Thursday, 12 September 2013

Lero launches model to solve problems of global software development

 Lero, the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre, has launched a new model which includes guidelines designed to allow global software teams work better together. The programme is the culmination of 10 years’ research into the issues involved in managing and implementing global software development.

“Many indigenous and multinational technology companies have outsourced or shared software development activities across multiple sites in different counties – often because of a shortage of skills in their home market or to save costs. However, the results are often disappointing,” commented Dr Ita Richardson, Co-Principal Investigator, Lero, who led the programme. “We set out to discover why and were then able to develop guidelines and a global teaming best practice model.”

She said that the research discovered that the main barriers were not usually technology related but were more likely to be the result of a combination of cultural, trust, communications or project management factors. The model was recently published in “Information and Software Technology”.

Prof Mike Hinchey, Director, Lero, added that this was the first and most in depth global teaming model ever developed. “We see potential for its adoption, not only by multinational and indigenous companies in Ireland collaborating with overseas colleagues, but in the US, UK and other international markets where software development is shared across countries, cultures and time zones.”

Lero, which is funded by Science Foundation Ireland,  is recognised internationally as a centre for Global Software Engineering (GSE) research. GSE is also used by multinational and small to medium sized enterprises internationally.  Due to a global workforce, this method of work continues to experience substantial growth in the software industry.  But, many companies have reported serious problems when trying to implement global software development. 

“Our research with industry for more than 10 years has allowed us to gain an understanding of the problems that occur and how they can be mitigated,” added Dr Richardson. “We found that if managers are not proactive in implementing new global teaming practices they are putting their projects under threat of failure which ultimately could have an adverse effect on an organisation’s competitive advantage, employee satisfaction, timescales and software quality.”

Lero (www.lero.ie) brings together researchers in the University of Limerick, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Dublin City University, NUI Galway, and Dundalk Institute of Technology and is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and other Irish and international funding agencies.