Area 5 - Organisation: Decision-support for Offshoring Software Development

Area manager: Dr. Darja Smite
Post doctoral researcher: Dr. Stefanie Betz

Tight budgets and shortage in resources motivate many companies to engage in global software work and utilize resources in emerging nations. This has led to significant changes in the way software projects are executed today. Both distribution and relocation of software work across geographically, temporally and culturally distant sites has crucial implications on the organizational and engineering levels.

Distribution has significantly increased the complexity of software engineering processes and existing body of knowledge proved to be insufficient to address the challenges of diverse work scenarios enabled through globalization. Aiming to achieve significant return on investments in a short time, companies often fail to realize that global software work is enabled through various organizational settings: different locations, organizational relationships and types of work, to name a few. A deliberate business decision for building successful offshore collaborations thus requires an understanding of what works in a particular situation based on extensive empirical evidence.

While studies have identified that the assumed benefits of offshore development are neither clear‐cut nor can their realization be taken for granted, there is a lack of studies that have examined a broad range of offshore strategies and produced a comprehensive comparison of cost savings. This may be explained by the limited amount of cross-disciplinary research and the strong focus on the technical aspects of the problem. We thus recognize the necessity to enable a bridge between the software engineering needs and organizational settings through aligning business needs, organizational structures and engineering capability. Activities in the BESQ+  project will thus aim to study relevant findings from organization sciences and other disciplines, and test their implications for software organizations.

Expected output

  1. Classification of organizational settings enabled through offshore sourcing.
  2. A technique to quantitatively and qualitatively analyse the value created through different offshore sourcing approaches
  3. Validation of the role of compliance of organizational settings and software architecture with the Conway's law in determination of success or failure of offshore collaborations.

Relation to ongoing research projects: KK-Hög R2D2.
Industrial partners: Ericsson, Emerson Process Management.

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