of forth and back communication is saved due to the application of osmotic communication channel within the team. But it must be kept in mind that osmotic communication can take place only when the team is collocated. With the use of other collaboration tools, this can be achieved easily for the whole team (Grunig, 2013).

Osmotic communication is the general drift of information and this can take place in a software developing team. A certain group of programmers having a discussion on the certain issue can be overheard by other programmers. They can handle onto the latest important issues in the project they are working on. In agile projects, it is common for optimising the office layout regarding open communication. It is not that there is a need of requirement analysis. But there are certain implications when the number of people working in the group extends over a certain number. As more number of people get involved in the project, the benefits of such osmotic communication are lost. Osmotic communication is not the only quality to suffer when a team expands, but it is certain that it is a major effect. So it can be considered that modifications in teams lead to decay in communication and lack of osmotic communication creates a gap in effective communication (Thorson & Moore, 2013).

From the data gathered, it can be concluded that osmotic communication has some advantages as well as some disadvtanges. If the two sides are compared, it is evident that the effectiveness of osmotic communication is more.


Broadbent, D. E. (2013). Perception and communication. Elsevier.

Cline, A. (2015). Preparing the Project. In Agile Development in the Real World (pp. 75-90). Apress.

Grunig, J. E. (2013). Excellence in public relations and communication management. Routledge.

Meyer, B. (2014, January). Agile methods. In Agile! (pp. 133-143). Springer International Publishing.

Panza, M. (2013). Colocation: A Case Study in the Rewards and Perils.

Thorson, E., & Moore, J. (2013). Integrated communication: Synergy of persuasive voices. Psychology Press.


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