Saroj Pamulapati; Divya Gaddipati MSE-2011:67, pp. 128. COM/School of Computing, 2011.
Context: Global software development (GSD) can be defined as distributing the software
development work among various teams, which are geographically distributed. Global
software development is being widely used nowadays in software industries because of the
numerous advantages offered. Follow-the-sun (FTS) approach is a sub-division of global
software engineering where unfinished work is handed off every day from one development
site to another development site, which are many time zones apart and hence development
takes place round the clock instead of just eight hours per day.
Objectives: The objective of this study is to explore whether by implementing follow-the-
sun approach in the development phase of the software life cycle, the time-to-market can be
reduced by 50% when compared to the traditional method of software development.
Methods: In this research to fulfil the objectives, systematic literature review and an
experiment were conducted. In literature review a number of papers that are related to this
study were identified from the databases such as Engineering Village, IEEE Xplore, Springer
Link, ISI Web of Knowledge, Science Direct, ACM Digital Library and Wiley Inter Science
Journal Finder. From these databases, all the related work on follow-the-sun approach that
has been done so far was collected and the selection was done through tollgate approach. An
experiment was conducted at Blekinge Tekniska Högskola with the students of the computer
science engineering field as subjects of the experiment. The three software development
scenarios that are tested in the experiment are co-located scenario, follow-the-sun with
overlap scenario and follow-the-sun without overlap scenario. The experiment compares the
results of the co-located scenario with the results of the follow-the-sun with overlap scenario
and follow-the-sun without overlap scenario.
Results: The results from the experiment showed that there is reduction in time-to-market by
22% when using follow-the-sun with overlap scenario and there is a reduction of 10% in the
time-to-market when using follow-the-sun without scenario when compared to the co-
Conclusions: We conclude that follow-the-sun approach has an advantage of reduction in
time-to-market when compared to the traditional co-located approach. But more research
needs to be done in finding out the challenges and their mitigation strategies that will be
beneficial for the organizations in order to adopt this process. From the findings of the
literature review we have observed that due to the communication and collaboration
problems, organizations are finding it difficult to achieve the desired benefits from the
follow-the-sun approach. As a part of this study we conducted an experiment and we report
the various challenges that have been noticed during the execution. From the experiment
results we observe that there is a difference in the results between the theory and the
practical implementation. We conclude that though the time-to-market can be certainly
reduced when using follow-the-sun approach, but the reduction in the development time by
50% is questionable. This may be achieved by emphasizing on the challenges and by
mitigating the same thereby bringing it closer to 50%.