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University of Sindh Journal of Information and Communication Technology (USJICT)

Volume 1, Issue 1, October 2017


ISSN: 2521-5582

Website:                          © Published by University of Sindh, Jamshoro.



Prioritizing Geographical based Communication Oriented Risks and Associated Mitigation Strategies of Global Software Development


Iqbal Qasim1, Muhammad Rashid2, Abdul Wahid Khan1, Sardaraz Khan1

1Department of Computer Science, University of Science and Technology, Bannu, KPK, Pakistan

2Department of Software Engineering, International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan

[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]



Abstract: The global software paradigm brings many opportunities but with some complicated challenges. The most influential drivers behind these challenges are temporal distances, socio-cultural differences and geographical distances. Due to these challenges the communication, coordination and control issues arise. These issues badly affect the quality level, cost and schedule of the project. Due to these issues the risk management process becomes more complicated as compare to traditional software engineering. In this study a frame work will be presented to quantify the relative importance of communication oriented risks and corresponding mitigation strategies. A Multi Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) approach will be employed in order to deal with conflictive, multi-criterion situations and also subjective expert judgments.


Keywords: Global Software Development; Communication oriented risk; Analytical Network Process;



                                                                                                                                                     I.          Introduction

The new concept of software development which is termed as Global Software Development (GSD) has been used by many researchers in different ways [2, 3, 4, 5], however still it has no precise definition [7]. It always refers the concept i.e. developing software across the boundaries. References [8, 2] define it “Distributing different modules across different continents and countries in order to benefit the time zone differences, varying cost of development and different level of expertise”.


The GSD unfortunately have some ambiguous status i.e. it does not focus on developing global software rather than using the global setting for software development. Therefore, it means that actors which are developing software are located globally around the world which has diverse cultures and different mindset. The team distances do not mean always the global distances e.g. when co-located team working in different locations. References [9, 10] describe the concept of distributed development which uses Geographical setting however not necessary at global scale.

The term “Globally Distributed Software Development” was used by [11, 12, 13] which was less ambiguous. This terms also some reputation during first international conference in 2006.

In the last thirty years or more, the manufacturing industry is off shoring their processes to destination of lowest costs; in 1980 a major part of software development was being sent offshore [14].  Since that India get dominancy in GSD paradigm which have huge quantity of IT expertise and English language proficiency. In 1997, it was estimated that India exports is one billion US$ in software and in 1999 the country have 200000 well trained and high-profile experts in software industry [11].


Before the birth of GSD, it was already realized by multinational companies that lower countries can be used to outsource the manufacturing process. The software industry followed this concept and used new developing countries to start development activities for capitalization purposes. This new software development paradigm has been supported by some historical factors [16]. 

The maintenance work related to millennium bug was sent offshore, which start new era. In this phenomenon the most outstanding parameters were cheaper labor markets and domain expertise. Organizations are more encouraged by government policies to establish software development activities in the target country [19].


The nature of GSD makes the risks identification process more complex because project manager has limited or no knowledge about the expected risks sets [13]. The inherited three most important factors of GSD i.e. Temporal Distance, Geographical Distance and Socio-Culture Distance disputed the benefits. Further these factors may complicate the process of coordination, communication and control which are three most critical parameters of software development projects. Pervasiveness of numerous challenges in GSD makes it a risky venture and more challenging [3, 10, 15].


In GSD setting the project management concepts like face to face communication, monitoring and controlling the project progress, building trust among developers and other different stack holders become more challenging due to distance involved [15][18]. To tailoring the conventional project management concepts to GSD domain, need proper understanding of the GSD nature, the techniques and procedure reported by research. So, the risk management can be characterized in unique fashion in case of GSD domain [1, 13].


GSD needs a more innovative structure as compare to conventional development and especially for risk management during the whole development process [18]. There is a need of mapping between risk management and different levels of management like operational, tactical and strategic levels. At tactical and strategic level, risk management model the mostly decision-making parameters however at operational level it includes development processes as well [17]. GSD have now well-established position and have proper department in major world software development companies [20]. The pressure to distribute more and more work is increasing gradually due to new global markets emergence. In future GSD will sustain this prominent position due to probable situation of new parameters [21]. India will play a key role in ruling this paradigm [22]. GSD is development paradigm which is working in distributed environment. This paradigm inherits the conventional processes like coordination, communication and control [23, 32, 33]. However, as distance factor involved like temporal, socio-culture and geographical risks therefore executing the above mentioned processes become more challenging. There is need of research to explore new mitigation strategies to mitigate these emerging risks.

This issue was the main theme of international Workshop on Global Software Development and, more recently, the International Conference on Global Software Engineering have studied the distance and their effects during distributed context [25, 4, 10].



In GSD the term of “global” can be explained as using separate countries, continents and time zones for software development, while distributed aspect of GSD mostly considered the geographical distance. Research shows that most of the cores concepts of GSD are related to socio-culture distance risks specially culture and language differences. These culture differences may vary the interpretation and responses to various situations of different team members which belongs to different cultures and having different social values and varying practices for executing different tasks [34]. Another distance which is termed as socio-culture distance risks which have different time zone parameters.

The rest of the paper is organized as follows: Section II gave literature report which analyzes the problem area from different angles. Section III gave research methods which justify the selection of specific research method for the problem at hand. Section VI gave the proposed frame work and Section V presents the discussion on generated results.


Copyright (c) 2017 Muhammad Rashid, Iqbal Qasim, Abdul Wahid Khan, Asfand Yar Khan, Javed Ali Khan

ISSN-E: 2523-1235, ISSN-P: 2521-5582

 Copyright © University of Sindh, Jamshoro. 2017 All Rights Reserved.  
Printing and Publication by: Sindh University Press. 

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University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Sindh, Pakistan. 76080