- Hardcover: 528 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (March 7, 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195062167
- ISBN-13: 978-0195062168
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.6 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,953,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Japan's Software Factories: A Challenge to U.S. Management 1st Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
"A much-needed dose of reality for every programmer or manager...does a fine job of defining, through five detailed case studies, the domain where the software factory approach works...it's important you read this book...the approach does work and will gain in popularity...may prove vital to the health of your career."--Computer Language
"Since the mid-1980s, various studies have noted the advantages of Japan's more structured approach to software writing. But most were poorly researched and largely ignored. Cusumano claims to have done the most thorough, quantitative analysis of the issue, and his work is turning heads in the U.S."--The Wall Street Journal
"Valuable to practitioners and academics in such fields as engineering, management, and computer science. It should also be fascinating to students of business and economic history."--Journal of Asian Studies
"The fascinating story of the Japanese software factory is documented in Japan's Software Factories....With software at the core of efforts to boost efficiency and productivity, the country with the best software will have a major strategic advantage in the 21st century. Japanese software factories have made important advances in moving forward a most vexing, hard-to-manage technology. Their methods merit close study."--Across The Board
"For anyone involved with the issues of software and competitiveness, this is essential reading."--Software Productivity Consortium Quarterly
About the Author
Michael A. Cusumano is at Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
In his subsequent books, especially those on Microsoft and Netscape, Cusumano slowly discovers that the traditional software development process, requirements/specifications/code, etc., e.g. the waterfall model, is *NOT* the model adopted by successful software companies (and, indeed, not the model adopted by many hardware companies). He learns that designs are not something to be churned out by a factory - indeed, if they can be churned out, then they should be reusing exactly the same software.
In some ways the packaged software industry, e.g. Microsoft, supplanted the custom software industry in this timeframe, the time of the PC; Microsoft's process, which Cusumano calls "synchronize and stabilize", may be considered to be JIT (Just In Time) software specification and development. Or, if not Just In Time, As Soon As Possible and No Earlier than Necessary.
While I cannot agree with the conclusions of this book, it is interesting to have on one's bookshelf, to see the evolution of the author's thought over time.
In fact, the evidence provided in Cusumano's more recent book, The Business of Software suggests that these methods work very well indeed. In the study reported in that book, Japanese development firms outperform US and Indian firms significantly on productivity and by an enormous margin on quality. I would suggest that this is a direct result of the programs described in this book and the gradual, but continuous improvements they produced.
Japan hasn't fared as well as the US in software products or as well as India in outsourcing, but that has more to do with other factors than with the methods described here. If Japan had India's labor rates, they could compete very well indeed in outsourcing. If they had America's entrepreneurial environment, venture capital community, educational system, language (English) and the world's largest domestic market, they might have done better in software products. As it is, comparing Hitachi's success in the software industry to, say Netscape's, is misleading. Compare them instead to GE, Xerox, HP, etc., none of whom made a dent in the software industry either. Large corporations, almost universally, move too slow to capture an emerging software market.
One final note, these methods are NOT appropriate for a software startup, but as the software industry continues to mature, values such as productivity and quality will become increasingly important and Japan's software factories can deliver those qualities in spades. In that environment, methods geared to fast moving markets may put you at a disadvantage.
I would give this book five stars if it were more current.