Impact of coordination challenges on quality of global software development projects

University essay from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Institutionen för programvaruteknik

Abstract: Context. Global software development (GSD) gained huge recognition in today’s business world. Most of the software companies day by day are striving hard to evolve globally where software is developed in the context of different environmental settings that are distanced on various factors like geography, timezone, culture and language. Coordination is the factor that plays one of the prominent roles in such a setting for effective teamwork and project success. Although numerous efforts has been done in this research area, there has been no proper evidence from industry about the impact of these coordination challenges on the overall quality of the software when being developed in a distributed setting. Objectives. The purpose of this study is to examine and identify the coordination challenges and risks faced in global software development projects that has a negative impact on the quality of software from practitioner’s perspective. It also identify the tools, methods, and techniques that are used in industry to overcome these challenges and maintain quality standards. Methods. The aims and objectives of our study are fulfilled by conducting survey among practitioners working in GSD projects all around the globe. Further, 10 interviews are conducted with practitioners working in different companies and geographical locations in order to gain a detailed understanding of the impact of identified coordination challenges on the quality of software in GSD projects. Results. A total of 50 survey responses are recorded, out of which 48 respondents specify that coordination challenges has a negative impact on software quality in GSD context. By the ratings given by the participants, we identified the challenges and risks that had a major impact. Mixed results are obtained during interviews where most of them prioritized coordination as a major problem in GSD projects. It also included that use of some tools, methods and processes help them in overcoming this issue. The quality attributes that are mostly affected due to the challenges in GSD projects are also identified. Conclusions. After the analysis of survey results, the coordination challenges and associated risks in GSD projects are identified. They were found to havemostly negative impact on software quality. After thematic analysis of interview results, we observed that though the impact of coordination challenges is negative, its extent of implication is moderate in most cases.

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