The Pizza Benchmark

The pizza benchmark is a test of how well a communication medium supports small group decision making. It is defined as the time required for five users of the system being tested take to order a pizza with two toppings.

Ordering a pizza is a familiar example of group decision making involving negotiations about individual interests and available resources. The average time for face-to-face groups to accomplish a pizza order is about 10 minutes. If your group takes longer than that using computer conferencing or other forms of groupware, you should try to figure out what it is about group decision making that is not being supported by the technology.

The wacky topping choices from the PizzaWeb make the benchmark less realistic, but more fun.

On Pizza: (video .mov 8 MB login to myneu required) (audio 512 KB)

perrolle@ccs.neu.edu