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When we compare the performance of these three organisational and management approaches, we see some striking differences (Figure 2).

Figure 2

Interesting, isn’t it? Those taking a hub-and-spoke approach seem to find it easier to manage the distributed development process effectively, with the peer-to-peer model delivering less success. What's really telling, however, is that mixing the models appears to lead to many more issues. We can see this more explicitly if we break things out to the next level of detail (figure 3).

Figure 3

A key lesson here is that whichever approach you favour, it is important to be consistent. The kinds of governance frameworks, controls, and even support systems put in place to enable effective use of the hub and spoke model will be different to those required in a peer-to-peer development environment, and the evidence suggests that optimising for both is difficult to do.

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