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Abstract

Follow The Sun (FTS) has interesting appeal - hand-off work at the end of every day from one site to the next, many time zones away, in order to speed up product development. While the potential impact on "time-to-market" can be profound, at least conceptually, FTS has enjoyed very few documented industry successes because it is acknowledged to be extremely difficult to implement. In order to address this "FTS challenge" we provide here a conceptual foundation and formal definition of FTS. We then analyze the conditions under which FTS can be successful in reducing duration in software development. We show that handoff efficiency is paramount to successful FTS practices and that duration can be reduced only when lower within- site coordination and improved personal productivity outweigh the corresponding increase in cross-site coordination. We also develop 12 research propositions based on fundamental issues surrounding FTS, such as: calendar efficiency, development method, product architecture and hand-off efficiency, within-site coordination, cross-site coordination, and personal productivity. We combine the conceptual analysis with a description of our FTS exploratory comparative field studies and draw out their key findings and learning. The main implication of this article is that understanding calendar efficiency, hand-off efficiency, within-site coordination and cross-site coordination is necessary to evaluation - if FTS is to be successful in reducing software development duration.

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... To tackle these challenges related to work dispersion, firms have adopted specialized process mechanisms and tools for distributed work that go beyond software development methodologies typically found in co-located settings [68]. Those processes attempt to reduce information asymmetry and improve common ground, familiarity, and trust between distributed software teams [6,69]. Adoption of such work processes specially designed for distributed teams would help to satisfy the technical, temporal, and process coordination needs of distributed teams [19]. ...
... To address this, a scoping activity is undertaken at t 4 that helps the explicit identification of technical debt embedded in the system and the finalization of contract terms at t 5 . We assess the client's initial visibility of technical debt based on this scoping activity; the scope of the project may change if the vendor unearths new technical debt as the project progresses (between t 5 and t 6 ). If such a scope change occurs, we accordingly update the client's visibility of technical debt. ...
... Thus, we were able to verify the self-reported information by mapping them with the audited information in the project metrics databases. Overall, after triangulating the survey and project task accounting data, we derived four measures of control balancing: (1) a binary measure (CBLB) that indicates the presence or absence of control balancing in a project, (2) a count or "moves" measure (CBLM) based on our grouping of the task codes based on their execution timelines, 6 (3) an effort measure (CBLE) derived using the task codes reported by project personnel, which indicates the extent of project effort spent on control balancing activities, and (4) a composite self-reported measure (CBLS) that captures the extent of changes in a project's control configurations (measured using the control type, control style, and control degree dimensions). Table 1 lists the variables in our dataset along with their measurement and literature references. ...
Article
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Technical debt refers to maintenance obligations that stem from violations of established standards during the development and subsequent maintenance of enterprise systems. Technical debt remediation is particularly challenging in the outsourcing context due to information asymmetry between client and vendor teams. Control balancing-the periodic adjustments to the control configurations of outsourced projects has been proposed as a process to help mitigate these information asymmetry challenges. Using data collected from 1,824 real-world projects, we tested to what extent control balancing improves the remediation of technical debt. After controlling for a number of technical and environmental factors, including system size, system lifespan, and contract parameters, we find that control balancing can benefit technical debt remediation, but primarily when processes for migrating technical debt-laden systems to new technological platforms have been identified. We highlight the role of technical debt in influencing the effects of relational flexibility in inter-firm engagements.
... To tackle these challenges related to work dispersion, firms have adopted specialized process mechanisms and tools for distributed work that go beyond software development methodologies typically found in co-located settings [68]. Those processes attempt to reduce information asymmetry and improve common ground, familiarity, and trust between distributed software teams [6,69]. Adoption of such work processes specially designed for distributed teams would help to satisfy the technical, temporal, and process coordination needs of distributed teams [19]. ...
... To address this, a scoping activity is undertaken at t 4 that helps the explicit identification of technical debt embedded in the system and the finalization of contract terms at t 5 . We assess the client's initial visibility of technical debt based on this scoping activity; the scope of the project may change if the vendor unearths new technical debt as the project progresses (between t 5 and t 6 ). If such a scope change occurs, we accordingly update the client's visibility of technical debt. ...
... Thus, we were able to verify the self-reported information by mapping them with the audited information in the project metrics databases. Overall, after triangulating the survey and project task accounting data, we derived four measures of control balancing: (1) a binary measure (CBLB) that indicates the presence or absence of control balancing in a project, (2) a count or "moves" measure (CBLM) based on our grouping of the task codes based on their execution timelines, 6 (3) an effort measure (CBLE) derived using the task codes reported by project personnel, which indicates the extent of project effort spent on control balancing activities, and (4) a composite self-reported measure (CBLS) that captures the extent of changes in a project's control configurations (measured using the control type, control style, and control degree dimensions). Table 1 lists the variables in our dataset along with their measurement and literature references. ...
Preprint
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Technical debt refers to maintenance obligations that stem from violations of established design standards during development, implementation, and subsequent maintenance of enterprise software systems. Technical debt requires remediation, and in this study we examine technical debt remediation projects by firms who have outsourced the maintenance of their enterprise systems to external service providers. Remediation of technical debt is particularly challenging in the outsourcing context due to information asymmetry between client and vendor teams. Recent research on managing outsourced projects has proposed control balancing—the periodic adjustments to the control configurations of outsourced projects—as a process that may help mitigate these information asymmetry challenges. We bring together the research literature on both technical debt and control balancing in order to address the question of whether, and to what extent, control balancing improves the remediation of technical debt. We empirically answer the research question using data collected from 1,824 real-world projects executed by an outsourcing service provider. We find that control balancing can benefit remediation of technical debt, but primarily when the vendor and its clients have identified a long-term engagement process for migrating the technical debt-laden system to a new technological platform. Results of our analysis also show that the visibility of the technical debt and the maturity of distributed work processes in the outsourced projects both positively affect control balancing engagement between the vendor and its clients. By contrast, higher levels of industry competitiveness and of service system volatility negatively affect the conduct of control balancing activities. These results provide a contingent perspective of the benefits of engaging in control balancing in IT outsourcing engagements. We discuss the implications of our findings for the research literatures on technical debt, information systems controls, and IT outsourcing.
... The concept of global software development (GSD) has become a necessity for the software development industry [1,2]. Majority of the software development organizations are scaling the development activities in the domain of GSD [1]. ...
... The concept of global software development (GSD) has become a necessity for the software development industry [1,2]. Majority of the software development organizations are scaling the development activities in the domain of GSD [1]. GSD is a blend of advancement towards new technologies and beginning of established business models [1]. ...
... Majority of the software development organizations are scaling the development activities in the domain of GSD [1]. GSD is a blend of advancement towards new technologies and beginning of established business models [1]. The key concept of GSD is performing the software development activities beyond the geographical, cultural and temporal boundaries [3][4][5]. ...
... Mobile and virtual work is largely executed by teams and networks of professionals striving to be both productive and creative, often in a highly international environment. Their partners and co-workers are temporally and geographically (often globally) distributed, which creates challenges in daily work arrangements such as collaboration schedules (Carmel, Espinosa & Dubinsky, 2010;Saunders, Van Slyke & Vogel, 2004). To be able to succeed in these circumstances, professionals need to use a common language (Marschan, Welch & Welch, 1997) and recurrently extend their working hours to be able to work across time zones (Fenner & Renn, 2004;2010). ...
... Hindrances related to the demand to collaborate across time zone differences Temporal dispersion refers to the difference in working times among distributed team members (Carmel, 1999;Espinosa, DeLone & Lee, 2006;Munkvold & Zigurs, 2007;Powell, Piccoli & Ives, 2004). Even though operating across time zones is a resource for MNCs and their workers, internationally distributed teams and networks have also regarded it as demanding (Carmel, Espinosa & Dubinsky, 2010;O'Leary & Cummings, 2007;Saunders, Van Slyke & Vogel, 2004). Crossing temporal boundaries requires more attention and time for tasks from collaborating partners. ...
... Crossing temporal boundaries requires more attention and time for tasks from collaborating partners. Mobile and virtual workers face demands related to the time they have available for synchronous interaction because of the temporal distribution of their co-workers, collaboration partners and clients (Carmel, Espinosa & Dubinsky, 2010;Espinosa & Carmel, 2003;O'Leary & Cummings, 2007;Saunders, Van Slyke & Vogel, 2004). ...
Article
Full-text available
This dissertation aims to understand how mobile and virtual workers experience and manage their collaboration-related job demands in cross-boundary work in multinational companies (MNC), and how this affects their well-being and performance. Successful collaboration in mobile and virtual work is demanding when collaborating from afar, frequently changing locations and across time zones made possible by mobile information and communication technology (mICT) and a common company language, usually English.
... Being enticing and even risky, FTS has always been the temptress of time zones [16]. Many companies have tried to implement FTS, but have abandoned it at some point because of the difficulty of putting it into practice [17]. In the literature, few studies provide evidence of the successful implementation of FTS in software projects. ...
... Performing handoffs creates dependencies between production sites [17]. The team that will be starting the workday shift depends on the status update and project source from the last production site. ...
... Carmel et al. [17] provides a conceptual foundation and a formal definition of FTS. Even though this study is not a systematic literature review, the authors summarize findings from the literature. ...
Article
Context: Follow the Sun (FTS) development is a special case of Global Software Development. It is applied in the context of global projects to reduce the software development life-cycle duration. A number of studies have attempted to aggregate a better understanding of FTS development, but it is still an immature research area. Objective: This paper aims to investigate the existing empirical evidence about FTS research with a focus on identifying what research has been conducted in the area and which results have been obtained. Method: To achieve this goal, we performed a systematic mapping study to answer our research questions: “Which FTS studies have been published in the literature?” and “What empirical support is provided for them?” We investigated papers published between 1990 and 2017. The synthesis was made through classifying the papers into different categories (research topics, research methods, conferences and journals venues for FTS research, and countries involved in FTS research). Results: We selected 57 papers using a predefined search strategy. The majority of the papers discussing FTS were published in the International Conference on Global Software Engineering (ICGSE). The main research topic addressed is processes and organization development for FTS. Case studies combined with the interview as a research sub-method is adopted in the most studies performed in FTS. The majority of the existing research and the most active researchers in this topic are from the United States and Brazil. However, India and the United States are the countries that appear most often in the studies conducted to investigate FTS. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that FTS software development is an up-to-date research topic in Software Engineering. However, little information about FTS has been published over the last few years. The emergent need in this research is the development of evaluation research for testing FTS feasibility and effectiveness in practice.
... Client organizations, ranging from large to small companies, aim to benefit from GSD because vendors organizations in developing countries typically cost significantly less than in-house operations [4] . Furthermore, organizations also aim to take advantage of the followthe-sun development model [5] . ...
... Similarly, Hanssen et al. [40] presented a systematic literature review with a focus on the application of agile methodologies in GSD. Carmel et al. [5] presented a mapping study to explore the challenges and best practice for project management in the global software development paradigm. Furthermore, Marques et al. [41] and Verner et al. [42] presented tertiary studies to categorize systematic reviews conducted in the GSD context. ...
... Lamersdorf et al. [11] argue that time zone differences have a positive as well as negative impact on overall effort. GSD project managers typically use time zone difference to their advantage and decrease the overall delay by allowing 24 h development, that is, "follow-the-sun" [5,12] or "round the clock development" [5,36] under certain conditions, such as mature process, and ultimately decrease overall effort. On the other hand, time shift between sites increases communication and coordination problems which cause increases in delays and overall effort [31] and also time zone difference may necessitate night shifts which decrease employee motivation and ultimately decrease productivity [37] . ...
Article
Full-text available
Context Planning and managing task allocation in Global Software Development (GSD) projects is both critical and challenging. To date, a number of models that support task allocation have been proposed, including cost models and risk-based multi-criteria optimization models. Objective The objective of this paper is to identify the factors that influence task allocation in the GSD project management context. Method First, we implemented a formal Systematic Literature Review (SLR) approach and identified a set of factors that influence task allocation in GSD projects. Second, a questionnaire survey was developed based on the SLR, and we collected feedback from 62 industry practitioners. Results The findings of this combined SLR and questionnaire survey indicate that site technical expertise, time zone difference, resource cost, task dependency, task size and vendor reliability are the key criteria for the distribution of work units in a GSD project. The results of the t-test show that there is no significant difference between the findings of the SLR and questionnaire survey. However, the industry study data indicates that resource cost and task dependency are more important to a centralized GSD project structure while task size is a key factor in a decentralized GSD project structure. Conclusion GSD organizations should try to consider the identified task allocation factors when managing their global software development activities to better understand, plan and manage work distribution decisions.
... Europe could provide advantage to other software development firms in east that are pursuing fast growth; by outsourcing their projects due to multiple reasons such as government support, developed infrastructure, economic incentives and collaboration [3,10]. However, challenges such as temporal, socio-cultural and geographical distances are causing hurdles regarding adaptation agile in GSD [7,[10][11][12]. In addition to these challenges, customer satisfaction, system quality, business and market needs, tight project deadlines and frequent feedback [7,13] motivated the various software development organizations to impose agile methods in field of GSD [5,14,15]. ...
... Although, there are many benefits of ASD but in GSD domain, the scaling agile methods are challenging and could cause complications for development activities [11]. Along with coordination, proper informal communication between software professionals is required to control intense situation of agile process in GSD environment. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
In modern software development world, experts are trying to provide the best solutions to their clients. To achieve this, the organizations opt for the agile software development process as it enables them to develop and deliver the product in-time and as per clients expectations. Consequently, in software engineering industry, the Global Software Development (GSD) is the most widely considering software development paradigm as it offers significant strategic and business gains. Seeking the benefits of GSD, the European software engineering organizations are outsourcing their development activities in developing countries. Considering the criticalities of agile adoption in GSD, this work empirically studies the motivators that could positively influence the execution of agile-based GSD in European software industry. A quantitative survey was conducted and data from 139 practitioners working in agile and GSD based projects was collected. The collected observations were further analyzed using Smart-PLS (3.0). The results show that the identified motivators are important to consider by industry experts to successfully apply the agile practices in GSD context.
... The consultancy service time difference is a key issue however, Erran Carmel (Carmel, Espinosa, & Dubinsky, 2010) the clock framework of time zone solutions has 10 solutions which are divided into three groups: 24-hour culture, liaison (which encompasses process and culture), and process and technology. For different organizations, this framework will work depending on the industry that the organization is in, for example, finance, human resources, manufacturing, and so on. ...
... Deokar and Sarnikar (2016) identified a clockwork framework that addresses the issues of time-zone differences. One section is liaisons, which are usually the on-site coordinators or middle manager who becomes the human bridge between distant geographic locations and relies heavily on real-time channels (mostly voice; Carmel et al., 2010). Alternatively, a local champion from each department can be identified that can advocate for re-engineering processes and its benefits and advantages to stakeholders and employees (Deokar & Sarnikar, 2016). ...
Chapter
One of the most important tools in any organization today is the management information system which aims to provide reliable, complete, accessible, and understandable information in a timely manner to the users of the system. The management information system (MIS) plays a similar role compared to the role of heart in the body; information is the blood and MIS is the heart. The system ensures that appropriate data is collected from the various sources, processed, and sent further to all the needy destinations. The system is expected to address the information needs of an individual, a group of individuals, and the management functionaries: the middle managers and executive level management.
... • Reduced development costs • Leveraging time-zone effectiveness • Cross-site modularization of development work • Access to a large, skilled labor pool • Innovation and shared best practices • Closer proximity to market and customers (Conchúir et al., 2009, p. 131) Because labor accounts for over 75% of the costs associated with software development (Amoribieta, Bhaumik, Kanakamedale, & Parkhe, 2001, p. 130), hiring developers in nations with low costs of living can create significant savings (Cho, 2007). Also, by leveraging time-zone effectiveness, it is theoretically possible to maintain a round-the-clock workday by handing off work from site to site (Carmel, Espinosa, & Dubinsky, 2010). Or, rather than handing work off in a serial fashion, it may be possible to divide and conquer a project more quickly by spreading work out through parallel activities facilitated by modular software designs (Herbsleb, 2007). ...
... (Farmer, 2013) Though the time-zone advantage worked in a general sense for WEA--for instance, overnight software build testing in China-they found that trying to minimize development time through highly structured hand-offs was impractical. In agreement, Carmel et al. (2010) recognize the limitations of FTS, writing, We acknowledge that it is possible that even after concerted efforts, the FTS challenge may not be achievable and we may need to conclude that there are no achievable benefits to FTS, in which case the label may well be "the FTS myth." (p. ...
... The emphasis of a group perspective on coordination has been on the distributed efforts of team members to locate, recognize and synthesize diverse knowledge in novel IT-enabled organizational contexts, such as geographically distributed software development teams (Carmel, Espinosa, & Dubinsky, 2010;Cummings, Espinosa, & Pickering, 2009;Espinosa, Slaughter, Kraut, & Herbsleb, 2007a;Espinosa, Slaughter, Kraut, & Herbsleb, 2007b;Kanawattanachai & Yoo, 2007). Inspired by studies in the field of social psychology (Stasser, Stewart, & Wittenbaum, 1995), transactive memory systems (Wegner, 1987(Wegner, , 1995, collective mind (Weick & Roberts, 1993), and distributed cognition (Hutchins, 1995), coordination is conceptualized as a distributed cognitive process occurring in and through the actual interactions and heedful interrelations among group members; rather than in virtue of intelligent design of interdependence management. ...
... Inspired by studies in the field of social psychology (Stasser, Stewart, & Wittenbaum, 1995), transactive memory systems (Wegner, 1987(Wegner, , 1995, collective mind (Weick & Roberts, 1993), and distributed cognition (Hutchins, 1995), coordination is conceptualized as a distributed cognitive process occurring in and through the actual interactions and heedful interrelations among group members; rather than in virtue of intelligent design of interdependence management. A group perspective has been particularly productive in illuminating coordination processes in temporally and geographically distributed teams (Carmel et al., 2010;Cummings et al., 2009;Espinosa et al., 2007a), virtual teams (Kanawattanachai & Yoo, 2007), novel software development project arrangements (e.g., agile programming) (Maruping, Zhang, & Venkatesh, 2009) as well as different team-based offshore outsourcing. ...
Article
Full-text available
Identifying and revising outdated theoretical assumptions and metaphors is crucial to build new theory about emerging digitally-enabled coordination phenomena. Based on an extensive review of the extant coordination literature, however, we find that the majority of published manuscripts in top IS and management journals has adopted the well-known and understood (by authors, editors and reviewers alike) strategies of "gap-spotting", i.e., pointing at gaps in knowledge, and/or "theory-borrowing", i.e., borrowing unfamiliar theories from a different discipline, to construct and legitimize contributions. Hardly any manuscript has systematically used a problematization strategy, i.e. a theory-building strategy that focuses on explicating and revising underlying theoretical assumptions. To improve the explicit and systematic use of problematization, we do two things. First, we distinguish between phenomenon-driven and theory-driven problematization and hence outline options for how researchers could adopt the former. Second, we explicitly problematize the extant coordination literature. We show that, in contrast to its alternatives, problematization helps coordination researchers identify and address the limits of existing theoretical metaphors, which are dominant in the literature.
... O Follow-the-Sun (FTS) é uma estratégia de Global Software Development (GSD) 1 que se caracteriza pelo desenvolvimento de software por 24 horas contínuas. O seu principal objetivo é reduzir o tempo de produção do produto para colocação no mercado (time-tomarket) [Carmel Espinosa e Dubinsky 2010]. No entanto, o FTS ainda é pouco praticado pelas empresas e muitas vezes até mal compreendido, devido as dificuldades que há em implementá-lo. ...
... O desenvolvimento round-the-clock é um método utilizado para a redução do tempo de duração de um projeto, no qual o conhecimento que envolve o produto é de propriedade do local de produção. O handoff produzido no final de cada dia de trabalho é passado para o próximo local de produção que está em um diferente fuso horário [Carmel Espinosa e Dubinsky 2010]. Embora a ideia do desenvolvimento round-theclock seja promissora, ainda há poucas evidências da sua eficiência, especialmente quando implementado para alta granularidade de tarefas [Visser e Solingen 2009 Desenvolvimento round-the-clock é possível observar que não há uma dependência de handoffs da equipe anterior para dar continuidade a tarefa. ...
Conference Paper
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Follow-the-Sun (FTS) is a software development strategy applied to global software development by 24 continuous hours. However, the FTS is few practiced by companies and sometimes misunderstood. Thus, with purpose to provide a conceptual basis to FTS implementation, this paper presents the characterization and distinction of the FTS based on the comparison of others definitions found in the literature. In addition, we also present learned lessons with case studies already conducted in the area. Resumo. O Follow-the-Sun (FTS) é uma estratégia de desenvolvimento de software global que é aplicada para o desenvolvimento de software por 24 horas contínuas. No entanto, o FTS é pouco praticado pelas empresas e muitas vezes até mal compreendido. Dessa forma, com o propósito de fornecer uma base conceitual para a aplicação do FTS, neste artigo é apresentada a caracterização e distinção do FTS com base na comparação de outras definições encontradas na literatura. Além disso, apresentamos também lições aprendidas com estudos de caso conduzidos na área. 1. Introdução O Follow-the-Sun (FTS) é uma estratégia de Global Software Development (GSD) 1 que se caracteriza pelo desenvolvimento de software por 24 horas contínuas. O seu principal objetivo é reduzir o tempo de produção do produto para colocação no mercado (time-to-market) [Carmel Espinosa e Dubinsky 2010]. No entanto, o FTS ainda é pouco praticado pelas empresas e muitas vezes até mal compreendido, devido as dificuldades que há em implementá-lo. Na literatura, também não existe uma uniformidade de processos e conceitos entre os autores que abordam o assunto. Nesse trabalho, com o propósito de fornecer uma base conceitual para a aplicação da estratégia FTS pelas empresas, são apresentadas as características que definem o FTS e é realizada uma comparação entre os demais conceitos encontrados na literatura e que são referenciados com o mesmo sentido. Além disso, a partir de alguns estudos de caso publicados, foram identificadas lições aprendidas com a aplicação da estratégia FTS. A contribuição deste artigo está em fornecer um melhor entendimento e 1 O Global Software Development (GSD) é também referenciado na literatura como Global Software Engineering (GSE), Distributed Software Engineering (DSE) ou Desenvolvimento Distribuído de Software (DDS) [Prikladnicki e Audy 2010] [Jabangwe e Nurdiani 2010]. O termo será mantido em inglês, visto que a tradução em alguns casos pode comprometer o uso do termo.
... This creates time-based Oa advantages in which around-the-clock organization of work enables firms to tap into diverse sources of knowledge and expertise, utilize low-cost resources, and reduce turnaround time. In parallel, dispersion of activities across temporally separated subunits enables MNEs to appropriate greater returns from their Oa by leveraging them around the clock (Carmel, 2006;Carmel, Espinosa, & Dubinsky, 2010;Zaheer, 2000). ...
Article
Full-text available
The experience of COVID-19 prompted us to rethink the imperatives of distance for the organization of value-creating activities globally. We advance a conceptualization of distance as representing separation in both space and time and posit that these distance dimensions represent different kinds of separation and require varied theoretical attention. We delineate the intrinsic qualities of spatial and temporal distances and theorize the impact of this extended conceptualization of distance on major tenets of international business theory and their predictions regarding the patterns of international business activity. We illustrate the ways by which varying configurations of spatial and temporal distances serve different value-creating activities and draw their implications for countries’ global integration. We advance a call for more attention to time and temporal distance and their impact on the ways firms organize their value-creating activities in an increasingly virtual world.
... However, technology allows senior leaders or experts from across the organization to easily consult teams, provide direction, or offer solutions (Baskerville & Nandhakumar, 2007). And, geographic dispersion allows virtual teams to stretch their work cycle across time zones which increases time-on-task beyond 8 h a day (Carmel et al., 2010). Geographic dispersion also allows virtual teams to include members with special skills and qualifications from different cities, countries, and even continents which increases the level of expertise on the team (Boh et al., 2007a). ...
Article
We meta‐analytically assess the virtuality‐team effectiveness relationship using 73 samples of organizational teams (5738 teams) reporting on a wide range of productive (e.g., earnings), performance (e.g., customer ratings), social (e.g., cohesion), and team member (e.g., project satisfaction) outcomes. Our results suggest that in work organizations, virtuality is not a direct input—negative or positive—to team effectiveness. In contrast, using 109 samples of non‐organizational teams (5620 teams), we show that virtuality is a significant negative input to team effectiveness. We also meta‐analytically assess the issue of results generalizability from non‐organizational to organizational settings, and find that overall, results from non‐organizational studies largely fail to generalize to organizational virtual teams. Using moderator analysis, we explore a number of study features that may explain the poor results generalizability from non‐organizational to organizational studies. We find that results from non‐organizational studies using undergraduate students, short team duration, and laboratory settings drive the non‐generalizability effect, whereas results from non‐organizational studies using graduate students, longer team duration, and classroom settings produce results comparable to those of organizational studies of virtual teams. Theoretical, methodological, and practical implications are discussed.
... Follow-the-sun, as the term implies, exploits time zone differences to get project work done faster by working on it continuously. For example, a team in North America can hand off its work at the end of its workday to collaborating team members in India or China, who can then continue the tasks while the Americans sleep [4]. However, it also brings with it challenges and difficulties. ...
... Although modern web and mobile development technologies take advantage of loosely-coupled architectures, with a precise separation between data, user interface and logic layers, and working on multiple functional features at the same time is possible, a limitation for parallel work is reached within the same feature. To overcome this, programming in shifts has been proposed and experimented starting with the late 90's at IBM (Carmel, 1999), and later on in other companies (Carmel et al., 2010), (Treinen & Miller Frost, 2006). The concept, known as "Follow the Sun" or "Round the Clock Development", aims to reduce the time-to-market by contracting parallel teams of software engineers, with complementary time-zones and with daily handoffs between shifts. ...
... Small cultural distance between dispersed teams is shown to facilitate communication and knowledge transfer between teams as well as to reduce transaction costs in the process. However, too close cultural distance can pose a negative effect on global dispersion of value chain activities as it often leads to local inertia, which constrains collective learning in globally dispersed teams (Boschma 2005;Carmel et al. 2010). Hence, it is critical that firms carefully manage the degree of dispersion-both in terms of geographical and cultural dispersion-in order to reap the maximum benefits of their global sourcing activities. ...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the well-acknowledged benefits of global sourcing (e.g., location specific advantage) in the international business literature, research driven mainly by the transaction cost economics and resource based view has cautioned about its potential negative effects (e.g., hidden costs, hollowing out effect) which might offset its potential gain, leading to a failure to achieve expected outcome and capture the value created in global sourcing activities. We argue that this issue is primarily explained by the misalignment between a firm's global sourcing strategy and value expected from its global sourcing activities. This study examines the role of global sourcing strategy on financial and innovation performance of global sourcing activities. Using a fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis on 235 firms engaging in global sourcing of business service activities, we identify configurations of global sourcing strategy—concerning (1) disaggregation, (2) dispersion of activities and (3) governance structure—that lead to high financial and innovation performance. The findings suggest that global sourcing strategy leading to high financial performance differs largely from global sourcing strategy leading to high innovation. While most studies selectively focus on one or two components of global sourcing strategy, our study highlights the need for firms to jointly consider the combined effect of degree of disaggregation, degree of dispersion of business service activities and governance structure as well as taking into account the expected outcome when crafting their global sourcing strategy.
... The "follow the sun" method refers to the practice of leaving work unfinished, usually software-related, and passing it from one site to another, generally on a daily basis. This practice allows the development of a software with a 24-hour coverage, increasing the speed of development as the work takes place in all shifts (Carmel, Dubinsky, & Espinosa, 2009;Carmel, Espinosa, & Dubinsky, 2010). During an interview conducted by one of the authors of the book, an interviewee from a software house described its participation in a project applying the "follow the sun" method as follows: ...
... The "follow the sun" method refers to the practice of leaving work unfinished, usually software-related, and passing it from one site to another, generally on a daily basis. This practice allows the development of a software with a 24-hour coverage, increasing the speed of development as the work takes place in all shifts (Carmel, Dubinsky, & Espinosa, 2009;Carmel, Espinosa, & Dubinsky, 2010). During an interview conducted by one of the authors of the book, an interviewee from a software house described its participation in a project applying the "follow the sun" method as follows: ...
... All managers highlighted agile development methodology as the coordinating mechanism of the activities of the employees. The organization's clients mandated the use of agile development methodology for its flexibility to accommodate their rapidly changing requirements (Boehm, 2006;Carmel et al., 2010;Cervone, 2011). While the agile development methodology was expected to allow faster and clear communication between the client and the organization (Holmström et al., 2006), in practice it often meant not having any plan in place to organize and coordinate development activities ( Janes and Succi, 2012). ...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine perspective of “gendered labour process” to explore the aspectsof managerialism, which utilize gender as a control measure to achieve its ends. The paper seeks to integrate gender and labour process theory and contribute to studies on gendering of organizations that focus on organization logic as well as integrated studies of labour process theory and gender. Design/methodology/approach The paper utilizes thematic analysis as the method for analysing the interviews of senior managers in an information technology service organization in India, to identify managerial ideologies and practices. Findings A gendered labour process perspective could reveal the institutional orders that systemically discriminate or exclude women in organizations, rather than gender ideologies alone. Practical implications Rather than focussing on gender sensitization alone, as is the case with the gender diversity initiatives, it may be fruitful to revisit work design and work organization, to identify and implement changes, so that women’s marginalization and exclusion from certain workplaces could be minimized. Social implications A view of gendered labour process could aid public policies aimed at enabling women to continue their employment without disruptions. Originality/value The paper attempted to integrate gender and labour process theory by delineating the organization logic that deploys gender as a means of managerial control.
... A GSD project is carried out by multiple teams in various locations of the world [13], [14]. The GSD paradigm offers many benefits including low cost development, access to skilled and quality workforce, and follow-the-sun development approach etc. [15]. However, GSD paradigm has failed to realize the anticipated outcomes, and got 45% projects success rate compared to 61% for co-located teams [16]. ...
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Requirement changes are inevitable, and Requirement Change Management (RCM) is a complex process in software development. In-house software development and Global Software Development (GSD) are two widely used development approaches and there is a need to explore the RCM commonalities and differences in the two development approaches. The primary objective of this study is to identify the challenges that influence RCM in both approaches. First, we have implemented Systematic Literature Review (SLR) and identified 9 challenges that impact the general RCM process and 3 more challenges related to RCM with GSD. Second, we have conducted a questionnaire survey based on SLR results and collected feedback from 69 industry practitioners. The survey result indicates that there are four out of nine challenges, namely impact analysis, requirement traceability, requirement dependency, and system instability having the same impact in both in-house and GSD approaches. On the other hand, cost/time estimation, artifacts documents management, user involvement, requirement consistency, and requirement prioritization need more attention while implemented in GSD paradigm. Furthermore, regarding two important project management structures in GSD, centralized project structure and distributed project structure, the survey results reveal that all challenges have same impact except user involvement and change control board management, which are more important in centralized project structure. Lastly, the result from t-test indicates that both data sets retrieved from SLR and survey are close to each other. This study distinguishes RCM challenges in in-house and GSD approaches and in the context of two prominent project management structures followed in GSD projects. It would assist researchers by providing potential research directions and industry professionals to understand and implement RCM in different context more efficiently.
... The development and implementation phase includes activities related to waterfall software development method [6] [14] [15]. This method start by data collection step. ...
... Basides various benefits, software quality becomes an enormous issue in the domain of GSD, as evidenced by the disappointing results of various big projects [4]. Attarzadeh and Ow [5] conducted a survey and reported that 31.1% of GSD projects were terminated before completion. ...
... However, technology allows senior leaders or experts from across the organization to easily consult teams, provide direction, or offer solutions (Baskerville & Nandhakumar, 2007). And, geographic dispersion allows virtual teams to stretch their work cycle across time zones which increases time-on-task beyond 8 h a day (Carmel et al., 2010). Geographic dispersion also allows virtual teams to include members with special skills and qualifications from different cities, countries, and even continents which increases the level of expertise on the team (Boh et al., 2007a). ...
... Such conditions are more frequent in workplace teams than it might seem at a first glance (Cannon-Bowers & Bowers, 2006). These teams may become even more prevalent, such as, for instance, virtual teams with international "follow-the-sun" or "around-the-clock" work flows (Carmel, Espinosa, & Dubinsky, 2010), teams working along a supply chain (cf. Lazzarini, Chaddad, & Cook, 2001), or teams in e-commerce contexts that process "orders from receipt through delivery" (cf. ...
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While people's willingness to work hard can be reduced in teams (i.e., effort losses in teams as compared with individual work), it is less recognized that teamwork can also stimulate additional efforts (i.e., effort gains). Building on and extending existing theory, we (a) suggest an integration of these two research streams, and (b) provide evidence for team-related effort gains in action teams. In a first study, we tested our predictions by reanalyzing a field data set of 302,576 swimming performances in individual and relay races (Neugart & Richiardi, 2013). Consistent with our hypotheses, we observed a linear increase in effort across the relay. The first relay swimmers showed effort losses in the relay as compared with the individual competition whereas the remaining relay swimmers showed effort gains. However, this was only evident (a) when team members could realistically expect meaningful team outcomes in return for their performance, and (b) when the valence of these outcomes was equivalent to individual competitions. If such favorable conditions were not given, we found effort losses in team as compared with individual competitions at all relay positions. Results of a second study (N = 228) showed that the linear increase in effort across the relay was indeed attributable to the team members' serial position and not to their relative strength. Together, the studies demonstrate the motivating potential of teamwork even in the high performance contexts of action teams, such as competitive sports relays, where athletes are already highly motivated in their individual competitions. (PsycINFO Database Record
... The reasons for the global distribution of InIT's employees are manifold: Although information and communication technologies facilitate virtual collaboration, some IT consultants must be collocated with important clients to improve dialogue and obtain more local and domain-specific knowledge. Moreover, InIT applies a "follow the sun model" (Carmel, Espinosa, & Dubinsky, 2010), which requires its presence in many time zones to ensure 24/7 delivery of IT services to its clients. ...
Article
Western companies’ outsourcing of projects to emergent markets is increasingly being replaced by strategic partnerships that require close collaboration between clients and vendors. This study focuses on interorganizational boundary-spanning activities in the context of global information technology (IT) development projects from the rare perspective of Indian vendor managers in one of the world’s largest IT service companies. It draws on a qualitative study of a collaborative partnership and focuses on the key boundary spanners who are responsible for developing trustful and sustainable client relationships and coordinating highly complex projects. We analyze vendor managers’ narratives of their collaboration with a European client in a long-term project, which is presented as a strategic partnership in an outsourcing 3.0 mode. The study offers a rich and conceptualized account of those managers’ boundary-spanning activities and a context-sensitive understanding of their boundary work. The study applies Bourdieu’s concept of capital (economic, cultural, social, and symbolic) not only in its analysis of the two powerful partners but also in its discussion of the boundary-spanning activities that are reported. The analysis demonstrates the coexistence of transactive and transformative modes of collaboration in the studied case. It reveals both the importance of partner status and the impact of that status on the forms of boundary-spanning activities in which the partners engage. Finally, this study suggests new research questions that will promote an understanding of both transactive and transformative boundary spanning and the reciprocity of boundary-spanning activities between vendor and client in a global collaborative partnership.
... Trust building is another issue that usually develops through sustained face-to-face interaction that is removed by the virtual dimensions of the teams (Jarvenpaa et al. 1998). Time can work in favor of GVTs, thanks to their ability to perform tasks asynchronously, aiding global firms to bridge time zones; pushed to an extreme, it can involve handing off work on a daily basis-a process that is known as the ''follow-the-sun'' model (Carmel et al. 2010). However, different time zones engender lengthy workdays and coordination burdens (Saunders et al. 2004). ...
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This conceptual paper investigates the common concern among managers that the physical separation of workers within a global virtual team may hinder the transfer of knowledge amongst the team members that is required to carry out their work efficiently, especially in the context of knowledge-intensive enterprises. Workers and work teams in knowledge-intensive enterprises are often involved in creative tasks that are carried out jointly and involve team members with diversified competencies exchanging knowledge related to their projects and assignments to create innovative outcomes. We investigate some popular creativity-enhancing techniques in the perspective of their use as catalysts for knowledge transfer in this context. We assess whether the use of these techniques may alleviate the limitations imposed on global virtual team members by their use of telecommunications and collaborative work tools that might otherwise adversely affect the effectiveness of the knowledge transfer. These techniques are designed to be used individually, by groups or within a virtual community. The physical and temporal separation of the global virtual team members does not hinder the knowledge-intensive dimension of these enterprises when aided by creativity-stimulating techniques. Therefore, we suggest that global virtual teams making use of creativity-enhancing techniques may be more efficient in transferring complex knowledge.
... A fundamental concept in agile development is effective sharing of high-quality information, know-how, ideas, suggestions, skills, and expertise among individuals (Ghobadi & D'Ambra, 2013). For example, scrum requires user representatives, product owners, developers and managers to engage in iterative cycles, address development challenges, and explore product opportunities (Nerur & Balijepally, 2007, Carmel et al., 2010, Chakraborty & Sarker, 2010. Several barriers may, however, pose risks to effective knowledge sharing in agile development (Ghobadi & Mathiassen, 2015). ...
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We present an empirically-grounded and theoretically-informed model for the assessment and mitigation of risks to effective knowledge sharing in agile development. The model is anchored in empirical insights from four agile projects across two software companies and in extant research on risk-strategy analysis and knowledge sharing in software development. We develop the model as part of the long-standing tradition of presenting risk management models dedicated to specific issues in software development and confirm its practical usefulness in one of the software companies studied. The model offers concepts and processes to assess a project’s knowledge sharing risk profile and articulate an overall resolution strategy plan to mitigate the risks. The results highlight how different knowledge sharing risk management profiles can lead to different project performance outcomes. We conclude with a discussion of research opportunities that the results offer software development scholarship.
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to identify, classify and analyse temporality in information systems development (ISD) literature. Design/methodology/approach The authors address the temporality and ISD research gap by using a framework – which classifies time into three categories: conceptions of time, mapping activities to time and actors relating to time. The authors conduct a systematic literature review which investigates time in ISD within the Senior Scholars' Basket, Information Technology & People (IT&P), and top two information systems conferences over the past 20 years. The search strategy resulted in 9,850 studies of which 47 were identified as primary papers. Findings The results reveal that ISD research is ill equipped for contemporary thinking around time. This systematic literature review (SLR) contributes to ISD by finding the following gaps in the literature: (1) clock time is dominant and all other types of time are under-researched; (2) contributions to mapping activities to time is lacking and existing studies focus on single ISD projects rather multiple complex ISD projects; (3) research on actors relating to time is lacking; (4) existing ISD studies which contribute to temporal characteristics are fragmented and lack integration with other categories of time and (5) ISD methodology papers lack contributions to temporal characteristics and fail to acknowledge and contribute to time as a multifaceted interrelated concept. Originality/value This work has developed the first SLR on temporality in ISD. This study provides a starting point for ISD researchers and ISD practitioners to test commonly held temporal assumptions of ISD researchers and practitioners.
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Demands of automotive industry is especially focused on new solutions. Nowadays, these needs are stronger than have ever been. Manufacturers are constantly looking for new ways to release their products in the shortest possible time. The research described in the paper concerns work organization and project management in automotive industry. It is a part of PhD project, dedicated to the implementation of remote team collaboration, and is focused on wiring harness development. The first part of the paper is devoted to the review of different forms of work organization with special attention paid to Follow The Sun approach. In the second part of the paper, the characteristic of the wiring harness production was described. Especially, the methodology and design processes. The third part of the article presents a proposition of transforming the currently existing development process with the use of remote teamwork solutions. The article concludes with a description of the implementation of the test projects. Selected indicators were introduced to determine the profitability of this implementation.
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The main objective of the article is to select an optimal R&D area of the automotive sector in the context of the possibility of implementing the Follow-the-Sun (FTS) strategy. Empirical research covers three areas of R&D of this sector, excluding the area of Software Development, which according to current literature is the only one in which the FTS strategy is applied. The research was conducted between January and August 2019. The spatial scope of the research covered six international automotive companies providing R&D services in at least one of the three surveyed areas. Due to the innovativeness of the presented subject matter, the research part of the study was preceded by the necessary information on the FTS strategy itself. Its main objective is to further increase the pace of R&D work by using project teams dispersed in distant time zones and capable of ensuring a 24-hour work cycle without the need to perform it at night.
Conference Paper
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In the past, work was governed by the natural rhythms of the physical world, but organizations increasingly distribute their work along the temporal dimension. This leads to varying temporal rhythms, which depict recurring patterns of activity in time, among workers, enabled by communication and collaboration technologies. The routine use of technology generates activity log data called digital traces, which promise an opportunity for a data-driven inquiry into temporal rhythms. While research using digital traces is scarce, various vendors claim to identify daily working hours based on email traces. Our study explores the use of email traces for an inquiry into daily and weekly temporal rhythms by triangulating quantitative results with interviews. Contrary to the vendors' claims, our results show that the usefulness of email traces is limited to identifying aggregated and stable temporal rhythms.
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This paper explores the temporal complexity of remote working within information systems development (ISD). Traditional remote working literature is ill-equipped to deal with the COVID-19 context. An interpretive research approach is used to generate a qualitative data set, based upon the results of field interviews with key ISD professionals. The thematic analysis of the research data is classified based on a temporal complexity framework. The study provides several key takeaways that emerge when temporal complexity theory is applied to study COVID-19 affected remote ISD workers. It explores how temporal characteristics influence remote ISD working, while investigating the resulting challenges. Recommendations are provided which researchers and practitioners may focus on when researching and applying ISD methodology. This is the first paper which examines temporal complexity within remote ISD workers. This research will provide a starting point for ISD researchers and practitioners to test their commonly held temporal assumptions about remote working.
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Global Software Development (GSD) has gained great attention during the past decade or so, and it is also being adopted by most of the software development organizations. The GSD approach is practiced by the software development organizations in China and a wide range of firms have established its operations in various Chinese cities. However, GSD practices becomes more challenging for the projects based on the agile concepts. The aim of this study is to develop a taxonomy of the factors that could positively impact the scaling process of agile methods in the Chinese GSD industry. The factors are identified by exploring the available literature and conducting industrial studies with the Chinese agile and GSD practitioners. The finally reported factors are categorized, prioritized and developed their taxonomy using the multi-criterion decision making (MCDM) Fuzzy AHP approach. The given taxonomy is significant and progressive for GSD industry to assess and improve the scaling process of agile methods.
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The paper explains how service trade has been facilitated because of the availability and development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). With this, the paper points to the emerging theory of time zone (TZ) differences and trade where time zone difference between two countries evokes service trade given the availability of ICT. A simple 2 × 2 general equilibrium framework is considered to explain the effect of trade across non-overlapping time zones on factor prices and output. Results show a rise in the wage of skilled labour and a fall in rent. The result is conditional on the assumptions of factor intensity. In the case of output, the sector exploiting the time zone difference is seen to expand while the other contracts. This outcome, however, is independent of the assumption of factor intensity.
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the workplace experiences of women employees during maternity and post-maternity periods to reveal the institutional order that coordinated the social relations and shaped their experiences through local and extra-local texts. Design/methodology/approach The institutional ethnography research framework allowed for mapping of workplace experiences of women employees during their maternity and post-maternity periods in their local context, connecting them to the invisible extra-local social relations. Findings The research study explored the disjuncture between the gender diversity initiatives that aimed at the inclusion of women employees and the workplace experiences of women employees in terms of work disengagement and work role degradation, including career discontinuity. Practical implications The gender diversity and inclusion initiatives of an organization need to examine the local and extra-local institutional texts that govern their context and coordinate social relations, such that there is no inconsistency between the intentions, implementation and outcomes. Social implications The state needs to revisit the maternity benefit act to provide additional measures to protect the career continuity of women, who choose maternity at some point in their work lives. Originality/value The paper explored the institutional order that influences the career continuity of women employees during maternity and post-maternity periods using institutional ethnography research framework in an information technology services organization in India. No such research study has even been attempted.
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The SOQRATES (www.soqrates.de) working party has been established in 2003 with the support of the Bavarian SW initiative. Major automotive suppliers joined forces to exchange best practices in topics such as Automotive SPICE, functional safety, and cybersecurity. The research method of SOQRATES is to compare the best practices, and in case that a specific design pattern is accepted by all parties, it is declared and published as a state of the art. Some of the results of the working party have been packaged into training courses. For example, in the EU project SafEUr (518632‐LLP‐1‐2011‐1‐AT‐LEONARDO‐LMP, 2011‐2012) a European partnership with inputs from SOQRATES developed a skill set, training materials, and best practices for the implementation of ISO 26262. For example, in the EU project AQUA (Knowledge Alliance for Quality in Automotive, EAC‐2012‐0635, 2013‐ 2014), a European partnership with inputs from SOQRATES developed a skill set, training materials, and best practices for integrating Automotive SPICE, ISO 26262, and Six Sigma. For example, in the EU project AQU (Automotive Quality Universities, 2015‐1‐CZ01‐KA203‐013986, 2015‐ 2017), a European partnership with inputs from SOQRATES applied the AQUA concept with universities in Austria, Germany, France, and Czech Republic who educate students that will work in the automotive industry. Also, the working party elaborated integrated assessment models where the Automotive SPICE 3.0 has been merged with ISO 26262 (further safety related questions) and SAE J3061 (further cybersecurity questions). This paper will look into the future of self‐driving cars and discuss the design patterns that are currently analysed in the working party to support a vehicle in future self‐driving infrastructure architectures and processes.
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Economic geographers have, for a long time, analysed the meaning of geographical co-presence and dispersion in knowledge creation. Recently, interest has shifted towards the process approach and the levels of individuals and groups. Despite this, little empirical research has been conducted following the knowledge creation process ‘here’ (including on-site observation) and ‘now’ (not ex-post) in groups through repeated geographical dispersion. This case study follows four project research groups in Finland led by foreign, distinguished professors. These groups created knowledge during a repeated pattern of geographical co-presence and dispersion. The study covers a seven-year period from the beginning of the projects and goes beyond their completion, including three intensive periods of collecting empirical materials. The results demonstrate that a cognitive locus of shared understanding of the project focus is key for creating knowledge during periods of geographical dispersion and even after the conclusion of such projects. The results show three types of cognitive loci that are created in three patterns of geographical co-presence and dispersion. Each of the three combinations supports particular outcomes and the continuity of projects in Finland.
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While a key motivation for globally distributed software development (GDSD) is to harness appropriate human capital, ironically, scant attention has been paid to addressing the human resource management issues faced by information technology (IT) professionals involved in this context. One particularly challenging human resource issue is that of work–life conflict (WLC) of the IT professionals involved in GDSD, who routinely experience overlaps and conflicts between their work and personal life domains. While WLC concerns are relevant in almost any contemporary environment, the GDSD context adds several layers of challenges arising from issues such as time differences, requirements instability, and the use of certain systems development methodologies. Recent research indicates that WLC issues go beyond individual concerns and are of strategic importance for talent retention. To develop a deeper understanding of these recognized challenges, we utilize Border Theory as a metatheoretical framework to develop and empirically test a model of organization-related and GDSD-related antecedents of WLC. In addition, we examine the impacts of WLC on job-related outcomes. Our study adopts a mixed-methods design, where an exploratory case along with a review of the literature is used to develop the research model. The model is then tested using a survey of 1,000 GDSD workers in three countries. We believe that our findings are not only of theoretical interest for the information systems discipline but also potentially helpful in improving the working conditions of the GDSD workforce. The online appendix is available at https://doi.org/10.1287/isre.2017.0734 .
Conference Paper
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In follow-the-sun (FTS) software projects, handoffs are performed daily at the beginning and at the end of each working day in each production site. However, handoffs development requires a great coordination, communication and collaboration effort from all team members involved in the project. In the literature, studies report handoffs development as one of the main challenges for FTS practice in the software industry. Thus, this study report the experience obtained developing handoffs in a software project with teams distributed in three production sites. Results obtained in this study describe challenges and solutions for handoffs practice in FTS software projects. Resumo. Em projetos de software follow-the-sun (FTS), handoffs são realizados diariamente no início e no final de cada dia de trabalho em cada local de produção. Entretanto, o desenvolvimento de handoffs requer um grande esforço de coordenação, comunicação e colaboração de toda a equipe envolvida no projeto. Na literatura, estudos apontam o desenvolvimento de handoffs com um dos principais desafios para a prática de FTS na indústria de software. Dessa forma, este estudo relata a experiência obtida com o desenvolvimento de handoffs em um projeto de software com equipes distribuídas em três locais de produção. Os resultados obtidos neste estudo reportam desafios e soluções para a prática de handoffs em projetos de software FTS.
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Globalization of work has led to the increasing use of geographically distributed work teams. Engineering services are no exception. But distribution of work among geographically dispersed members leads to geography-bounded subgroups, particularly with the configuration of teams that have onshore and offshore members. Onshore members are located close to the client. Offshore members are spatially distant—often on another continent with significant time zone differences. Subgroups exhibit strong identity- and resource-based fault lines. Divisive subgroups decrease knowledge sharing, increase task and emotional conflict, and lead to errors and rework. Much of the existing scholarly work and research has focused on how to suppress the subgroups or how to transcend them by strengthening boundary spanners or interpersonal interactions in the team. Such work has largely ignored the benefits of strong subgroups, including their capacity to give voice to divergent perspectives. This chapter explores the effects of strong subgroups in a globally distributed engineering services team.
Conference Paper
Distribution of software development is increasingly global and crosses the geographical and cultural borders. As software development is creative teamwork, the distribution is not about mechanical division of work. The poster presents on on-going study on internationally distributed software development. Based on a literature and experiences from a case company, investigates the motivations, models of distribution and the most problematic areas.
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The study focuses on best practices in IS project management, and how they are institutionnalized in organizations through the use of different types of institutional carriers, at a precised moment and in a specific organizational context (situation of post adoption phase). It uses a quantitative methodology based on a survey administrated to IS project managers and completed by interviews. 127 projects have been examined. Results show that institutionalized best practices, involved in the organizational support, can be distinguished into three different sets depending on the type of institutional carriers (relational, symbolic, procedural or artefactual) they used and differently influence practices implemented at the project level.
Conference Paper
Global software engineering is a growing field of research. The ability to develop software at remote sites provides means to utilize talents and skills in different parts of the world. Organizations and companies benefit from such diverse pool of developers. Recently, global software engineering courses started to be popular in academic settings to prepare generations of developers who can function in a professional way in such distributed setting. Courses are normally offered as part of computer science or software engineering degrees. There are different challenges pertaining to team members, environment and the interlacing factors like time zones, cultural diversity of team members, location barriers and gender issues. Simulation games have been used to teach classical software engineering courses. Simulation games can be used to illustrate and experiment with concepts like team management, performance and tool selection. SimSE is an educational simulation tool that provides graphical simulation environment to help students to practice anticipated challenges during software development. In this paper, we propose a model for distributed global software development simulation games. The model includes factors like time zones, cultural diversity of users (mainly Hofstede's culture dimensions are used), location barriers and gender issues. These factors will result in game triggers that may affect the development of the virtual project. The model is then implemented using the SimSE model builder. The game will be illustrated showing how it can be used in teaching global software engineering courses. The results will be verified using existing models.
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Purpose This paper aims to propose a new theoretical perspective on the organizational design of offshoring service organizations by adopting an information processing perspective which incorporates the factors of collaborative information technologies, task commoditization and global customer service delivery that are characteristic of modern-day knowledge-intensive service (KIS) organizations. Design/methodology/approach The authors analyze data from a large multiyear survey of offshoring service providers conducted in 12 countries. Findings The authors show how use of collaborative technology is significantly and positively related to spatial and configurational dispersion, task commoditization is significantly and positively related to spatial and temporal dispersion and need for global customer presence is not related to spatial, temporal or configurational dispersion. Research limitations/implications The paper integrates concepts from management information system (MIS), operations management and international business to show how collaborative technology, task characteristics and customer service requirements affect the global dispersion of KISs. Practical implications The results show how use of collaborative technology, task characteristics and global customer service requirements need to be jointly considered in the global dispersion of activities by KIS providers. Originality/value The study sheds light on the effect of the key factors on different dimensions of global dispersion (i.e. spatial/temporal/configurational dispersion) in offshoring service provider organizations. Second, it shows how the traditional information processing perspective on organizations can be updated and applied to KIS organizations by incorporating the factors of global collaborative information technologies, task commoditization and global customer service.
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Globalization is usually related to time, distance, and culture. Referring to time, we cite Friedman’s book The World is Flat : “… That’s globalization, said Nilekani. Above the screen, there were eight clocks that pretty well summed up the Infosys workday: 24/7/365. The clocks were labeled US West, US East, GMT, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia” (Friedman 2005, p. 6). Referring to distance, a physical distance between teams, which work together on one product, increases the process complexity. It is further claimed that even a 50 m distance can be considered as a distributed environment (Allen 1984 in Sangwan et al. 2007). Referring to culture , this concept has been explored extensively with respect to different kinds and sizes of groups like nations, tribes, and teams. We define the concept of culture as a set of explicit and implicit norms, values, and beliefs, shared by the practitioners in a group to which they belong that, on one hand, influences directly the practitioners’ daily activities, behaviors, and interactions and, on the other hand, is fed back by these activities, behaviors, and interactions and is shaped by them. The culture of a specific team is influenced by the culture of the nation as well as the organizational culture. Both are relevant for global environments. In this chapter, we address globalization as it is expressed by agile teams.
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This chapter presents the trends in IT services, outsourcing, and vendor management in Indian IT industry. It includes a study of IT services, vendor management, and business model of Outworks Solution India Private Limited, NOIDA. Major findings are in the field of Cloud Computing, mobile applications, and digital illustrations. Digital illustration can be the next big thing that replaces the traditional study thorough books to digitally created cartoons and creatures for the kids. Mobile has become a necessity of life; in such an environment, mobile applications are in high demand. Each organization launches their mobile applications, WAP, so that they can reach to the greater audience in this competitive atmosphere. Cloud Computing proved a boon for SMEs in India because of value for money solutions. Near future in the field of IT is dedicated to Cloud Computing, mobile applications, and digital illustration technologies.
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Research to date has not attempted to model coordination in global software teams. We formulate a preliminary collaboration model for a dyad to help us understand the consequences of time separation. We first describe the model and its theoretical foundations and we then evaluate the model by simulating several thousand observations and running regression models to inspect the effect of different variables on coordination costs. We then make suggestions for further extension of the model to include more complex scenarios with multiple collaborators and fewer assumptions. Our evaluation shows that the consequences of time separation are complex and that we need to understand them well before we can make claims about coordination outcomes in larger software teams that are separated by time zones.
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Advances in technology and group-collaboration software have promoted the use of Global Virtual Teams (GVTs). Because of these and other developments, managers face an increasingly diverse cultural landscape. Differences in GVT members' perceptions of time, or time visions, subtly influence the team's dynamics and performance. Time visions must be managed in order for the full potential of the GVT to be realized. This article explores the different dimensions that are typically employed when defining time. These dimensions are then combined to form four examples of cultural time visions. Three major problems associated with differing time visions in GVTs are identified, and approaches for dealing with these problems in multicultural GVTs are suggested.
Conference Paper
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This paper introduces a sequential collaborative software engineering process involving shift working across time zones and describes an exploratory empirical study of this working pattern involving the implementation of a small-scale software system. The paper reports on the organisation of the study and (briefly) on the results obtained through questionnaires, observations and measurements.
Conference Paper
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Follow The Sun (FTS) is a special case of global software development. FTS means that software work is handed off every day from one development site to the next -- many time zones away. The main benefit is reduction in development duration. Surprisingly, unlike the broader trend of offshore outsourcing, FTS is practiced rarely and misunderstood often.In this article we present a foundation for understanding FTS including a definition, a description of its place in the life cycle, and choice of methodologies. We also present the outcomes of a first quasi-experiment designed to test FTS and measure the speed of software work. This quasi-experiment is part of our comprehensive research to explore FTS and its implications.
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Collaborating centers in time zones six to eight hours apart can transfer work so that every center is working during the daytime. Although this concept avoids the hazards of night work, it requires careful planning and a way to automatically capture evolving knowledge.
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In today's business where speed is of essence, an iterative development approach that allows the functionality to be delivered in parts has become a necessity and an effective way to manage risks. In an iterative process, the development of a software system is done in increments, each increment forming of an iteration and resulting in a working system. A common iterative approach is to decide what should be developed in an iteration and then plan the iteration accordingly. A somewhat different iterative approach is to time box different iterations. In this approach, the length of an iteration is fixed and what should be developed in an iteration is adjusted to fit the time box. Generally, the time boxed iterations are executed in sequence, with some overlap where feasible. In this paper we propose the timeboxing process model that takes the concept of time boxed iterations further by adding pipelining concepts to it for permitting overlapped execution of different iterations. In the timeboxing process model, each time boxed iteration is divided into equal length stages, each stage having a defined function and resulting in a clear work product that is handed over to the next stage. With this division into stages, pipelining concepts are employed to have multiple time boxes executing concurrently, leading to a reduction in the delivery time for product releases. We illustrate the use of this process model through an example of a commercial project that was successfully executed using the proposed model.
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Economic factors and the World Wide Web are turning software usage and its development into global activities. Many benefits accrue from global development not least from the opportunity to reduce time-to-market through ‘around the clock’ working.This paper identified some of the factors and constraints that influence time-to-market when software is developed across time zones. It describes a model of the relationships between development time and the factors and overheads associated with such a pattern of work. The paper also reports on a small-scale empirical study of software development across time zones and presents some lessons learned and conclusions drawn from the theoretical and empirical work carried out.
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While prior research has found that familiarity is beneficial to team performance, it is not clear whether different kinds of familiarity are more or less beneficial when the work has different types of complexity. In this paper, we theorize how task and team familiarity interact with task and team coordination complexity to influence team performance. We posit that task familiarity is more beneficial with more complex tasks (i.e., tasks that are larger or with more complex structures) and that team familiarity is more beneficial when team coordination is more difficult (i.e., for larger or geographically dispersed teams). Finally, we propose that the effects of task familiarity and team familiarity on team performance are complementary. Based on a field study of geographically distributed software teams, two of our hypotheses are disconfirmed: Our results show that the beneficial effects of task familiarity decline when tasks are more structurally complex and are independent of task size. Conversely, the hypotheses for team familiarity are confirmed as the benefit of team familiarity for team performance is enhanced when team coordination is more challenging-i.e., when teams are larger or geographically dispersed. Finally, surprisingly, we find that task and team familiarity are more substitutive than complementary in their joint effects on team performance: Task familiarity improves team performance more strongly when team familiarity is weak and vice versa. Our study contributes by revealing how different types of familiarity can enhance team performance in a real-world setting where the task and its coordination can be highly complex.
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With the advent of globalization and the Internet, the concept of global software development is gaining ground. The global development model opens up the possibility of 24-h software development by effectively utilizing the time zone differences. To harness the potential of the 24-h software development model for reducing the overall development time, a key issue is the allocation of project tasks to the resources in the distributed team. In this paper, we examine this issue of task allocation in order to minimize the completion time of a project. We discuss a model for distributed team across time zones and propose a task allocation algorithm for the same. We apply the approach on tasks of a few synthetic projects and two real projects and show that there is a potential to reduce the project duration as well as improve the resource utilization through 24-h development.
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The emphasis personnel place on the development schedule is one factor in determining how quickly a new product will reach the market. Normally, each team member will stress different development program aspects in ways that depend on their own background, functional specialty and sense of what their management desires. In this article, Milton Rosenau describes a means to measure the emphasis an individual places on schedule and other program aspects. The results of such a measure can then be used to improve team congruity.
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to present a model of the 24‐h software development process to help software project managers assess the profitability of a 24‐h development configuration and to select the optimal partnering sites. The model also helps the customer‐support divisions of software firms to decide which customer requests need to be performed using the 24‐h development mode. Design/methodology/approach This paper presents a graphical representation of the 24‐h software development process. Highlighting the importance of interaction times between two sites and the role of product‐, process‐, and site‐related factors that influence its value, the paper adopts the method of pair‐wise comparison of factors as done in the case of analytical hierarchy process and proposes a multiplicative model for its estimation. The software development time and cost are thereafter estimated by using site‐specific values of work hours, compensation package, and productivity. The approach is used to determine the economic viability of 24‐h development and make optimum site selection for a number of decision‐making situations. Findings The results obtained from applying the models to hypothetical, but realistic problems, with different values for site‐ and personnel‐specific factors to prove the ability of the model to be used in real‐life situations. Research limitations/implications The proposed model does not consider effects of factors like multiple interactions, reworks, and errors in communication. Originality/value A circular representation of the 24‐h software development process, the multiplicative model for estimating the length of interaction time, and the time and cost of development in such a process are the main contributions of the paper.
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This concise easy-to-follow textbook presents the crucial issues in software engineering using the agile approach to software development - one of the mainstream paradigms for the management of software projects and one that is being applied more and more extensively. Global principles are presented with detailed practices that can be easily implemented by readers, providing a comprehensive understanding of the important elements of agile software development methods. The authors highlight and integrate technical, social, cognitive and managerial aspects of software development processes in this unique book based on their refreshingly updated software engineering methods course. Features: Contains many learning tools such as: chapter overviews, objectives and summaries, study questions, chapter-end reflective exercises, a solid introductory chapter, etc. Discusses the delivery of software projects on time and within budgets by using the agile software development environment Considers the customer, as well as the other roles, in agile software development environments Looks at measures to control and monitor the software development process Investigates the impact of agility on the organization level Examines software development processes and environments from a managerial perspective Emphasizes the wider context of each topic to software engineering This complete textbook offers a reader-friendly approach to the topic. Written primarily for advanced undergraduates, this clear foundation course will also be useful for instructors and practitioners looking for a thorough grounding on the subject. Both authors teach different courses at the Technion Israel Institute for Technology in which they inspire and apply the agile approach. In addition, both authors coach agile teams in the software industry.
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The concept of outsourcing has been addressed from different vantage points by various researchers. The ACM Job Migration Task Force analyzed the impact of outsourcing on jobs [1]. This report and others examining the impact of outsourcing on employment have received significant coverage in the press. Wiederhold et al [12] look at intellectual property and tax implications when a software company operates in multiple countries. This article takes an entirely different perspective. What are new computer-based techniques that can be employed to yield innovative solutions that can benefit both developed and developing environments? What is the long-term vision for conducting work in a global economy? Is there an end scenario for offshore outsourcing?
Chapter
Design activities are central to most applied disciplines. Research in design has a long history in many fields including architecture, engineering, education, psychology, and the fine arts (Cross 2001). The computing and information technology (CIT) field since its advent in the late 1940s has appropriated many of the ideas, concepts, and methods of design science that have originated in these other disciplines. However, information systems (IS) as composed of inherently mutable and adaptable hardware, software, and human interfaces provide many unique and challenging design problems that call for new and creative ideas.
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Advances in global network connectivity over the past 10 years have significantly reduced the effects that physical separation has on geographically distributed development teams. It is increasingly clear that time zones, rather than physical distances, are becoming the most significant factor which separates potential collaborators. Collaboration across time zones often involves modifications to the typical work day, with remote team members collaborating either very late at night or extremely early in the morning. Though this presents obvious problems, a natural question is whether it is possible to exploit this diversity as a competitive differentiator, instead of treating time zones as an impediment to productivity. In two case studies, we examine whether it is possible to create a development environment in which tasks can “follow the sun,” allowing teams to work during extended local business hours and assign or hand off tasks at the end of their day to teams that are just starting their day, effectively yielding a 24-hour development clock. We examine the factors that influenced the success or failure of the respective projects and conclude with a discussion of best practices for using this approach successfully.
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Product life-cycles are becoming shorter, leading firms to reduce the time to bring new products to market. Being early can provide a significant competitive advantage, making the acceleration of new product development (NPD) an important area for research and inquiry. Based on their review of a wide range of literatures in business strategy, marketing, new product development, manufacturing and organization management, Murray Millson, S.P. Raj and David Wilemon report a general set of techniques for reducing the developmental cycle time for new products. The article develops a hierarchy of available NPD acceleration approaches and discusses potential benefits, limitations and significant challenges to successful implementation.
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The emphasis personnel place on the development schedule is one factor in determining how quickly a new product will reach the market. Normally, each team member will stress different development program aspects in ways that depend on their own background, functional specialty and sense of what their management desires. In this article, Milton Rosenau describes a means to measure the emphasis an individual places on schedule and other program aspects. The results of such a measure can then be used to improve team congruity.
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In this study, we explore the nature of team interaction and the role of temporal coordination asynchronously communicating global virtual project teams (GVPT). Drawing on Time, Interaction, and Performance (TIP) theory, we consider how and why virtual team behavior is temporally patterned in complex ways. We report on the results of an experiment consisting of 35 virtual project teams comprised of 175 members residing in the United States and Japan. Through content and cluster analysis, we identify distinct patterns of interaction and examine how these patterns are associated with differential levels of GVPT performance. We also explore the role of temporal coordination mechanisms as a means to synchronize temporal patterns in GVPTs. Our results suggest that successful enactment of temporal coordination mechanisms is associated with higher performance. However, we found that temporal coordination per se is not the driver of performance; rather, it is the influence of coordination on interaction behaviors that affects performance. ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR Copyright of Journal of Management Information Systems is the property of M.E. Sharpe Inc. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts)
Article
Before software project managers can enhance productivity and satisfaction of the software project team member, the effect of task characteristics, goal orientations, and coordination strategies on design and coding-task outcomes must be understood. A research model, which suggests that task interdependence, goal conflict, and coordination strategies significantly affect productivity and satisfaction associated with software design and coding activities, is presented. Issues such as contingency/design misfit, conflicting contingencies, and the extent of deviation to theoretically prescribed coordination mechanisms applied to contingencies are used to make predictions on productivity and process satisfaction. A 2x2x2 factorial experiment was utilized. Overall, projects characterized by low task interdependence exhibited greater productivity than projects with high task interdependence. Also, in general, organic coordination was more productive than mechanistic coordination. There was also a significant interaction between task interdependence and coordination strategy. Low goal conflict and organic coordination each lead to greater process satisfaction. Productivity results for the goal conflict manipulation was opposite to the hypothesized direction. Unconflicted contingencies addressed with consistent coordination and partially conflicted contingencies, regardless of the coordination used, exhibited significant gains in productivity. In comparison, unconflicted contingencies with inconsistent coordination and conflicted contingencies, regardless of the coordination applied, resulted in lower productivity. This suggests that there are instances where multiple contingencies, which warrant the use of different coordination strategies, can be adequately addressed with a specific coordination strategy.
Article
Numerous methodological issues arise when studying teams that span multiple boundaries. The main purpose of this paper is to raise awareness about the challenges of conducting field research on teams in global firms. Based on field research across multiple firms (software development, product development, financial services, and high technology), we outline five types of boundaries that we encountered in our field research (geographical, functional, temporal, identity, and organizational)and discuss methodological issues in distinguishing the effects of one boundary where multiple boundaries exist. We suggest that it is important to: (1) appropriately measure the boundary of interest to the study, (2) assess and control for other influential boundaries within and across teams, and (3)distinguish the effects of each boundary on each team outcome of interest. Only through careful attention to methodology can we properly assess the effects of team boundaries and appreciate their research and practical implications for designing and using information systems to support collaborative work.
We describe a hybrid computer simulation model of the software development process that is specifically architected to study alternative ways to configure global software development projects, including phased-based, module-based, and follow-the-sun allocation strategies. The model is a hybrid system dynamics and discrete-event model. In this paper, test cases have been developed for each allocation strategy, and project duration is computed for each configuration under a range of plausible assumptions for key parameters. The primary finding is that although under ideal assumptions, follow- the-sun is able to produce impressive reductions in time-to-market, under more realistic assumptions the reverse is true, thus corroborating findings by other researchers. We also conducted a factorial design to examine the impact of GSD factors including distance, culture, language, trust, and time zone on project duration under different task allocation strategies. The analysis reveals that different factors affected the performance of the selected allocation strategies in unique ways. These findings show how the unique ability of our GSD model to represent detailed development processes and work artifact transfer allows researchers to address challenging questions that are critical to GSD project success.
Article
In today's business where speed is of essence, an iterative development approach that allows the functionality to be delivered in parts has become a necessity and an effective way to manage risks. In this paper we propose the timeboxing model for iterative software development in which each iteration is done in a time box of fixed duration, and the functionality to be built is adjusted to fit the time box. By dividing the time box into stages, pipelining concepts are employed to have multiple time boxes executing concurrently, leading to a reduction in the delivery time for product releases. We illustrate the use of this process model through an example of a commercial project that was successfully executed using the proposed model.
Article
Inspired by round-the-clock manufacturing, the 24-Hour Knowledge Factory endeavors to transform the production of software and other intangibles into a process of continuous development. While the concept of offshore software development is well established, few enterprises are currently able to develop the same code artifacts around the clock. We discuss the benefits of applying the 24-Hour Knowledge Factory to software development. We also present a representative scenario highlighting the problems of asynchronous communication in current offshore software development practices. Further, we introduce the notion of composite persona as a potential collaboration model within the 24-Hour Knowledge Factory and explain its ability to mitigate problems arising from communicating across cultures, languages, and time zones. Finally, we present a suite of new collaboration tools and techniques that are being developed specifically for use by composite personae in the 24-Hour Knowledge Factory.
Article
In globally distributed projects, members have to deal with spatial boundaries (different cities) and temporal boundaries (different work hours) because other members are often in cities within and across time zones. For pairs of members with spatial boundaries and no temporal boundaries (those in different cities with overlapping work hours), synchronous communication technologies such as the telephone, instant messaging (IM), and Web conferencing provide a means for real-time interaction. However, for pairs of members with spatial and temporal boundaries (those in different cities with nonoverlapping work hours), asynchronous communication technologies, such as e-mail, provide a way to interact intermittently. Using survey data from 675 project members (representing 5,674 pairs of members) across 108 projects in a multinational semiconductor firm, we develop and empirically test a relational model of coordination delay. In our model, the likelihood of delay for pairs of members is a function of the spatial and temporal boundaries that separate them, as well as the communication technologies they use to coordinate their work. As expected, greater use of synchronous web conferencing reduces coordination delay for pairs of members in different cities with overlapping work hours relative to pairs of members with nonoverlapping work hours. Unexpectedly, greater use of asynchronous e-mail does not reduce coordination delay for pairs of members in different cities with nonoverlapping work hours, but rather reduces coordination delay for those with overlapping work hours. We discuss the implications of our findings that temporal boundaries are more difficult to cross with communication technologies than spatial boundaries.
Conference Paper
In early 2004, a global company brought together three independent development regions, United States of America (Seattle), United Kingdom (Poole), and Singapore, to form one 24x5 around-the-clock extreme programming team. A year after merging into one team, the group is effectively using full extreme programming practices across the world on a single codebase. This experience report describes the challenges we face in this environment, lessons learned, and how we resolved issues such as global continuous integration, cultural differences, and conflicting priorities across regions.
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using simulation to evaluate global software development task allocation strategies Software Process: Improvement and Practice Smith, p.g., and reinersten, D.g. Developing Products in Half the Time
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Modeling software development across time zones Information and Software Technology Following the sun: Case studies in global software development Follow the sun: Distributed extreme programming development
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Agile Software Development Ecosystems Hildenbrand, t.; rothlauf, F.; geisser, M.; Heinzl, a.; and kude, t. approaches to collaborative software development
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Highsmith, J. Agile Software Development Ecosystems. boston: addison-Wesley, 2002. 25. Hildenbrand, t.; rothlauf, F.; geisser, M.; Heinzl, a.; and kude, t. approaches to collaborative software development. In Second Annual Workshop on Engineering Complex Distributed Systems (ECDS). los alamitos, Ca: IEEE Computer Society press, 2008, pp. 523–528.