The Role of leadership in high performance software development teams



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The purpose of this research was to investigate the role of leadership in creating high performance software development teams. Of specific interest were the challenges faced by the Project Manager without a software engineering background. These challenges included management of a non-visible process, planning projects with significant uncertainty, and working with teams that don’t trust their leadership. Conclusions were drawn from the author’s experience as a software development manager facing these problems and a broad literature review of experts from the software and knowledge worker management fields. The primary conclusion was that, until the next big breakthrough, gains in software development productivity resulting from technology are limited. The only way for a group to distinguish itself as performing at the highest levels is teamwork enabled by good leadership.