Thoughts And Conclusions

On a person-for-person basis, this organization is one of the most productive organizations we've studied. Such high productivity usually comes not only from good development and management practices, but from a high commitment of time and energy from its developers. Such behavior should be encouraged through the reward system, and by recognition, as it was at Borland.

The small team dynamics of this organization have been the dominant factor in its prodigious success: The high degree of parallelism, the interrupt-driven development, and the use of concurrent engineering, are all related to the team size. Other similarities to Borland QPW include the high degree of trust between members of the project; the tight coupling with respected and influential management; the centrality of the architecture function; tight code ownership and software anthropomorphism; and the even distribution of communication across all roles in the organization. These latter factors characterize a true team. Such distinguishing characteristics of organization and process should be carefully considered as key factors that differentiate highly productive organizations from most contemporary software development efforts, and the mature practices they use.