Collaborative Software Development Projects: Strategies and Practices

Thesis (PDF Available) · September 2008with 105 Reads
Thesis for: Master of Science in Engineering Management, Advisor: Dr. Rebecca DeCoster
Abstract
With globalization and the internet the world has become a smaller arena for business war. Prior to this revolution Eastern and Western business strategy concentrated mainly on their respective regions and business success in smaller markets. Eastern business strategy mainly adopts Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” as the main strategy manuscript whilst the Western strategy is more elaborately explained in Carl Von Clausewitz’s “On War” but in modern day collaborative software projects a synergy of Eastern and Western strategy is used to deliver high technology software products and services to an increasingly more demanding global market. Software and the internet have become the driving forces of the modern world and more and more multinational high technology software development firms are established each year and compete with already established software giants on a day-to-day basis. Most of these multinational companies provide high quality, highly customized products and services at an affordable price through the collaboration of the East. The West yields a massive market for the software industry and more and more European and American software development companies are collaborating with countries such as India and China to deliver quality products at competitive prices. Collaborative projects are different from outsourcing and B2B outsourcing is very much less adopted in the present due to poor quality of the end product and exceeding of time lines. Most modern multinational companies engage the East in collaborative projects through the internet. Software packages are architected, designed and delivered through the internet on a daily basis. To be effective and to deliver on time, the project managers of the Western companies liaise with the project teams over the internet and practice different strategies and tactics for success. The aim of this research is to compile a hybrid strategy for “East meets West” collaborative project management in the high technology software development sector and to identify specific tactics needed to implement these strategies in a virtual environment Business-to-business outsourcing hasn’t been very successful in the recent years due to the customers’ needs being more complicated and the expectations of high quality products. With the global economic slowdown, to be competitive in the market, companies have had to make their processes very lean and have had to cut down on most overheads. This has lead to the poor quality of the end product, the dissatisfaction of the end consumer and the loss of market share for these companies. The virtual collaborative model effectively addresses the shortcomings of the traditional outsourcing model. The aim of this model is to provide a better quality end product at lower costs which meets the exact requirements of the Western consumer. Also this model can reduce the turnaround times and improve vastly improve the customer satisfaction level.
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