Socio-technical congruence: a framework for assessing the impact of technical and work dependencies on software development productivity

Abstract

The identification and management of work dependencies is a fundamental challenge in software development organizations. This paper argues that modularization, the traditional technique intended to reduce interdependencies among components of a system, has serious limitations in the context of software development. We build on the idea of congruence, proposed in our prior work, to examine the relationship between the structure of technical and work dependencies and the impact of dependencies on software development productivity. Our empirical evaluation of the congruence framework showed that when developers' coordination patterns are congruent with their coordination needs, the resolution time of modification requests was significantly reduced. Furthermore, our analysis highlights the importance of identifying the "right" set of technical dependencies that drive the coordination requirements among software developers. Call and data dependencies appear to have far less impact than logical dependencies.

DOI: 10.1145/1414004.1414008

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@inproceedings{Cataldo2008SociotechnicalCA, title={Socio-technical congruence: a framework for assessing the impact of technical and work dependencies on software development productivity}, author={Marcelo Cataldo and James D. Herbsleb and Kathleen M. Carley}, booktitle={ESEM}, year={2008} }