Managing Software Risks in Maintenance Projects, from a Vendor Perspective: A Case Study in Global Software Development

Managing Software Risks in Maintenance Projects, from a Vendor Perspective: A Case Study in Global Software Development

Srikrishnan Sundararajan (Department of Systems and Operations, SCMS Cochin School of Business, Kochi, India), M. Bhasi (School of Management Studies, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Kochi, India) and K.V. Pramod (Department of Computer Applications, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Kochi, India)
DOI: 10.4018/IJITPM.2017010103
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Abstract

Global software development exposes projects to the challenges arising from geo-cultural spread of the team and delegation of project ownership. Therefore, risk management in global software development receives attention from many researchers today. The primary focus in this paper is an investigation of risks associated with the maintenance of information systems by teams distributed across geographical locations, cultures, and vendors. Here the authors present the case study of a large offshore outsourced program that maintained a portfolio of business applications for a fortune 500 US client. The program exhibited a wide variety of characteristics typical of maintenance projects. The study investigated the risks, risk resolution techniques, lessons learned and best practices adopted in the program, from a vendor perspective. The findings provide useful insights into understanding and responding to the challenges in initiating, transitioning and managing global software maintenance projects.
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The Research Method

Prior studies in software risks have used methods such as survey of IS professionals, Delphi study, case studies, and action research among others. Personal experience in IT industry forms the source for some studies. In this paper we report the case study of a large offshore outsourced maintenance program. The study addresses the following research questions:

  • 1.

    What are the key software risks associated with offshore-outsourced software maintenance projects, from vendor perspective?

  • 2.

    How are these risks managed?

The scope of the study included risks associated with the technical aspects, methods, and procedures used in software maintenance projects, from a vendor perspective. Other constraints such as the contractual, organizational and operational factors that are generally outside of the direct control of the local management (Carr, Konda, Monarch, Ulrich, & Walker, 1993) were out of scope. We plan to investigate and integrate these dimensions through future studies.

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