VA Software Uncovers Impact of "Development Disconnect"
Survey shows poor collaboration still a problem for distributed and offshore development teams, resulting in delays, duplication and demotivation
Fremont, California January 10, 2005 A survey by VA Software Corporation (NASDAQ: LNUX), a leading provider of software, information and community support for IT and development professionals, has revealed the impact of poor collaboration within distributed software development teams. The survey showed that development organizations are becoming more widely dispersed. At the same time, eight in ten organizations reuse less than half of their digital assets and 44% miss project deadlines or budgets at least half of the time. In addition, 58% of development professionals work longer hours than a year ago, and 62% are more stressed than ever.
VA Software polled 176 IT and development professionals,1 including engineers, managers and directors. The company found that almost three-quarters (74%) of firms have more than one development location (by comparison, in May 2002, a survey by IDC for VA Software found that only 62% of organizations had more than one development location). Many have a high number of locations: 48% have four or more and 22% have more than twenty locations.
While 87% of the respondents admit that establishing a collaborative environment can solve a majority of the challenges posed by distributed development, less than half (46%) have taken the steps to create one in their organization.
As a result of this "development disconnect," 83% of respondents believe that their organization is reusing less than 50% of its digital assets (and 49% are reusing less than 30%). This is despite the fact that 86% say that reuse is `important' or `very important' for meeting their development goals. More than one in three (37%) even admitted that improving software reuse is the most pressing management challenge overall in their development organization. The main reason for inadequate reuse, cited by 34% of respondents, was the inability to access centrally-held documents, code and projects.
A quarter (25%) of respondents also said project quality would improve with better collaboration, while 20% felt there would be an increase in developer productivity and efficiency. Additionally, 18% of respondents felt that developers are most motivated by the ability to share ideas and concepts.
"Firms should increase transparency - the visibility of the project information to people who aren't team members - to improve coordination and help increase productivity," said Liz Barnett, vice president at Forrester Research. "Increased transparency can also improve the accountability and the performance of individual employees by providing a documented workflow and a basis for feedback. Leading development organizations know that disclosure improves business relationships and will communicate select information about project progress to customers."
"Traditionally, software development planning and execution was the exclusive domain of collocated IT and engineering organizations," said Sheila Baker, senior vice president, marketing, at VA Software. "But, today development teams are becoming increasingly distributed, whether due to the uptake of offshoring, outsourcing or acquisition, and more development initiatives are of interest to business managers as projects are conceived specifically to support their needs. As a result, giving open, trusted and real-time visibility to more stakeholders across the organization is vital, and can significantly increase the chances that business needs will be met on time and within budget."
To see the entire breakdown of VA Software's findings please visit: www.vasoftware.com/gateway/pollresults.php
About VA Software
VA Software (Nasdaq: LNUX) is at the center of today's technology revolution and incites innovation by empowering the IT and developer communities with information, community support and software. VA Software is the parent company of OSTG (Open Source Technology Group), formerly OSDN, and the creator of SourceForge. SourceForge.net is the global nexus for the Open Source community with more than 93,000 Open Source projects and over 985,000 registered users. SourceForge Enterprise Edition is an enterprise-grade version of SourceForge for optimizing and managing distributed development within the enterprise.
OSTG is the leading online network for IT managers and development professionals. OSTG technology and e-commerce focused sites include Slashdot.org, SourceForge.net, ITManagersJournal.com, NewsForge.com, Linux.com, freshmeat.net, ThinkGeek.com, and AnimationFactory.com. OSTG receives more than 270 million page views and nearly 18 million unique visitors every single month.
For more information about VA Software, visit www.vasoftware.com. For more information about OSTG, visit www.ostg.com.
1 Survey conducted in October 2004