Using a Socio-Technical Model of a Global Software Development Project for Facilitating Risk Management and Improving the Project Structure

Ilia Bider, Henning Otto, Saga Willysson

Abstract


Any global software development project needs to deal with distances – geographical, cultural, time zone, etc. – between the groups of developers engaged in the project. To successfully manage the risks caused by such distances, there is a need to explicate and present the distances in a form suitable for manual or semi-automatic analysis, the goal of which is to detect potential risks and find ways of mitigating them. The article presents a technique of modeling a global software development project suitable for such analysis. The project is modeled as a complex socio-technical system that consists of functional components connected to each other through output-input relationships. The components do not coincide with the organizational units of the project, and their teams can be distributed through the geographical and organizational landscape of the project. The modeling technique helps to explicate and represent various kinds of distances between the functional components to determine which of them constitute risk factors. The technique was developed during two case studies, of which the second is used for presenting and demonstrating the new modeling technique in the article.

Keywords:

Global software development; GSD; Distance; System; Risk management; Modeling; Team; Socio-technical

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DOI: 10.7250/csimq.2018-15.01

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