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Task Environment Complexity, Global Team Dispersion, Process Capabilities, and Coordination in Software Development

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3 Author(s)
Gwanhoo Lee ; American Univ., Washington, DC, USA ; Espinosa, J.A. ; DeLone, W.H.

Software development teams are increasingly global. Team members are separated by multiple boundaries such as geographic location, time zone, culture, and organization, presenting substantial coordination challenges. Global software development becomes even more challenging when user requirements change dynamically. However, little empirical research has investigated how team dispersion across multiple boundaries and user requirements dynamism, which collectively increase task environment complexity, influence team coordination and software development success in the global context. Further, we have a limited understanding of how software process capabilities such as rigor, standardization, agility, and customizability mitigate the negative effects of global team dispersion and user requirements dynamism. To address these important issues, we test a set of relevant hypotheses using field survey data obtained from both project managers and stakeholders. Our results show that global team dispersion and user requirements dynamism have a negative effect on coordination effectiveness. We find that the negative effect of global team dispersion on coordination effectiveness decreases as process standardization increases and that the negative effect of user requirements dynamism on coordination effectiveness decreases as process agility increases. We find that coordination effectiveness has a positive effect on global software development success in terms of both process and product aspects.

Published in:

Software Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:39 ,  Issue: 12 )