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Measurements have been recognised as vital instruments to improve control in outsourced software development projects. However, project managers are still struggling with the design and implementation of effective measurement programs. One reason for this is that although there is a large body of research literature on metrics, practical guidelines for choosing among concrete measurements are scarce. The authors address this gap between research and practice by synthesising knowledge from frameworks and guidelines presented in the software process improvement (SPI) literature. The contribution comprises a framework that provides a set of measurements (selected from the research literature) for control of software development in cooperative settings, and a set of principles and guidelines for the design of an information infrastructure that provides managers with control information. As implication for research, the authors identify the need to develop new theories of SPI through the lens of inter-organisational networks, and taking into account relevant practices from the world of open-source software development. Also lessons for managers of outsourced software development projects are discussed. The results have been validated via expert interviews and by a panel of experts.
Date of Publication: October 2012