The Value of Collaboration

Of the six factors the Product Development Success study identified that influence product development success, collaboration is the one on which companies perform the best. The average PDSI score of companies on the collaboration metric was a 78, which was the highest of any of the factors. That's the good news. The bad news? Not all companies seem to see the value of the IT side of the house and the Business side of the house working together.

The main measure of collaboration in the Product Development Success study was how well a company's IT and Business units work together to conceive and deliver new software products. Items that were measured to calculate the score included how often employees assist one another in completing tasks, how well information flows between team members, how much they learn from one another, their ability to cut across hierarchy and interact directly with any other team member, and the frequency with which suggestions are shared among team members. The companies in the study that have the most success developing new software products employ a collaborative process for making technical decisions.

While 35% of professionals in all companies say that business and technical leaders work together to make technical decisions for new software products, 43% of “somewhat successful” and 42% of “highly successful" companies collaborate on such decisions. Compare that to the 26% of "rarely successful" companies and 28% of "marginally successful" companies whose IT and Business leaders collaborate on the same decisions.

What does all this mean? That in a day and age where a company's bottom line can be dramatically affected by the success or failure of their software products, collaboration among employees and, more importantly, between departments is absolutely crucial.

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