Impact of Classes of Development Coordination Tools on Software Development Performance: A Multinational Empirical Study

Author(s): Amrit Tiwana
Venue: ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology (TOSEM)
Date: 2008



As both the complexity and novelty of software projects increases, many software development organizations are adopting a wide variety of tools to improve performance and productivity. The field study asses empirically the relationship between development coordination tools and software development performance in 209 organizations.

The author finds that higher development performance was associated with configuration management tools only in projects with a singular type of novelty, and no efficiency-effectiveness trade-offs were observed. SCM tools help to maintain consistency with evolving requirements as development progresses in conceptually novel projects, which proactively prevents mismatches between specifications and their associated artifacts lowering the need for additional work to correct defects.

However, the use of configuration management tools to track various versions of a software project could create unnecessary overhead in singularly novel projects. Additionally, if the specifications and requirements of a project are too complex and time consuming to track, it could be due to the lack of an established software development process.