Institute for Software Research
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
Socio-Technical Congruence: A Framework for Assesing the Impact
of Technical and Work Dependencies on Software Development
Marcelo Cataldo*, James D. Herbsleb, Kathleen M. Carley
Keywords: Collaborative software development, coordination,
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, is not a sufficient
representation of work dependencies in the context of software development.
We build on the idea of congruence proposed by Cataldo et. al.  to examine
the relationship between the structure of technical and work dependencies
and their impact on software development productivity. Our empirical
evaluation of the congruence framework showed that when developer'
coordination patterns are congruent with their coordination needs, the
resolution time of modification requests was, on average, reduced by 32%.
Those findings highlight the importance of identifying the "right" set of
product dependencies that drive the coordination
requirements among software developers.
Research and Technology Center, Robert Bosch LLC, Pittsburgh, PA.