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Distributed development (DD) of software systems is an issue of increasing significance for organisations today, all the more so given the current trend towards globalisation. In this paper we present a reference model which can be used as a reference point for any company wishing to review their own DD scenario. This is particularised in two forms, one as an exemplar model for a global (GSD) development scenario and one as a particularisation of this for intra-national DD scenarios. By drawing from eight case-studies on DD, we present ten general strategies for successful DD together with our reference model which characterises an ideal DD situation.