Workgroup structures in offshore software development projects: a vendor case study


Mathrani, Anuradha; Parsons, David; Stockdale, Rosemary

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Studies have shown that offshore development of software projects is not without its challenges, as development teams try to make sense of the organisational artefacts sent to them from distributed sites. These challenges are associated with; lack of implicit knowledge related to the client's functional work processes, inadequate coordination and control mechanisms, and lack of trust across dissimilarities. This paper describes how a vendor's organisational structures have been used to overcome the struggle associated with knowledge sharing in a virtual environment. The vendor has developed workgroup structures involving new boundary roles for building relationships with clients and coordination of project schedules at offshore development sites. Vendor employees located at the client country interpret the implicit knowledge related to the client's functional work processes, which are then translated over a centralised organisational portal to offshore development locations. Regular updates are maintained in the organisational portal to provide information on current project tasks to both clients and distributed team members. English language training is also provided to developers to improve trans-global communications.

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Conference paper


13th IEEE Enterprise Distributed Object Computing Conference Workshops (EDOCW 2009), Auckland, New Zealand, 01-04 September 2009, pp. 344-351






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