from the keep-'em-happy dept.
The research suggests that organizations that take a hands-off approach to the structure and governance of project teams create an environment of creative flexibility. This built-in flexibility makes teams more responsive to needed changes in the software they're building, boosting performance and customer satisfaction.
"By giving greater autonomy to your teams, you allow them to exercise greater judgment about what would actually work based on their project requirements," said Indranil Bardhan, a professor of information, risk and operations management at UT Austin's McCombs School of Business and co-author of the study. "We show there's no one right way of achieving superior project performance, no one-size-fits-all."
[...] Bardhan and co-author Narayan Ramasubbu of the University of Pittsburgh tested the performance of both agile and traditional project teams over 50 months in a real-world policy experiment at a major software company based in India. The company had 125,000 software developers around the world working on projects that adhered to an ideal operations profile closely monitored through a central unit.
Senior company directors wanted to learn whether greater autonomy for software development teams would hurt or help performance. For the study, they implemented a policy change granting greater autonomy to certain teams and agreeing to provide data on key performance measures -- for both autonomous and nonautonomous teams -- before and after the policy change.
Narayan Ramasubbu and Indranil R. Bardhan. Giving project teams more autonomy boosts productivity and customer satisfaction, MIS Quarterly, 2021 [abstract]