Institute for Software Research
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Challenges in Measuring, Understanding, and
Achieving Social-Technical Congruence

Anita Sarma, Jim Herbsleb, André van der Hoek*

April 2008


Keywords: Software development, congruence, socio-technical congruence

Congruence, the state in which a software development organization harbors sufficient coordination capabilities to meet the coordination demands of the technical products underdevelopment, is increasingly recognized as critically important to the performance of an organization. To date, it has been shown that a variety of states of incongruence may exist in an organization, with possibly serious negative effects on product quality, development progress, cost, and so on. Exactly how to achieve congruence, or knowing what steps to take to achieve congruence, is less understood. In this paper, we introduce a series of key challenges that we believe must be comprehensively addressed in order for congruence research to result in well-understood approaches, tactics, and tools – so these can be infused in the day-to-day practices of development organizations to improve their coordination capabilities with better aligned social and technical structures.

12 pages

*University of California at Irvine

Return to: SCS Technical Report Collection
School of Computer Science homepage

This page maintained by