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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Risk management strategies for intercultural factors in global software development MacGregor, Eve


More and more development effort is spread across the globe in a variety of project configurations. In order to effectively manage these projects software project risk analysis must be expanded to include factors that are unique to projects that span distances, time zones and national and organizational cultures. This thesis describes a qualitative exploratory case study within a company that was initially outsourcing to a software house in India and later moved that development to an offshore office in China. This case is one of several that were part of a multi-pronged research effort exploring the effects of culture in a Global Software Development (GSD) environment. The interview questions explored the day-to-day work process of project personnel through a detailed conversation about their daily work life and their opinions about how the project went or was going. The analysis of participant interviews took a Grounded Theory approach. This thesis explores the issue of risks related to culture from two perspectives; a top-down approach wherein the literature in sociology and anthropology give insight into the concept of culture and into socio-cultural models and a bottom-up approach whereby the case study results are synthesized into practical recommendations. The results are two-fold. The first is a set of propositions that are useful for the identification and planning phases of risk management. The second is a summary of the risks encountered in the case under study along with associated strategies and the sociocultural model concepts and indices that are related.

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