Supporting articulation work using software configuration management systems
Software product development is a highly collaborative activity, where teams of developers need to collaborate to produce a system. It is also a domain where systems are used to try to help the developers coordinate their work. This paper describes the results of an empirical study of the use of one such system, a configuration management tool. Specifically it describes three aspects of the support that the tool provides: the challenges of representing the work, the need to support both individuals and groups working together, and how the assumptions about software development built into the tool interact with others in the organization. The study suggests that long after the initial adoption the tool and the organization continue to interact with each other. It also opens up questions for empirical studies of the organizational context behind the tool usage.