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Article
Publication date: 22 March 2021

Debasisha Mishra

This paper aims to explore the expertise level required in various kinds of business knowledge such as regulatory, domain, strategic, operation process and, business…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the expertise level required in various kinds of business knowledge such as regulatory, domain, strategic, operation process and, business process to execute globally distributed software projects for development, re-engineering and maintenance projects in the Indian outsourcing software industry.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopted a questionnaire survey method to collect the expert responses for a knowledge management framework which is suggested in the literature for software development work. The questionnaire survey findings were verified by expert interviews.

Findings

The research shows that there is a lot of similarity between re-engineering and maintenance projects for different kinds of business knowledge expertise requirements for execution. The development projects require higher expertise in all the business knowledge for execution.

Research limitations/implications

The research work studies the business knowledge required for the execution of development, re-engineering and maintenance projects in Indian outsourcing software projects. However, the project’s characteristics can vary drastically for a single kind of project. So the study cannot be generalized and instead should be used as a tool for learning.

Practical implications

The research findings can be used by software project managers to get insight into project planning, which can help the division of work between the onsite, offshore team and individual work allocation.

Originality/value

The research is novel as there are very few previous attempts to find the business expertise needed to execute various kinds of software projects in the Indian outsourcing industry.

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2014

Gang Qu, Lishan Shen and Xiaona Bao

The purpose of this paper is to study how the software outsourcing teams, namely, vendors, transfer effective knowledge to enhance team performance; it reports on a study…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study how the software outsourcing teams, namely, vendors, transfer effective knowledge to enhance team performance; it reports on a study of transactive memory system (TMS) theory and makes deep analyses and discussions about the influence of the cooperative behaviors of TMS on software outsourcing team’s performance under the framework of three behavioral characteristics dimensions – specialization, credibility and coordination.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is an empirical study based on investigation interviews to 28 software outsourcing teams and data of questionnaire surveys on 124 software outsourcing teams; structural equation model is used to test the data we collected.

Findings

This paper finds that both credibility and coordination have a significantly positive impact on knowledge transfer and project success, whereas specialization has a significant negative impact on project success. The results of data analysis show that TMS is an effective coordination mechanism.

Originality/value

The conclusion of the study can help us understand the coordination mechanism of knowledge transfer in software outsourcing team and provide theoretical support and paradigm reference for vendors in China to accumulate knowledge and improve the success rate of projects in the context of software project development.

Details

Nankai Business Review International, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8749

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

David A. Vogel and Jill E. Connelly

The purpose of this article is to examine why US companies outsource software development offshore and to present the factors to be considered to determine if the benefits…

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2397

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to examine why US companies outsource software development offshore and to present the factors to be considered to determine if the benefits of offshore outsourcing outweigh the drawbacks. Is offshoring worth it in terms of cost savings and quality? What are the risks associated with offshoring software development, and how can you hedge against such risks? What types of software should be considered for offshoring? How can you recognize the danger signs of offshore work going awry? Are there alternatives to outsourcing software development offshore, or are there alternative ways to offshore? Offshore outsourcing of software development may not be worth the risk in all cases. However, in the cases that it is worth moving offshore, this paper makes suggestions about how to help ensure success. This article presents advantages, disadvantages, risks and alternatives to offshore outsourcing of software development. Also, it provides alternatives for offshore outsourcing that will be useful for any company or individual considering offshore outsourcing.

Details

Handbook of Business Strategy, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1077-5730

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Arthur Ahimbisibwe, Urs Daellenbach and Robert Y. Cavana

Aligning the project management methodology (PMM) to a particular project is considered to be essential for project success. Many outsourced software projects fail to…

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4209

Abstract

Purpose

Aligning the project management methodology (PMM) to a particular project is considered to be essential for project success. Many outsourced software projects fail to deliver on time, budget or do not give value to the client due to inappropriate choice of a PMM. Despite the increasing range of available choices, project managers frequently fail to seriously consider their alternatives. They tend to narrowly tailor project categorization systems and categorization criterion is often not logically linked with project objectives. The purpose of this paper is to develop and test a contingency fit model comparing the differences between critical success factors (CSFs) for outsourced software development projects in the current context of traditional plan-based and agile methodologies.

Design/methodology/approach

A theoretical model and 54 hypotheses were developed from a literature review. An online Qualtrics survey was used to collect data to test the proposed model. The survey was administered to a large sample of senior software project managers and practitioners who were involved in international outsourced software development projects across the globe with 984 valid responses.

Findings

Results indicate that various CSFs differ significantly across agile and traditional plan-based methodologies, and in different ways for various project success measures.

Research limitations/implications

This study is cross-sectional in nature and data for all variables were obtained from the same sources, meaning that common method bias remains a potential threat. Further refinement of the instrument using different sources of data for variables and future replication using longitudinal approach is highly recommended.

Practical implications

Practical implications of these results suggest project managers should tailor PMMs according to various organizational, team, customer and project factors to reduce project failure rates.

Originality/value

Unlike previous studies this paper develops and empirically validates a contingency fit model comparing the differences between CSFs for outsourced software development projects in the context of PMMs.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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Article
Publication date: 19 February 2018

Lior Fink, Simon Wyss and Yossi Lichtenstein

The purpose of this study is to identify a typology of procurement contracts in the context of software development projects that allows firms to align design flexibility…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify a typology of procurement contracts in the context of software development projects that allows firms to align design flexibility with design uncertainty at the project level. The theoretical lenses of contract theory and software engineering are used to explain why the five archetypes in the proposed typology provide gradually increasing levels of design flexibility and to develop hypotheses about the associations between design flexibility and a set of project cost dimensions.

Design/methodology/approach

The hypotheses are tested with objective contractual data from 270 software development contracts entered into by a leading international bank over a period of three years.

Findings

Data analysis confirms the existence of the proposed typology and shows that design flexibility is negatively associated with control and positively associated with coordination, trust, duration and price.

Research limitations/implications

Although the findings are based on the contracting practices of a single, albeit sophisticated, organization, they shed light on the ability of firms to align flexibility with uncertainty at the onset of new projects by taking advantage of nuanced contractual mechanisms to produce a broader set of contractual archetypes.

Originality/value

This paper is the first in the outsourcing literature to analyze a nuanced contractual typology in software development projects through the perspectives of both contract theory and software engineering.

Details

Journal of Global Operations and Strategic Sourcing, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5364

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2007

Maliha Haddad and Vincent Ribière

The purpose of this paper is to explore the use of knowledge management (KM) principles and technologies to improve the outcomes of software acquisition projects. Software

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1258

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the use of knowledge management (KM) principles and technologies to improve the outcomes of software acquisition projects. Software acquisition organizations typically contract‐out their software projects to reduce the risks associated with developing the software internally and to control their cost.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on a study of contracted software projects. Research results by the authors emphasize the need for institutionalizing processes for the collection of data about contracting costs within an organization so that databases of metrics about completed projects can be built and later used to forecast costs for future projects to improve the decision‐making processes about outsourcing.

Findings

A study of two‐dozen contracted projects indicates that such organizations face unique risks and hidden costs that are particular to software acquisitions. KM models, practices, and tools are potentially valuable for improving software outsourcing activities.

Originality/value

KM can be useful for identifying the organizational structures, processes and informational technologies for measuring, collecting, and analyzing costs and risks incurred before, during and after the contract award. The same framework can also be used to collect data on the acquisition activities and processes such as writing requests for proposals, contractor evaluation and selection, predicting needed resources, and identifying risks. Such knowledge can be used on future projects to improve the acquisition processes by allocating adequate resources and identifying risks to improve the likelihood of project success.

Details

VINE, vol. 37 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-5728

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Article
Publication date: 20 February 2009

Mary C. Lacity and Joseph W. Rottman

While strategic outsourcing decisions are crafted by senior executives, they are executed by middle managers and staff who may not share the vision or enthusiasm of their…

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2399

Abstract

Purpose

While strategic outsourcing decisions are crafted by senior executives, they are executed by middle managers and staff who may not share the vision or enthusiasm of their senior leadership team. The purpose of this paper is to provide a deep understanding of the effects of outsourcing on one of those stakeholder groups – the client project managers – responsible for the implementation of outsourcing strategies, and to identify practices to better empower and enable them.

Design/methodology/approach

Interviews with 67 client project managers in 25 organizations responsible for integrating suppliers into project teams.

Findings

Client project managers report 27 effects of outsourcing on their roles, including six positive effects and 21 negative effects.

Practical implications

Senior executives who implemented the following practices had more success with their outsourcing decisions: provide enough resources to implement the sourcing strategy, be willing to change internal work practices, build social capital with key supplier executives and seek independent assessment of sourcing strategy effectiveness.

Originality/value

The paper presents an original framework to categorize the effects of outsourcing on client project managers. The framework addresses six areas of concern: organizational support, project planning, knowledge transfer, process standards, managing work and managing people. The paper identifies four practices senior executives use to align and empower their employees to deliver the expected business benefits from strategic outsourcing decisions.

Details

Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8297

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2017

Helena Merikoski, Paula Savolainen and Jarmo J. Ahonen

The purpose of this paper is to present a life cycle phase of a software development project which is substantial for the success of the project. This paper visualizes the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a life cycle phase of a software development project which is substantial for the success of the project. This paper visualizes the project start-up phase from suppliers’ perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The method is a theory building from case studies. The data were collected from three software supplier firms by conducting process modeling separately in each firm.

Findings

The study resulted in a model of a supplier’s software project start-up which includes start-up practices and involved roles. The results indicate that project start-up is an integral and structured phase of project life cycle, which influences the execution of a software development project, especially from the supplier’s perspective in the project business context.

Research limitations/implications

The study focuses on the start-up phase of software development projects delivered to external customers. Therefore, developed project start-up model is applicable as such in software supplier firms.

Practical implications

The project start-up model presented in this paper indicates that project start-up is a complex and multi-dimensional activity in a supplier firm. This study suggests that if the project start-up phase is clearly defined, planned and followed in a supplier firm, it reduces confusion and miscommunication among the people involved in the project and helps to achieve the business goals of a project.

Originality/value

This study emphasizes that it is necessary to make a distinction between the perspectives of the customer and the supplier when studying projects in the project business context. The findings contribute the new knowledge for managing outsourced software development projects.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 22 October 2010

Xiaoyan Li, Jiye Mao and Jing Qian

The paper seeks to investigate the effects of psychological contract on control mechanisms in outsourced ISD projects, based on control theories and psychological contract…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper seeks to investigate the effects of psychological contract on control mechanisms in outsourced ISD projects, based on control theories and psychological contract theories.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is a multiple case study involving five outsourced projects completed by one of the largest and most successful telecommunication vendors in China. The company was the client in three of the projects and the vendor in the other two.

Findings

Based on first‐hand observations by the first author over a two‐year period and follow‐up interviews, four scenarios of match and mismatch of psychological contract between the client and vendor are identified, labeled as mutual transaction, client vulnerable, vendor vulnerable, and mutual loyalty. Moreover, the effect of psychological contract in shaping organizational control and outsourcing outcomes in the four different scenarios is revealed. For example, mutual transaction was associated with an emphasis on outcome control by the client. In contrast, mutual loyalty was associated with more informal control (self‐control and clan control). Furthermore, in the cases of mismatch between the client's and vendor's psychological relationship, the client implemented more behavior control and encouraged self‐control by its partner.

Originality/value

This research is, to the best of the author's knowledge, one of the first attempts to bring together psychological contract theory and organizational control theory in the domain of IT offshore outsourcing research. It reveals the effect of psychological contract in shaping organizational control in the four different scenarios labeled as mutual transaction, client vulnerable, vendor vulnerable, and mutual loyalty.

Details

Nankai Business Review International, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8749

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Article
Publication date: 28 June 2011

Saji K. Mathew

Although risks and client‐vendor relationships in IT outsourcing have been studied in prior research, there is a paucity of studies providing insights on the mitigation of…

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1073

Abstract

Purpose

Although risks and client‐vendor relationships in IT outsourcing have been studied in prior research, there is a paucity of studies providing insights on the mitigation of client risks through the relationship. This research aims to focus on mitigation of the ex post risks of firms engaged in offshore software development (OSD). Client risks due to service provider behavior are identified first. Further, this work seeks to identify relationship variables that could reduce the impact of determinants of risk on a risk category.

Design/methodology/approach

This research followed a multiple case study method aiming to build insights and directions that would facilitate further research. The paper's goal of sampling was to choose cases which were likely to extend the emergent theory pertaining to risks and their mitigation through relationships.

Findings

Findings from this study show that shirking, loss of control over information assets, and service provider lock‐in are the three categories of ex post risks. A relationship management strategy ensuring reasonable profits to the vendor could mitigate shirking risk. Trustworthiness of vendors established through credibility and benevolence in prior engagements could mitigate the risk of loss of control over information assets. Further, dependence balancing through a multi‐vendor offshoring strategy and joint investments in relationship‐specific assets could mitigate the risk of service provider lock‐in.

Practical implications

The findings from this research provide useful insights in vendor selection and management process.

Originality/value

This paper adds to the growing body of literature in offshore IT outsourcing and makes two significant contributions: identification and categorization of risks due to vendor behavior and their determinants in OSD; and understanding the role of relationship dimension in mitigating such risks in OSD.

Details

Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8297

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