Socio-technical congruence sabotaged by a hidden onshore outsourcing relationship: Lessons learned from an empirical study

Document type: Conference Papers
Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text:
Author(s): Darja Šmite, Zane Galviņa
Title: Socio-technical congruence sabotaged by a hidden onshore outsourcing relationship: Lessons learned from an empirical study
Journal: Lecture Notes in Computer Science
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Product-Focused Software Process Improvement, PROFES (Madrid)
Year: 2012
Volume: 7343
Pagination: 190-202
ISSN: 0302-9743
Publisher: Springer
URI/DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-31063-8_15
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: School of Computing (Sektionen för datavetenskap och kommunikation)
School of Computing S-371 79 Karlskrona
+46 455 38 50 00
http://www.bth.se/com
Language: English
Abstract: Despite the popularity of outsourcing arrangements, distributed software development is still regarded as a complex endeavor. Complexity primarily comes from the challenges in communication and coordination among participating organizations. In this paper we discuss lessons learned from participatory research carried out in a highly distributed onshore outsourcing project. Previous research established that socio-technical congruence principles alleviate distributed work. In practice we have found that alignment between the systems structure and organizational structure can be studied from different abstraction levels and also during different phases of project lifecycle. We have found that official organizational structure differed from the applied one, which meant that the planned alignment in task allocation strategies was broken. Our findings indicate that the lack of socio-technical congruence caused several implications, including unclear responsibilities, delays in problem turnaround, conflicting changes, and non-delivered parts.
Subject: Software Engineering\General
Keywords: Conway's law; Distributed software development; onshore; outsourcing; sociotechnical congruence
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