Next Generation Technology and Processes for Global Software Development

– Understanding and Improving Global Software Development Practices and Tools

The software development paradigm is changing with the rise of geographically distributed, global software development (GSD). Increasingly, organizations like NNIT A/S shift all or part of their software development offshore. Several studies show that compared to co-located projects, GSD projects are more likely to be unsuccessful due to geographical, temporal, and cultural distances, which hampers close collaboration.

This project aims at providing knowledge and tools for organizations to excel in software devel-opment on a global scale. The two core contributions of this project are (i) to leverage cultural diversity as an opportunity for increased innovation, and (ii) to build technologies that help practitioners to move from an outsourcing model to a collaborative model of GSD. The project consists of a strong interdisciplinary and international consortium of industrial and academic partners with substantial GSD experience – both from an industrial and a scientific point of view.

The overall aim of this project is to understand and improve GSD practices and technologies both on a practical/industrial level as well as on a scientific level. On both levels, the objective is to

  • understand challenges and opportunities in temporal, geographical, and cultural differences and develop new ways of conceptualizing and coping with cultural differences when managing complex GSD projects
  • design and empirically evaluate next generation GSD technologies that view GSD as collaboration rather than as outsourcing, and help software developers and end-users maintain a global awareness and a commitment to bridge across distances in software development
  • develop and empirically evaluate a framework of GSD processes, practices, norms, and guidelines appropriate for GSD projects.

For the industrial partners, the objective is to improve their GSD processes and tool. Competences, tools, methods and experience with GSD is already a key competitive parameter and this will only grow in the coming years. For the academic partners the main objective is to disseminate the findings to larger communities of practitioners and researchers.

The project is divided into 5 main work packages (WP):

  • WP1 – Field Studies: This work package aims at investigating the pre-existing, current, and future collaborative GSD work practices within the involved industrial partners.
  • WP2 – Activity-Based Infrastructure: The objective of this WP is to design and implement the reference architecture.
  • WP3 –Tool Suite: The objective of this WP is to design and develop the tool suite of next generation tools for GSD.
  • WP4 – GSD Processes & Practices: The purpose of this work package is to create the processes and practices framework for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of GSD projects.
  • WP5 – Industrial Trials: The objective of this WP is to carry out industrial trials of the key technologies to be developed in this project, including the ABC infrastructure, tool suite, and the processes and practices.