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Why Culture Determines Success

What does a company's culture have to do with its ability to conceive and launch successful new software products? Quite a bit, as it turns out. The recently conducted Product Development Success study found that culture is the single most important factor at determining whether or not a company will be able to develop software products successfully over time.

What makes for a culture that ultimately drives success? Employees must truly believe their contributions are valued at the organization and feel they have room to grow. A commitment to improvement processes must be strong and present in all levels of the organization, and proper rewards and recognition systems are also a must. By creating a culture that focuses on people and allows employees the flexibility to be creative, companies will be poised for tangible success in their new software product development function. Because this area carries the highest weight in calculating the overall index value and grade, improvements in this area have the largest impact on how a firm rates.

Among the items that were measured to determine a company's success at establishing a positive culture were:

  • Employee interaction
  • Employee retention
  • Talent acquisition
  • Career growth
  • Innovation from the top
  • Rewards & recognition

Perhaps not surprisingly, companies that prize collaboration between departments over siloed efforts are more likely to be successful at new software product development. One of the many stats in the study that bore this out was that highly successful (42%) and somewhat successful companies (43%) are much more likely to have IT & Business counterparts making collaborative technical decisions than marginally successful (28%) or rarely successful (26%) companies.

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