Making the Reuse Business Work
Jacobson, Griss, Jonsson, IEEE Computer, Oct 97, pp36-42

If we take 15% as an approximation of the current rate of "passive" reuse that individual engineers achieve anyway and 90% as the figure more than a few organizations are achieving ...

Myths and misconceptions:

Change is risky in the near term, but failure to change is "too" risky in the long term.

Systematic reuse cannot be adopted piecemeal.

Systematic reuse is hard because at least five factors have to be interwoven and mastered:

Levels of complexity that demand that architecture preceed reuse:
  1. Small, well understood, application built by 1 or 2 programmers
  2. Large system attacked by groups of teams
  3. A family of application systems
  4. Component systems that are reusable throughout the family
  5. Add variability mechanisms to the components
  6. Expectation of long term return and leverage
In the past, architecture was not recognized as a separate function. Reuse requires coming to terms with specific planning for architecture. Architecture requires a separate team headed by a broadly experienced developer, assisted by the best people available. Architecture requires time. Getting the architecture right is one of the reasons it takes several years to move a reuse business into the black. Once the architecture is defined, it takes a smaller team to monitor its relevance and support modifications.

There has been a tendency to assume that the existing organization structure, given a few statistics on the benefits of reuse to motivate it, and given some technical training on the mechanics of reuse to empower it, could go forth and practice reuse. This approach has not been successful. One of the reasons is that existing software development is organized on a project basis. Systematic reuse rests on an organization structure adapted to its needs:

A rather lackadaisical reuse program in which a few indifferent creators provide a few components that developers don't much care for is not going to pay off. Reuse is not a "faith" that one hopes to spread. It is a business in which the company wishes to make money.