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We observe that organizational structure metrics are significantly better predictors for identifying failure-prone binaries in terms of precision, and recall compared to models built using code churn, code complexity, code coverage, code dependencies, and pre-release defect measures.
(Link is to abstract page, quote is from the PDF linked to from there, chart below is from the paper as well)

Comparison of different code failure prediction models showing Organizational Structure is the best predictor among them

Further research needs to be carried out to see if this generalizes beyond the Windows Vista team.

Needless to say, it's not a license to write crapcode, as those metrics are still good predictors of software defects, but it's interesting to note just how important organization is to software quality.

Thoughts?

Thanks to Sean Corfield for bringing the paper to my attention.

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