Japan's Software Factories; A Challenge to U.S. Management

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Though Japan has successfully competed with U.S. companies in the manufacturing and marketing of computer hardware, it has been less successful in developing computer programs. This book contains the first detailed analysis of how Japanese firms have tried to redress this imbalance by applying their skills in engineering and production management to software development. Cusumano focuses on the creation of "software factories" in which large numbers of people are engaged in developing software in cooperative ways—i.e. individual programs are not developed in isolation but rather utilize portions of other programs already developed whenever possible, and then yield usable portions for other programs being written. Devoting chapters to working methods at System Developing Corp., Hitachi, Toshiba, NEC, and Fujitsu, and including a comparison of Japanese and U.S. software factories, Cusumano's book will be important reading for all people involved in software and computer technology, as well as those interested in Japanese business and corporate culture.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195062168
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/28/1990
  • Pages: 528
  • Lexile: 1680L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 1.59 (d)

Table of Contents

Part I: The Software Challenge
1. Product-Process Strategy and Japan's Software Industry
2. The Technology: Recurring Problems and Integrated Solutions
Part II: The Factory Approach
3. System Development Corporation: A U.S. Factory Experiment
4. Hitachi: Organizing for Process and Quality Control
5. Toshiba: Linking Productivity and Reusability
6. NEC: A Multiproduct, Multiprocess Factory Network
7. Fujitsu: Process Control to Automated Customization
8. Standardization and Cooperative R&D
9. Software Development: From Craft to Factory Practice
A. Survey of Manager Emphases: The Process Spectrum
B. Japanese and U.S. Project Performance
C. Market Shares and Customer Satisfaction in Japan

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