About paying for productivity -- Paul Graham (Hackers and Painters) made a wonderful point --
"you need to be good to see who is good".
Very few people are good.
Most management of large projects looks for interchangable parts.
About 25 years there was a number of Programmer Productivity workshops/papers -- and the
conclusions were facinating...In some
controlled tests they gave a number of programmers a problem to solve.
a) There were as ~10x difference in productivity, code size and performance.
b) All good things came together (smaller, faster, tigher code written quicker).
The sample sizes were small (on the order of several dozen) -- with large
samples I would expect the differences to be even greater.