Software Development Productivity: A New Way of Thinking

Ray Arell, Intel Corporation

Just as John Steinbeck was able to identify the complex system of tides, eddies, and other currents that bring nutrients to support life in the Pacific Ocean, you need to do the same for the complex human system that builds software products. Ray Arell argues that development productivity can increase only when you enable developers to grow and master the craftsmanship around their work. Describing a systems model of software productivity, Ray explores the elements necessary to “feed” the system and achieve the highest potential productivity. To help you diagnose systems issues, Ray demonstrates a visual tool-casual loop diagrams-that shows you how to identify and address the impediments that slow teams and degrade job satisfaction. He uses the same tool to show how agile and lean methods establish key reinforcing loops that improve productivity. After reviewing the characteristics of organizational agility, Ray addresses other key practices that foster higher performance teams: leadership style, governance, and open communication.

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