Before I started pairing I often felt that there was a gap between business and development -departments. Communication was mostly done via bug trackers or specifications. Issues were ofter dealt with via e-mail and misconceptions were common.
Since I started pairing I feel a greater (not perfect but better!) contact to the business and I think it’s because I’m used to take discussions. Both about coding details, but also and more important about usefulness of requirements. If we are stuck on an issue we walk over to business and solve the issue instead of making it an e-mail-reply-cc-all-thing.
If I’m working on an issue with a person I don’t know I start out by shaking hands and talking to the person about what he or she does in the company and how they interact with the tools. I tell them what resources we have for the issue and we discuss a possible solution together. Just common sense.
It feels like software development is a too social activity to be done alone! At least for me!